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From the fire-ravaged mountains looming above Santa Barbara’s beaches to the desolate high desert of Bishop, there are all kinds of interesting things to see in California. When I first moved to SB, it blew my mind that there were people who had never left the state, but it’s huge. I’ve lived here four years and have only scratched the surface.

The fire damage photos were taken on Spyglass Ridge, at the end of Mission Canyon in Santa Barbara. A friend of mine, who is 85 years old and lost her husband two months ago, lost the rest in the Jesusita Fire in early May. The rest of the pics are from Mule Days in Bishop, California, which is one of the more interesting mixes of white trash, native American desolation, and ski resort bourgeois that I’ve come across in my travels. Seeing a trailer sitting alone on a desert plain between two severe mountain ranges is one of the most brutal things I’ve ever seen when I consider it in the context of trying to live there.

I’m back to my trusty 1972 Fujica ST701, although getting it “fixed” doesn’t seem to have done much. Oh well, wasting money is the deal in the Golden Land, too — if the vast swaths of poorly-built tract homes and legions of broke people driving expensive cars are any indication.

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