Update from California

California is simply amazing. So far, I have:

  • hiked through a grove of redwoods,
  • driven over the Golden Gate Bridge
  • hugged a sequoia
  • visited the Salinas Valley, where my favorite book, East of Eden, takes place
  • paid homage to John Steinbeck (the greatest writer to ever exist), at his gravesite
  • became incredibly dehydrated while walking aimlessly in the Mojave Desert
  • climbed up a canyon at Joshua Tree National Park and proceeded to watch the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen
Yossi and I under a giant redwood. In this picture, I am in process of freaking out over how huge the redwoods are.
John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

“I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity—in a net of good and evil. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was I good or was I evil? Have I done well—or ill?”
    -East of Eden

Photo: Hulton Archive/Steinbeck Memorial

 

The Salinas Valley, exactly as Steinbeck described it in East of Eden.
Mojave Desert, Mojave National Preserve

As I was driving through the Preserve, I pulled off to the side of the road to let Yossi out. I originally planned on taking him for a “quick walk.” However, I loved the scenery and ended up walking aimlessly for hours. I did not bring any water (stupidly) on an extremely hot day. It was only after I became light-headed and finally vomited, that I realized how seriously dehydrated I was. In Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck wrote, “The Mojave is a big desert and a frightening one. It’s as though nature tested a man for endurance and strength to prove whether he was good enough to get through California.” I guess I failed that test.

Joshua Tree National Park
Yossi watches the sun set over Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park, California