March 2, 2021:

It's not until Chualar that I feel the trip begins.

All things north of there are the things I'm used to. Stores I've shopped in, houses I've lived in, roads I've experienced hundreds of gray and bored and alienated times.

Chualar south is where color begins to emerge. Bursting spectacularly into true vibrance at Gaviota, or Santa Clarita, or San Bernardino, as you crest the pass and coast down into home.