2017 Feb 10 – Day 39 – Bakersfield, CA to Modesto, CA

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.img_8064 img_8063 img_8079 img_8080It cost Buck Owens $7 million to build in 1996.img_8062 img_8065img_8081 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:

img_8048img_8052        Like Hank Williams                                        And Elvis Presleyimg_8088 img_8089          Buck Owens himself                                             And Johnny Cash

Many of Buck Owens’ fancy suits were on display.img_8053 img_8054 img_8084 img_8085 img_8087img_8086The 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).img_8055img_8068 img_8069                Hood ornaments

img_8072 img_8073                   Door handle                                        and side panel ornamentimg_8070 img_8077       Silver dollar dash                              Silver dollar saddle for a consoleimg_8071 img_8076Could you get more gaudy than this car?

img_8082When you’re a through and through cowboy even your golf shoes are boots.

img_8058 img_8059Driving 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.

img_8091 img_8095 img_8092img_8110They also grow lemons and oranges in the Central Valley  and we passed another truck of oranges and one of lemons.img_8098

img_8099 img_8103img_8102 There is a huge orange warehouse and processing plant called Halo Oranges (look how big the billboard is compared to the buildings)

img_8105And 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.img_8114We 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.img_8116 img_8117 img_8122So, 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.


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