Postcard from... Central Valley
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Thursday 10 July 2014
About halfway down the Interstate 5 freeway from San Francisco to Los Angeles, in the heart of California’s Central Valley, is a lunch stop that’s a cut above most of the fast-food joints that hug the roadside.
The Harris Ranch Inn, which serves meat and veg fresh from nearby Harris Farms, also sells clothing and souvenirs bearing a name now familiar to most Americans: California Chrome. Many farms in the Central Valley are utterly demoralised by the water shortages, but Harris Farms was given a morale boost in May when California won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Had he also triumphed at the Belmont Stakes in New York last month, he would have become the first horse to win the “Triple Crown” of US racing since 1978.
In the event, California Chrome came in fourth at Belmont, after injuring his hoof. He has been recuperating ever since at Harris Farms.
William Bourdeau, the vice president of Harris Farms, says its affiliation with the winning chestnut made the farm’s drought-stricken summer “a lot less painful”. He says: “We’ve had something to hope for. It’s helped the morale of the whole Valley community. It’s really neat to be associated with something that has national appeal.”.
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
Want to ward off (or welcome) trick-or-treaters? Here's how
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
Halloween 2014: From the Screaming Man of Pluckley to the 'White Lady' of the Tower of London - Britain's 20 most haunted places
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£60 - £65 per hour + plus free travel scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: Yout...
£95 - £105 per day + plus free travel scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: NEWL...
£60 - £65 per day + plus free travel scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: Teach...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...