For the first time on my literary tour of the US, reading about a state isn’t enough for me. With Alabama the accents entertained me; with Alaska the winter enchanted me; with Arizona the desert parched me; and with Arkansas the juxtaposition of Frontier and Southern cultures fascinated me. With all of those states, I was satisfied to read words on a page; I did not need to hop in a car or jump on a plane and visit them in real life.
With California, though, words on a page don’t sate me. They sing, they lure, they tantalize and tease me. After all those weeks reading Arizona and Arkansas, where I was landlocked in the dusty dry desert, or sweating and swatting gnats on sultry summer days at a muddy swimming hole, the sea spray of Island of the Blue Dolphins was…
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