..you can see across California!
While flying home yesterday morning from a conference in Minnesota, I stared out the window and watched the west go by. Barren mountains and alkali flats were the lay of the land, with nary a tree to be seen.
As we crossed over Carson City and into California, it was like the scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy escapes her black and white world and into a technicolor dream. Yesterday’s wind created white caps on Lake Tahoe, and the twists and bends of the Truckee River produced golden glints seen from several thousand feet up.
The captain told us passengers that it was so clear that he could see both the Sierra Nevadas and the Coastal Range, from one side of California to the other.
We cruised over the snow-dusted mountains which were formed from plate shifts and magma 150-25 million years ago. I thought of all the time I’ve spent in those mountains and river canyons. They were once the home of the Paiute and Miwok people and are now a playground for outdoor enthusiasts (including some other Native types like me who feel more at home exploring the terrain than in any planned community in the flat lands.)
The descent into the Sacramento Valley unfolded a patchwork quilt of agricultural wonder. Vibrant and varying shades of green, yellow, and red squares were stitched together by country roads and waterways. The texture of the quilt was developed by the rows of crops and tractor tracks. Flooded rice fields glimmered in the sun.
Locals were telling fellow non-local passengers what the different crops were and giving suggestions to a couple planning their getaway to the Napa-Sonoma region.
So, say what you want about our lack of nightlife, misguided politicos, and brainless morning news shows — Northern California rules, even if you can only base your opinion by sitting in seat 21A.