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Living in 209
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I am always amazed at how once a year, that perfect day arrives in the spring that finds the Valley trees all in bloom, the sun is warm and the air is so aromatic you cannot help but say “Wow.” 

My perfect day was over the weekend when driving about on Sunday I happened to find myself among several orchards lined one after another with beautiful pink and white blossoms.   The warm 75 degrees afforded me the luxury of having all the windows down and some good rock and roll playing, probably too loudly — but loud enough to cover my ever so not lovely singing voice. 

That is what I love about the Valley. There are so many things to do within a very short distance that even with the gas prices going up, you can still afford to pack a picnic basket and have a day of sunshine and explore caves, rivers and streams. You can climb a mountain or hike some foothills. Tucked away are wineries, bed and breakfasts, old hotels with a goldmine of stories and ghostly yarns. Find some culture through local art, community theaters or a random poetry jam — all within driving distance.  

I am saying all of this to bring about some exciting news. We at the Turlock Journal recognize the fact that there is more to do in the 209 area code than we have been covering.
So in response to this missing equation, this Saturday we are bringing to our readers the Living in 209. This section is a combined effort with our sister paper, The Manteca Bulletin, and will be published every Saturday.  It is our hope that you will enjoy having the opportunity to learn more about the people, events, businesses and destinations in the 209 area code, which includes Stanislaus, Merced, San Joaquin, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, and parts of Sacramento and Tuolumne counties.

As you begin to explore, remember to take photos and send them in to us. We want to hear about your travels and any great finds you may come across. Here’s to new adventures, more fun, more getaways and to you our readers: Thank you for your stories, feedback and support.