In early spring, 2007, I conducted a photography tour along the routes used by various people to reach the San Joaquin Valley of California, from Okies and Texans in the 1930s to the influx of Latinos in the latter half of the 20th Century.
The San Joaquin Valley, which is the southern two thirds of the Great Central Valley of California, is perhaps the richest agricultural valley in the world. It lies between the Sierra Nevada and Tehachapi Mountains to the east, and the Coast Range Mountains to the west.
We found a diverse range of subjects, from people to wildflowers, from animals to architecture, including the few building still standing at the Sunset Labor Camp, the place made famous in the John Steinbeck novel, Grapes of Wrath. Our explorations to us to the Central Valley towns of Bakersfield, Arvin, and Weedpatch, and into the Tehachapi Mountains, and along a variety of old highways and back roads.
Sunset Labor Camp
Cracked Window, Sunset Labor Camp
View at the Sunset Labor Camp
Cobwebs at the Sunset Labor Camp, Weedpatch, California
Sheep is Shorn
Waiting their Turn
Sheep Shearing Encampment
Martin Etchamendy, Basque Sheep Rancher
Cowboy near Lamont, California
The Good Life
Child and her Mother Near Keene
Lupine along Highway 223
Poppy with Honey Bee
Poppies Near Arvin, California
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
Turtle with Young Friend
Happy Bobcat, California Living Museum
Black Bear with Lunch, California Living Museum
Black Bear at the California Living Museum, near Bakersfield
Our Hosts at the Best Western
Renovation in Arvin, California
Caesar Chavez Memorial
Caesar Chavez Gravesite
Abstract Patterns on a Disc Machine
The Tehachapi Loop
Locomotive on the Tehachapi Loop
Tracks, Tehachapi Loop
Hello, Dolly! Actress Leslie Lane
Waitresses on Break, Basque Restaurant, Bakersfield
Zooming in on the Wool Growers Restaurant, Bakersfield
Neon Reflected in an Irrigation Canal, Bakersfield
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