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California: Ready for its closeup

Joshua Tree Nat Park trees and rocks

California: “Swimmin’ Pools and Movie Stars” 

Yes, California is the home of Hollywood and all the glitz and glam that goes along with that. For many, this is all they think of when they hear the word.

But there is so much more to California than what makes it onto the screen. Go into the desert and you will discover strange landscapes populated with Dr. Seuss-like trees. Or the lowest, hottest place below sea level: Death Valley, where cracked earth and a searing sun make you wonder how any flora or fauna can survive here at all.

Sandwiched between California’s dramatic ocean coastlines and deserts you’ll discover giant redwoods and sequoia trees that dwarf visitors and turn us all into tree-huggers.

And speaking of tree-huggers, this is where hippies led a cultural revolution at the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco. But and even after the tie-dyed shirts were exchanged for 3-piece suits in Silicon Valley, a laid-back culture still survives here in Surf City and the one and only Venice Beach boardwalk.

VW Van at Huntington Beach Surfing Museum




In Search of Sequoias in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks

In Search of Sequoias in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks

I can’t even remember the first time I learned about the existence of giant sequoia trees. I must have been quite young, because my fascination with them held an almost mythical quality, as if these trees were more a product of imagination than reality, like the Loch Ness Monster, or Bigfoot. I distinctly remember seeing a picture of a car driving through a tunnel carved through one of these trees, but still, it was hard to believe that a forest of these trees could exist. Which was why I promised myself that someday I would venture to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks in California if for no other reason than to see these trees for myself.
Half a century later, that someday happened…

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