Missing the forest

September 2, 2011
If I had my choice between the golden hills of California, above, and the verdant hills closer to the coast, below, I’d pick the green. Even though the golden hills are briefly green right after our winter rains, they brown up during our very dry summers. Their own special beauty has grown on me over the years, but still, if I had to choose, I’d choose our vivid coastal green.
Here’s something I wouldn’t choose: the horrible, dry, dusty inland of California.
The mountains and land approaching the Grapevine, between

Los Angeles and the Bay area, are parched and stark.
It’s hot. So hot. And a very long, boring drive on I-5 between the Bay area and Los Angeles. How nice it would be to whiz through those dessicated badlands.

And I’m not even talking about Los Angeles. Yet.
And then there’s the hell of LA-area traffic, once you approach the city.

Stopping completely for a while is not unusual.

LA’s not a bad place, really, except for the traffic.

Which is a deal-breaker.
Thank you, oil and tire lobbyists for ensuring that we enter the 21st century

with no serious mass transportation options. Even though so many other

countries considered “less developed” (ha!) than we have long seen the light.

High-speed rail to Los Angeles–what a treat that would be!

High-speed rail is actually being discussed:

the initial stretch a long flat run between Bakersfield and Merced.

Huh? From where to WHERE?

But it’s the first leg of a run between Sacramento and San Diego. Which sounds good. A good rail system is long overdue in California. It’ll probably happen, but it’s not going to be a big factor any time soon, I’m sorry to say.

Despite constraint drumbeat of “America’s the best country in the world”

I wonder why we often miss the forest for the trees.

Ah, I don’t really wonder. It’s “special interests” or “business” behind that.

It’s not in their interest for us to see the forest.

True, we don’t purposely poison people for profit, like some other countries do.

Or at least not as obviously.

But we don’t make life easier for folks, that’s for sure.

It irks me to go overseas and enjoy efficient, cheap public transportation

and then come home to….nothing.

Bet you thought this was going to be about hills.

Me, too.

Yeah. The inside of my head’s not always a pretty place.

4 comments on “Missing the forest
  1. Anonymous says:

    The few times I was in LA was horrified by the traffic; could not drive on those freeways,

    You’re right ; it is a deal breaker.

  2. Kristin says:

    Yeah, it is irksome that our roads in the major cities of CA are often more third world than they are in a truly 3rd world country. They are riddled with holes and bumps. Sometimes, we’ll be in a remote area of CA, and the roads are brand new. I don’t get it.

  3. Yeah, go figure. Just don’t get it.

  4. A good, integrated mass transit system is so overdue. When the country could afford it, we couldn’t get traction for one and now that we’re in a financial mess, it’s not affordable. Sigh.

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