No matter how many toys we invent, the cars, the computers, the planes, all the things we call the necessities of life, without soil we are done for. Without water, life withers away. We all depend on it, no matter how far removed from the land we have become.
|Central Valley and Coast Ranges from near New Hogan Reservoir|
|Canyonlands National Park from Grandview Point|
I know I am being dramatic, but this was on my mind as we set out on our two-week journey across the plateau. We drove through 200 miles of the Great Valley, watching the land change from savannah to desert, where agriculture was only possible because of vast transfers of water from wetter climates to the north. We turned east at Bakersfield and crossed the Sierra Nevada at Tehachapi Pass into an even drier climate, the Mojave Desert. It was a hot day, hot as blazes. We were comfortable in our air-conditioned vans, and were making good progress. In my last post, I mentioned how cities were possible out here only because of the vast transfer of energy and supplies from other places. A bad accident and the subsequent back-up of traffic was a reminder of just how much material moves across these roads each day. It takes a lot to maintain our chosen standard of living. While we were stuck, the van's cooling systems were strained to the limit, and the thin boundary between us and the inferno outside narrowed.
A parking lot? How much can be learned in a parking lot? Well, the parking lot at Calico is a place apart; check it out!
Here is the explanation of my "abandonment" theme for this series: http://geotripper.blogspot.com/2012/06/abandoned-landsa-journey-through.html