The answer is YES! Wow, we arrived in California on Saturday, June 16 and left this morning. We have seen so much of the state from the mountains in the west, through the desert (I think 2 or 3 of them) to the beautiful coastline and the wine country of the Sonoma Valley we have experienced California. God has created an area with so much diversity and beauty that with as much as California has to offer in terms of the kinds of fruits, vegetables and nuts they grow, I can’t even begin to image what the Garden of Eden must have been like!
My brother Todd lives in Visalia, CA on the edge of what I think is the Mohave Desert. The valley that he lives in was once a seabed and has some of the most fertile farm land in the entire country. Thousands acres of trees that grow oranges, lemons, plums, pluots, apricots, almonds, walnuts, pomegranite, pistachios and so much more. Grapevines for raisins, wine and fruit. Fields planted with every vegetable you can think of. We came across truckload upon truck load of garlic and onions! And yes, you could smell them for what seemed like miles! And then there are the dairy ranches. Thousands of head of cattle that produce the milk for our tables…and yes this coming from a Wisconsin girl! I never knew that California produced so much of our country’s food supplies and for that matter the world’s food supply. As we drove past all of this food you can only wonder why there are so many people on earth do not get enough to eat every day. Todd and Cheryl were great hosts and we were treated to the best of the best that California has to offer.
Rob has already told you about Sequoia National Park. Well since then we gone to the coastline near Pismo Beach, the sprawling San Francisco Bay area including Fisherman’s Wharf, crooked Lombard Street and Ghiradelli Square where we ate FREE chocolate! We also got up into the wine country of the Sonoma Valley to see my high school friend, Ann. Here we saw grapevines for as far as we could see! That’s a lot of wine! Beautiful hills with gorgeous wineries and estates surrounded us.
Then on to drop Brad of at Stanford University. What a gorgeous campus but HUGE! There are 570 high school students in this summer program representing 35 countries and 37 US states. During the regular school year the campus has 7000 undergraduate students and over 8000 graduate students. Just a little bigger school than Brad’s high school! I think the campus itself is bigger than the entire city of Elk River! We pray that he can stay grounded in his faith and that he can find a campus ministry to get involved in.
Then a long ride to Los Angeles and a great breakfast this morning with my Aunt Sheila and brother Todd. We literally went from top to the bottom of the state in 15 hours with a 5 hour stop at Stanford!
So YES, California is that big! But God has been faithful throughout our time in California. We reconnected with friends and family that we haven’t seen in many years and we saw some of the most beautiful things that God has created. If He has blown us away on the first week and a half of this trip….
We can’t wait to see what the rest of the country has for us!