Today Tango and I set off from Berkeley after spending four days at the Doubletree Hotel at the Berkeley Marina. It was a wonderful place to stay, with a gorgeous park just across the street where Tango could run free in some tall grass and sniff every varmint hole on the acreage. He was a happy boy.
We were in Berkeley for the Patients Out of Time Conference which was excellent, but very tiring. It was my third conference in four weeks and by the end of the day on Saturday I was nearly ecstatic to know there are no more conferences in the near future. Tango and I spent Sunday engaged in R&R&R-rest, relaxation and re-organization. The van was a minor disaster area so things came out and went back in more neatly. The business clothes have all been moved to the bottom suitcase and the next two weeks should be just fun.
Tonight we are in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on our way to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We were on the road for close to eight hours, often inching our way up the middle of California on Interstate 5. There were many delays and the horrible California traffic that I thought was an urban problem seems to pervade the State.
And such a State it is. There has been talk for decades about splitting California in two, always along some median that would run east to west. Some have even gone so far as to declare the north part of California should secede and join with part of southern Oregon into a new state called Jefferson. There are many reasons but invariably it comes down to people in the north are different from those in the south. But as I drove today I was struck (once again) with California’s enormous central valley and its vast agriculture bounty. It occurred to me that it might make more sense to split the state length-wise, separating the agricultural eastern section from the coastal west. The people I saw working the fields, driving the tractors and collecting in neighborly groups in small towns were incredibly different than those I left behind in Berkeley. Once again I wondered how this country holds together. We are wonderfully and remarkably tolerant although one wonders how that can last in the current political climate.
But those are problems for another day. Today we started the homeward leg with stops in Idaho and North Dakota. We drove through northern California and for many, many miles we could see Mount Shasta with a bright, white topping of snow. It was in stark contrast to the upper 90-degree weather outside our van which was markedly different from the air-conditioned city called Berkeley. Such an incredible place, the State of California. ❧