On Ortega Highway These Days
By Mike Evans, February 9, 2017

A bummer of a sink-hole just west of our entrance. The road is closed a mile before our gate if you’re coming from the 5 Freeway in San Juan Capistrano.

We are literally… “so close and yet so far away.”

In our 40-year business history with 32 years at our current location, this extended road closure on Ortega Highway has probably been our biggest challenge, from an “emergency” point of view anyway. The highway closed on January 25, the reopening date is uncertain, and it looks like we will have a few more days alone out here in “Quiet Land.” A ten minute drive from San Juan Capistrano has become a 100-mile journey over hill and dale to come in through Elsinore. Our sales have temporarily dried up during a nice wet year.

On the plus side (always look for the silver lining), we get to see the Ortega Highway with zero traffic during an epic wet year. Right now the white flowering hoary leaf ceanothus is in full bloom! With a sharp eye you can spot native peonies in the chaparral understory, woodwardia ferns in the little draws, even a blooming manzanita and lush dudleyas here and there, tucked into the rocks. Our intrepid customers who make the drive are exclaiming about the beauty.

For those who have made the road trip to visit us, we thank you profusely. This may possibly be the last weekend of closure (rumor has it!), so if you want to take this unique opportunity to see the Ortega Highway at its best, this Saturday would be a great time. If you are holding off on the long drive, (don’t blame you) we sure look forward to seeing you soon. And to you who have been so patient regarding will-call and delivery orders, thank you. Don’t give up on us. We’re getting a few trucks a week out best we can.

And stay tuned for definitive news of Caltrans finishing their work. Thanks again.

I think James Taylor’s lyrics speak volumes.

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again.

Visit as soon as you can… with all the deep soil moisture, this will be the best planting season in years, and the San Juan Canyon is as beautiful as it can be. Make sure you check our Hours and Directions before you start your drive.

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