Salma and I took the Amtrak down to Hanford on a Sunday afternoon. The sun was going down, and as we sat on the upper deck of the train we looked out over almond orchards, grape vines, farm silos, and birds wheeling against an orange sky.
Thirty minutes later we were in downtown Hanford. It’s nearly deserted after dark, but as we neared the central town square we encountered the last stragglers of a large wedding on the courthouse steps. The air in Fresno has been bad due to northern California wildfires. In Hanford it was a thick brown soup, and I found myself coughing.
Superior Dairy was crowded with families with children, and a large group of fit-looking young adults wearing sweatshirts that said Reedley Explorers. The staff was bustling, with almost a dozen young workers building massive ice cream sundaes that look like miniature replicas of Mt. Everest. They make their own ice cream on site, and it’s delicious.
Salma and I ordered a medium – not large, mind you, but medium – hot fudge sundae with vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Cost: $7.50. The hot fudge came in small tins and was so hot we could barely hold the tines. When we made a small cave in the top of the sundae and poured the fudge in, the ice cream steamed.
We couldn’t finish it. They offered to box it up to go. I would gladly have done that if it could have survived a half hour train trip back to Fresno!