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I have written chiefly of the better-known coast towns, but there are many retired resorts which are practically deserted except for the summer season. One may often find a pleasant diversion in one of these places on a fine spring day before the rush comes-and if he goes by motor, he can leave at his good pleasure, should he grow weary, in sublime indifference to railroad or stage time-tables. A Los Angeles friend who has a decided penchant for these retired spots proposed that we go to Newport Beach one Saturday afternoon and we gladly accepted this guidance, having no very clear idea ourselves of the whereabouts of Newport Beach.

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We followed him out Stevenson Boulevard into Whittier Road, a newly built highway running through a fertile truck-gardening country to the pleasant village founded by a community of Quakers who named it in honor of their beloved poet. One can not help thinking how Whittier himself would have shrunk from such notoriety, but he would have no reason to be ashamed of his namesake could he see it to-day-a thriving, well-paved town of some eight thousand people. It stands in the edge of a famous orange-growing section, which extends along the highway for twenty miles or more and which produces some of the finest citrus fruit in California. Lemon and walnut groves are also common and occasional fig and olive trees may be seen. The bronze-green trees, with their golden globes and sweet blossoms, crowd up to the very edge of the highway for miles-with here and there a comfortable ranch-house.

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We asked permission to eat our picnic dinner on the lawn in front of one of these, and the mistress not only gladly accorded the privilege, but brought out rugs for us to sit upon. A huge pepper tree screened the rays of the sun; an irrigating hydrant supplied us with cool crystal water; and the contents of our lunch-baskets, with hot coffee from our thermos bottles, afforded a banquet that no hotel or restaurant could equal.

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Further conversation with the mistress of the ranch developed the fact that she had come from our home state, and we even unearthed mutual acquaintances. We must, of course, inspect the fine grove of seven acres of Valencias loaded with fruit about ready for the market. It was a beautiful grove of large trees in prime condition and no doubt worth five or six thousand dollars per acre. The crop, with the high prices that prevailed at that time, must have equaled from one-third to half the value of the land itself. Such a ranch, on the broad, well-improved highway, certainly attains very nearly the ideal of fruit-farming and makes one forget the other side of the story-and we must confess that there is another side to the story of citrus fruit-farming in California.

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The fine road ended abruptly when we entered Orange County, a few miles beyond Whittier, for Orange County had done little as yet to improve her highways, and we ran for some miles on an old oiled road which for genuine discomfort has few equals. One time it was thought that the problem of a cheap and easily built road was solved in California-simply sprinkle the sandy surface with crude oil and let it pack down under traffic. This worked very well for a short time until the surface began to break into holes, which daily grew larger and more numerous until no one could drive a motor car over them without an unmerciful jolting. And such was the road from Fullerton to Santa Ana when we traversed it, but such it will not long remain, for Orange County has voted a million and a quarter to improve her roads and she will get her share of the new state highway system as well. (All of which, I may interject here, has since come to pass and the fortunate tourist may now traverse every part of the county over roads that will comfortably admit of all the speed the law allows).

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Santa Ana is a quiet town of fifteen thousand, depending on the fruit-raising and farming country that surrounds it. It is a cozy place, its wide avenues shaded by long rows of peppers and sycamores and its homes embowered by palms and flowers. Almost adjoining it to the northeast is the beautiful village of Orange-rightly named, for it is nearly surrounded by a solid mass of orange and lemon groves. In the center of its business section is a park, gorgeous with palms and flowers. The country about must be somewhat sheltered, for it escaped the freeze of 1913 and was reveling in prosperity with a great orange and lemon crop that year.

 
 
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