California, Road Trip, The World A to Z, Travel

S is Also for Sniff

On our recent California road trip, with the top down, Greg and I realized you can smell all kinds of things you’d miss with the windows rolled up. 

It reminded me of family trips when I was a kid. We had a great big station wagon with wood panels on the side. On vacations, we’d pile in and hit the road with the windows open; the air conditioning off. Dad said the A/C made the car get worse gas mileage, so … no A/C unless it was CRAZY hot. We’d let the breeze waft through our hair, and stick our hands out to surf the slipstream… 

But I digress… On this trip as we drove through the Central Valley, top down on the convertible, we passed huge, vast farms stretching as far as the eye could see. I suddenly smelled garlic. I inhaled deeply. Ahhh … fresh garlic. “Are those garlic fields?” I asked. Greg didn’t know, but a few seconds later we realized there was a big truck loaded with garlic bulbs up ahead. The curative powers of garlic made me calm.

I started sniffing the air. It was filled with amazing, thrilling aromas.

The aroma of tomatoes fills the air near fully loaded trucks.

There’s a hint of tomato as we passed a pair of tomato trucks, filled to nearly overflowing. When we pulled off for gas, a mower emitted the classic summer scent of freshly mown grass. 

Bits of hay fly through the air along with the hay’s fresh-cut scent.

A hay truck spewing tiny blades of hay into the air also delivers the bouquet of fresh hay! 

Some trucks are more stinky than others.

Sure, there are still those not-so-pleasant smells: an 18-wheeler with its punched-hole trailer packed with animals destined to be steaks and pork chops; the occasional roadkill carcass baking in the summer sun sending my fingers up to pinch my nose like I did as a kid; trash trucks reeking of, well, stinky trash. 

Oddly, I noticed you can smell heat. If you’re not so sure about that, the next time someone comes in from being outside in the summer sun, take a sniff … sure, you can smell the sweat, but that smell of sun-baked heat is there, too.

Rose farms outside Phoenix are almost always in bloom.

The best thing is, there are also those everyday smells to tickle your senses … fresh cut grass often includes a wild onion smell, rose fields outside Phoenix send the fragrance of the blooms into the air, the mouth-watering scent of grilling burgers and barbecuing ribs generates a grumble from your tummy. 

There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Remember to take in the smells wherever you go.

© The World A to Z, LLC 2020 Unless otherwise noted, no compensation was received for this post.

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