The car danced to the rhythm of the almost-howling winds that gust on the stretch of road that connects Interstate 80 with I-680 from Fairfield in the north going southwards to Benicia. Another work day had passed and I was on the road once again for the return trip back home to Fremont — 60 miles away from where I work on that part of the Bay Area.
Fairfield had come a long way since it had been incorporated as a city in 1903. Most of the city’s groundwork was laid-out by Capt. Robert H. Waterman, who, together with A.A. Ritchie, purchased the area’s original grant for $50,000 in 1850.
The new city received a major economic boost in 1942 with the decision of the U.S. Air Force to build the Travis Air Force Base on a huge tract of land surrounded by hills, east of the area. This base was put into good use during the Vietnam War and, presently, still serves as a major departure point for military units based abroad –and maintains its position as the number one employer for most of the city’s population.
Most of the towns situated in the city are nestled among the numerous slopes that dot almost the entire area. Hence, when the winds blowing from the San Francisco Bay arrive into area, these hills serve as conduits for the rushing airflow and may give reason as to why it’s a ‘windy city.’
The entire area is also a favorite stopover of motorists because of its proximity to some of best recreational spots in the entire state.
Napa -with its wineries – and Sonoma -with its famous hot springs & spas – lie southwest, Reno and Lake Tahoe, as well as the state capital of Sacramento, are all within one to two-hour drive away to the north.
And yes, the famous city of San Francisco is just an inviting 45 minutes drive south of Fairfield.
Today, the city is on the verge of another housing boom as more and more denizens of the East Bay –with its ridiculous real estate market prices – opt for the area’s spacious, natural surroundings and moderate weather.
When you’re out for your next trip to Lake Tahoe, San Jose or even just longing to get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, make sure that you check out some of the natural sights of Fairfield! It’s so easy to know when you’ve arrived in this city – – – the winds will surely let you know!
Panoramic view of picture above (2.04MB – Apple QuickTime required)