When Los Angeles, California is depicted on television or in movies, there are palm trees and freeways filled with traffic.
These generalizations aren’t inaccurate.
Not when a ninety-minute drive becomes four hours.
How can six lanes of freeway traffic come to a screeching halt? Yes, it had to do with the large quantity of automobiles joining the stream. But did that mean the endless river of metal should inch along at under twenty miles per hour for more than twenty miles?
People continued to merge into the fray at every junction and exit. Or tried. Instead, they became yet another line of idling vehicles going nowhere.
Sadly, the palm trees didn’t cast shade or beauty. Not when the freeways are enclosed by a concrete wall. Even when the bulk of Los Angeles and Orange County disappeared from the rearview mirror, the roadway left little room for natural beauty.
Palm-lined drives welcomed us on our detour through Riverside, California (a city that stretched for twelve exits on highway 91). So that’s an accurate image of southern California.
Although the signing laws in most of these cities made it difficult to spot a restaurant. Still, Subway isn’t a bad choice when you’re still sixty miles from your destination after two hours of travel. Maybe you’ll be there before the sun sets, but your stomach refuses to wait for such an eventuality.
I wouldn’t want to live in any of the places we traveled through in California. The reason has little to do with the traffic or the palms.
The concrete and miles of houses felt restrictive. Even the wide-open spaces of scrub-covered coulees and rock-strewn mountains didn’t call to the part of my soul yearning for natural beauty.
Is this the destiny of humankind? Will we infiltrate every corner of the globe and destroy the glory of its uninhabited natural state?
Where have you traveled that you think you would like to live?