On a clear day, the mixture of sloping foothills and furrowed fields near King City, Calif., is absolutely stunning and a testament to the hard work of so many who bring us our food.
The Central California city (also known as Kings City) is a small city of less than 15,000 residents in Monterey County, Calif.
Located about 50 miles south of the city of Salinas in the beautiful Salinas Valley ~ America's Salad Bowl ~ along the usually mostly dry or dry Salinas River, King City may best be known for reputedly first permanent resident: J. Ernst Steinbeck, novelist John Steinbeck's father.
While that may be disputed, it is a fact that the elder Steinbeck was among the first settlers. In fact, he was an agent for the S.P. Milling Co., which had a warehouse and flour mill alongside the railroad tracks that still run through the town.
The town was named for Charles King, who secured 13,000 acres of the Mexican land grant Rancho San Lorenzo.
It didn't take long for King to put into production 6,000 acres of wheat.
The town primarily served as a train stop for the Southern Pacific Railroad, which provided freight and transportation services south Salinas ranches, farms and homesteads. Goods from these endeavors were transported throughout the state, usually first being sent to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Before it was named King City, it was originally called "Hog Town" because swine were a major agricultural product of the area in the 1880s.
In 1887, the first King City post office opened. King City was officially incorporated under the name "City of King" in 1911.
The Salinas Valley is very beautiful, but it is also very dusty at certain times of the year when air particulate matter (including pollution) makes it impossible for beautiful scenic photos. The best time to photograph is after a storm ~ before the wind dries out the soil and whip up a lot of dust.