The John Shinnick 58 California Counties 58 County Pledge
Riverside County was an easy one to choose a destination, being the home of Joshua Tree National Park. Oddly the trees aren't the main attraction, it's the rocks. I saw probably ten or more groups of rock climbers in the park. This one had no takers at the moment. There are actually four paths up the smooth face seen here, one of them called "A Cheap Way to Die". Have fun, y'all! 4-14-10
I'd already seen Disneyland, so I went to Bowers Museum as my Orange County experience. I chose it because they were hosting an exhibit about the civilizations along the Silk Road. It was called "Secrets of the Silk Road" although if they keep putting the stuff on display, they won't be secret anymore.
The permanent displays feature American, Pacific, and Chinese artifacts. It's not huge, but it's very well done and worthwhile. 4-18-10
57) SAN DIEGO
I'd been to the famous San Diego Zoo before, but not adjoining Balboa Park. This is the Prado building, one of the main structures of the park. There were lots of buildings in this Park, but I preferred the outside because it was so nice a day!
I couldn't resist, and later went to the zoo! Both are really worth a couple of days or more. 4-15-10
Imperial County is the one in the far southeast corner of the state. It seems odd, but there's a fairly big body of water down there called the "Salton Sea". Technically, it's an endorheic rift lake, but who'd come to see that? It's California's largest lake, nearly twice the size of Tahoe!
At the south end is the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Preserve. He was very active in the restoration of the sea. Across the way are the Chocolate Mountains. Fascinating place!
54) SAN BERNARDINO
On my way back home from the 2010 Void Where Prohibited reunion, I did some research on my route and found that Barstow has a really cool (okay, "cool" doesn't really apply here; it was in the 90's!) set of murals on the sides of buildings on or just off of Main Street from 1st to 7th streets. These chronicle the development of Barstow from its inception to the current time. If you're ever in Barstow, these murals are well worth seeing. Hopefully I'll add a separate section for this little walk I took. Great fun and a great little walk off the beaten path of routine California! 6-28-10