My memories of California will range from the usual — sweltering on a blindingly-white beach surrounded by beautiful young women in bikinis and watching handsome young men repeatedly fall off surf boards; to the educational — an hour spent in a San Francisco leather shop, surrounded by chains and handcuffs; to the unique — days spent wandering in Joshua Tree National Monument; to the mundane — driving along interstates glittering with broken glass; to the spectacular — camping beside the Pacific.
Entering California from the east, we wound through green and rich
arable farmland. We drove past the nodding donkeys of oil fields. We
saw a hillside covered with scores of wind-powered electricity
generators, as alien as any science fiction-imagined world.
In Joshua Tree we watched the smog rolling inland from Los Angeles.
In San Louis Obispo we witnessed great and ostentatious wealth. But
back from the highways, ,amongst battered mobile homes and the
skeletons of cars, we also saw abject poverty, dusty truckstop towns
like Desert Centre.
And we rattled along in trams and streetcars in the handsome city of
San Francisco, a place to which we'll return as soon as we can