On the way home from a long weekend at Pebble Beach, we drove though the land John Steinbeck painted in his book East of Eden. The farming east of Carmel in the areas of Salinas, Gonzales and King City is beautiful. Driving by acres of romaine, asparagus, tomatoes and other vegetables while watching irrigation sprinklers water the crops gives me a new appreciation of the produce in my grocery store and of Steinbeck's novels. Wanting to see more of the rich central valley of California, we veered inland.
As we drove further south and east, we saw more dust and dryness. The once proud signs declaring that "food grows where water flows" were faded and droopy. While there were still orchards and crop-filled fields, much of the land was parched, dirty yellow, dusty. The high unemployment was evident in the towns where we stopped for coffee or gasoline. No water, no life. And, government bureaucrats have chosen to exacerbate a water shortage with bad policy -- choosing theoretically to spare Delta smelt fish over people, farming, food and employment.
|James Dean Memorial|