Welcome to California!
I fell asleep somewhere between Phoenix and Yuma and awoke about 50 miles east of Yuma in a strange new land. We were in the desert with mountains in the distance and palm trees on both side of the interstate. We even passed what I can only describe as a palm tree farm on the left side of the freeway. Just then the moving company rep called, but we got cut off, I think because we were no longer in our T-Mobile network. Instead we were in some generic USA040 cell network, which did not offer clear reception. After the phone cut off, I noticed that I had received a text from my friend Katie. She wanted to know if we were okay because of an earthquake that had hit San Diego
Our first of two US border patrol stops
Once we got back into T-Mobile territory, I called her to find out more about this earthquake, since George and I were completely unaware of anything happening. Talk about ignorance is bliss. Turns out an earthquake that could be felt from LA to San Diego registered as 5.8 on the Richter scale. I hadn't heard any word from my mom, so I figured things in San Diego had to be alright.
Shortly after driving across the state border, we had to stop at the border patrol. Let me tell you, I can't think of anything more disappointing to see. I have no idea how effective this border patrol is and don't really understand the purpose. I will have to reserve this soapbox for another blog on another site. George and I had noticed at least two billboards in Tennessee advertising for people to join the US Border Patrol.
A California agricultural border patrol stop where my delicious Gala apples were taken away.
The billboards pictured a group of white young adults riding horses near a river. Both the billboards were in conservative Christian areas, aka the Bible Belt, and even our Oklahoma friends said they saw one in OKC, too. How ironic would it be if "illegal" immigrants put up the billboard in these area? Oh, the wonderful US. Could we live in a more hypocritical country?
So we got waved past border patrol and few minutes later hit another border stop. This time, the patrolwoman requested that we open our cooler in the back seat. She started rummaging through it, pulling out the apples and plums I had just bought the day before at Whole Foods in Albuquerque. Turns out the plums, which george thought tasteless, were okay to bring into California because they were labeled as being California fruit, but the Gala apples were not since they're from New Zealand.
Passing the sand dunes right across the California border
Man, I was mad. George had cheerfully told the lady, who was profusely apologizing that she had throw away the apples, that it was okay since we knew something like this would happen. But I was not so cheerful and had to correct him, as we knew that we couldn't bring plants into the state but not produce. In fact, I had given away all my plants to a couple friends, much to my chagrin. I had taken care of these plants for at least a decade, but they were going to a good home. I was not prepared to give up my deliciously tasty apples.
As the drive continued, I sat and pouted for a few minutes until we arrived in the sand dunes. What an unexpected sight! I tell you, about every 20-30 miles we came upon new scenery drastically different from the scenery before.