Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meanwhile, out in the canyons...

Roadside shrine for Maribel Ramos. Santiago Canyon Road. 
The newspaper reports usually describe Orange County's canyons as “remote,” though really it takes only about a ten minute drive to see the red clay rooftops of the closest housing development rising in their curvy neat rows, and another ten to shop at Ralphs or Target or pay to take a seat in the air-conditioned darkness of a Regal Theater and see the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Thousands daily drive Santiago Canyon Road and not just we who live out here. "Flatlanders," as we call them, often opt for the scenic two lane highway to cut across from Orange to Lake Forest and further to Rancho Santa Margarita and destinations beyond.  The canyon road doesn't require a toll and if it takes more time, it's time lost to beauty and not traffic.

Here is where the sidewalks run out and here is where the fences fall down and here is where people come to hike the hills and others come to dump what they don’t want: weary couches, broken furniture, busted appliances, sad mattresses flung face down and then, two weeks ago, in early May, a body of a woman, near the creek bed they say, where stands of matilija poppies bloom white and yellow and the sage has gone purple and the big oaks wear their spring green. They found her last Thursday. She was someone's daughter, sister, student, friend. The road was closed for hours while they retrieved her.

We’d been driving by her all that time.

This week, the ash from last week's flares still smear the road at Jackson Ranch and Modjeska.  

A shrine has appeared. 



Anonymous said...

I had been following this story wishing it would have a different ending but fearing this one.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Her roommate was arraigned yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Here's the LA Times article:


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