The people of the central west coast are of two minds about this enormous weather system. On the one hand, it’s a long-awaited change from a drought that has a lot of them really worried. In the short period that rain has been falling, we’ve seen grey, pinched hillsides with dusty soil turn a tender green with happy blades of grass.
On the other hand, the intensity of this deluge has prompted worries about floods and mudslides. In the next town from here, they’ve been handing out free sandbags for residents. Low-lying portions of streets are turning into mini-lakes, and on the beaches, waves have increased from six to ten feet up to 20 feet high.
The weatherman showed us a radar picture of the storm on the news this evening, and it looks just like the swirl of hurricanes that attack the coast of the Gulf of Mexico every year. However, he said not to be alarmed, because even if it looks like one, it isn’t. The weather map pulled back from its west-coast focus to a full picture of the continent, and the storm that’s hitting us as rain right now is going to turn into snow and ice clear across to the east coast in the coming days! So I guess people can say that March will come in like a lion.
We are currently on a section of the California coast that has a reputation for great natural beauty and scenic drives. Seeing it under heavy clouds or shrouded with fog and rain is not ideal, so we are staying put for a couple more days before we continue. Besides, we’re not too keen on getting blown off a cliff into the ocean!
We did venture out for groceries this morning, and were pleased to find a Trader Joe’s store in Arroyo Grande, just south of here. Our friends Scott and Mary Jane told us about this grocery chain, but we’d never come across one before today. The store is full of Trader Joe’s products – and no other brands – and everything is made with natural ingredients, with a focus on fresh and organic produce. We bought some huge, juicy California strawberries, a couple of fresh salads and other items we’re looking forward to sampling.
It was good to get out, despite having to run from the car to the store with hoods over our heads! But it was also good to have relaxing time to read a good book and have a nap. If you didn’t mind being rocked to sleep with gales of wind.