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Today was also focused on energy because of what the California landscape had to offer us. Driving along back-country roads through California’s central valleys, we passed through a town called Lost Hills, which seemed to be nothing other than one large oil field. Oil rigs littered the landscape as far as the eye could see, north and south across the pancake-flat valley floor. It was a harsh and uninviting landscape, but what seemed most odd about was its proximity to rich agricultural lands. The oil fields were surrounded by almond groves and dairy farms, which gave way in each direction to other crops such as cotton, leafy greens and vineyards full of wine grapes. In some areas, mounds of freshly harvested almonds seemed literally piled up alongside oil wells – something to think about next time you bite into a plate of almond-crusted halibut.As dramatic as the oil fields were, so was California’s next big display of energy. Just east of Bakersfield, on the mountain pass into the Mojave Desert, lies hills littered in wind turbines. Thousands of them dot the landscape, twirling away in the breeze while providing a hopefully cleaner alternative to the State’s energy needs. We were joined on Twitter at the time by Tom Gray, who informed us that the two distinct types of wind turbine we were seeing represented varying stages of technology. The smaller, meshed looking turbines have been in place since the 80′s, while the larger, more cost effective jumbo-size turbines are the industry standard today. Somewhat ironically, the contrast between these two forms of energy was reflected in the environmental health of the State’s ecosystems we passed through. Whereas the clear and sunny day on the Monterey Bay revealed forest-covered hills, rich marine life and unpolluted skies, the air above and around Bakersfield was the exact opposite. A thick smog hung over that city like an evil gloom, and the entire ride through smelled of fumes and toxins. And then in the end we escaped that foul air, into the crisp, dry and mystically beautiful wilderness expanses of the Mojave, where we sleep tonight. Resting peacefully, looking forward to more of Big America tomorrow.October 16thToday was a day of crossing deserts and state lines. Parched, dry landscapes and obscure Americana dominated our voyage east on this leg of our cross-country journey. Escaping California offered little relief in terms of change of barren landscapes, although the appearance of giant solar farms was a welcome first. From the Mojave to the Hoover Dam, and finally the Grand Canyon, some of the south-westernmost stretches of the United States are as filled with historic iconography as they are beautiful expanses of desert wilderness.
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Golden Gate Bridge
I had always seen the Golden Gate Bridge as a shot in movies or tv series and had always fantasized of going there and there it was in front of my eye around 5 miles away from me , it was more like a piece of art were this 1.6 km bridge is held suspended on 2 pillars connected via only 2 cables . But before reaching , there was yet another stop I had to make and that was the Lombard Street , the world’s most crooked roads .For those who don’t know its a steep, one-block section with eighth airpin turns . Because of these sharp 8 turns it has earned the title of the most crooked street . I shot a video of it while we drove down the lombard street . It was a very well maintained street paved by red bricks and surrounded by beautiful plants and some trees. One of the many things i loved about this city was the roadways, since san francisco is a city built over more than 50 hills , the roads are steep and surrounded by skyscrappers .The other thing I loved about the city was the Golden Gate Bridge , as we approached the bridge the weather seemed to change drastically . 10 minutes before we had air conditioning switched on and now it was like we need some heaters on , the clouds became more dense , the wind speed was high and everything turned foggy and misty (remember , i visited the place in summers) . Till the time I reached the golden gate bridge it was half covered in fog and as soon as I got out of the car i could feel the cool breeze whisking through me giving me goosebumps that i had never felt before . I have been to places with snow but this city (even without the snow) was way more cold then them . It was a perfect place for bicyclist as one can rent bicycles and ride it over the Golden Gate bridge in the bicycle lane on both sides of the bridge . On the other side of the Golden Gate bridge was the Alcatraz Island , former prison turned into a visitor centre . Featured in many of the Hollywood media like x-men , catch me if u can and many more , one can reach the Alcatraz Island by boarding their ride from the fisherman's warf .Next on my list was Pier 39 which was a shopping center made on a pier in the bay area and consists of shops , restaurants , street performances and is also the home to sea lions hauled on docks . Personally these sea lions smell a bit stingy to me but it was a good sight to see so many sea lions as I have not seen them before. Me being a party freak had an amazing time with the nightlife this city offered me . The clubs were super cool and I went club hopping from one to another , dancing like hell which i am quite fond off.To get the aerial view of the San Francisco city we went onto the Twin Peaks , the highest elevation point in the bay area . It was already dark and foggy on our way to top but once we reached there , the high velocity fog and cold breeze froze me completely . It was not the wind but the misty fog that was blistering through the couple of jackets I was wearing , and this is what it looks like from top .At the end of the day , this city made me fall in love with her of which 75% is credited to the mystical foggy winds that blow here year-round.Travelogue first published by notuntilwedie.wordpress.com