Of the myriad of activities and events we did during our recent two-week holiday to Northern California and Southern Oregon, none was more rewarding or memorable to me than spending time with my cousin and her family in Loma Rica. They are truly living the epitome of my interpretation of the California dream, and I felt privileged to be included for a few days. Considering my stepfather, who was to perish in an auto accident less than a week after our return, was with my youngest son and I for the trip, it became all the more memorable.
Loma Rica means “rich hill” in English. This is most likely derives from the historically rich goldfields of the lovely Sierra foothills. As is common with English, “rich hill” in no way comes close to describing the sheer, jaw-dropping beauty of the place like Spanish does. The town is hardly larger than a speck on the California landscape. That said, Loma Rica contains many more riches than those found in the volcanic soil and the crystalline streams. The rocky Sierra Nevada foothills filled with waist-high fields of golden grasses adorned with emerald patches of trees presented this Midwest sojourner with a vivid image of this Pacific wonderland. To the west you can see the uniquely fascinating Sutter Buttes – which are approximately 75 square miles in area and just happen to be the world’s smaller mountain range.
But the most dazzling jewels of Loma Rica were to burst upon us after sunset, when millions of stars appeared in the night sky. I cannot recall seeing so many stars in a very, very long time (if ever). It was like I was kid all over again. The Milky Way was clearly evident and we observed at least 15 shooting stars/meteors in a 30 minute period. It was simply amazing, entrancing, captivating, and mesmerizing all at the same time.
This Midwesterner just sat there soaking it all in…never really wanting to leave that place and time. I had discovered what “California dreaming” is all about and I was hooked. Thank you to my cousin all my relatives living in lovely Loma Rica for such a wonderful visit and astounding images that will stay with me forever.