Wind reached an estimated 192 mph in Arvin and lifted in excess of 25 million tons of soil from local grazing lands alone. The wind was strong enough to cause drifting sand to pile-up and plug highways, bury cars, blow-out windows in vehicles, and denude the landscape. The raised dust from the event dimmed the sun as far north as Reno NV. That was December 1977. The photo above was taken in the skies above Arvin which is just a few miles southeast of Bakersfield. I remember that day. Anyone that was in the San Joaquin Valley then remembers that. And they probably hate the wind just as much as me.
Usually the wind ushers in the promise of a rainstorm only to blow so hard that the rain goes some place else. Yesterday, it was windy. It wasn’t 192 mph windy; but it was dirty windy just the same. It was windy all day long. Yuck. The tomato seedlings were whisked into the shed for protection. Anything that might blow away was moved or tied down. We spent the entire day inside watching the dirt get thicker in the air. Then it finally rained. It rained most of the night then on and off today.
Today, I surveyed the damage. My giant whirligig twisted off the shepherd’s hook it hung from. The wind chimes got a bit tangled. Some potted plants tipped over and were up righted. The tender growth on many of the trees and vines had damage.
The rain had settle the dirt out of the air so much that I could see the base of the grapevine very, very clearly (The hill going south to LA that Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen made even more famous.).
For anyone who thinks that 1977 was a long time ago, for anyone that likes hot rods, or for anyone that would like to hear good ol’ Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen…enjoy!