Jun 18, 2014

I'm a native

Mt. Shasta is a volcanic mountain located in Siskiyou County.
When people talk or think of California, they tend to think of sandy beaches, crowded freeways, Hollywood, Disneyland, movie stars, wine, the Golden Gate Bridge and earthquakes. Those are all part of the California culture to be sure. Some people forget all about the giant redwoods, the expansive farms and ranches and the snow capped mountains.

California's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast, to the mountain ranges – from the Redwood forests,  to the deserts. The Central Valley dominates the center of the state and is a major agricultural area. California contains both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous US (Mount Whitney and Death Valley), and has the third longest coastline of all states (after Alaska and Florida). Earthquakes are a common occurrence because of the state is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire so earthquakes are common, but most are too small to feel. At least half of the fresh fruit produced in the US is grown in California. Other industry includes aerospace, education, manufacturing, and high-tech.  If it were a country, it would be the ninth largest in world and 34th most populous. And we are just one state out of the Union!

People from California are normally all thought to be weird. This makes me laugh. Sure there are some hippies still roaming the streets of San Francisco (among other areas), but there are a great number of cowboys, Native Americans, surfers, grannies and grandpas, migrant workers, white and blue collar professionals, military, stay-at-home moms, redheads, brunettes, blondes, short, tall and average-sized people. Many races inhabit the state, some legal, some not. We have Republicans, Democrats, Independents and various others. I guess this does make us weird. We have an entire country's worth of people and lands. We know how to shake, rattle and roll with earthquakes and think nothing of living next door to a snow covered volcano.

I really can't stand when people refer to the state as "Cali." People! That is a city in Columbia! We are California, the mythical place in a popular 16th-century romance novel, The Adventures of Esplandián. California was the mythical island populated only by beautiful Amazon warriors using gold tools and weapons. It was written by Spanish author Garci Rodriguez do Montalvo. Hey, we did have a gold rush! We do have all those golden, tanned perfect bodies on the beach. Think about it!

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