We went to bed last night with rain outside, it rained hard most of the night, it was not raining when we crossed the hotel lot to go to breakfast, nor was it raining when we went to the Buck Owens Crystal Palace, but the rain started as we drove out of Bakersfield and it rained on and off, mostly on, all day. Often very hard rain. I guess the California drought is most definitely over. Several of the irrigation channels we passed on our drive up to Modesto were full to the brim and one place the water had created a nice size pond in the field.
The Buck Owens Crystal Palace is a dinner theater venue that showcases country music. Buck Owens was a country music legend (I loved his music) and created “The Bakersfield Sound.” On all the walls around the dinner theater were glass cases showing memorabilia, photographs, costumes he wore, tributes he was awarded, and gifts he was presented. It was fun to check out so much stuff about a man whose music I grew up enjoying. It cost Buck Owens $7 million to build in 1996. There are over 1,100 photographs on the walls – and crystal too .
There were life-size solid bronze statues of many of the music legends of Buck Owens era:
Like Hank Williams And Elvis Presley Buck Owens himself And Johnny Cash
Many of Buck Owens’ fancy suits were on display. The one on the right Buck only wore once. He said it was too heavy and weighed about 30 pounds.
The favorite item in the theater was the 1972 Pontiac Grandville built for and owned by Elvis Presley. Buck Owens won if off him in a bet in Las Vegas (legend is he cheated). Hood ornaments
Door handle and side panel ornament Silver dollar dash Silver dollar saddle for a console Could you get more gaudy than this car?
When you’re a through and through cowboy even your golf shoes are boots.
Driving out of Bakersfield we passed acres and acres and acres and acres of grape vines, apricot trees (just beginning to bloom) and peach trees (pink blossoms). Thousands of new plantings of grapes and fruit trees as well.
They also grow lemons and oranges in the Central Valley and we passed another truck of oranges and one of lemons.
There is a huge orange warehouse and processing plant called Halo Oranges (look how big the billboard is compared to the buildings)
And we went by a truck that probably came from the Halo processing plant because it was full of orange pulp.
We didn’t stop except to have lunch in Fowler. They grow oranges too and have a grape processing plant.We drove into Madera, planning to find some geocaches at a local park but the sky opened and it was pouring. We tried to find one at the back of building but all we succeeded in doing was getting wet. So, it was essentially a destination day – in the rain. We pulled into our hotel at Modesto at 5 pm, took our stuff to our room and went to the Texas Roadhouse for steak dinner. Boy, was it good steak!
Tomorrow we go to Discovery Bay, northeast of San Francisco, to visit Kelly and Mel, a couple we met on the 2009 World Cruise. We are staying with them a couple of days and then moving northward – slowly.