"I want to describe the Salinas Valley in detail but in sparse detail so that there can be a real feeling of it. It should be sights and sounds, smells and colors but put down in simplicity..."
-- John Steinbeck, The East of Eden Letters
In high school, I went through a big John Steinbeck phase. Naturally, it started with Of Mice and Men (which I read and reread to this day and yes, it still makes me cry) but then I quickly devoured my way through his other works. East of Eden. The Grapes of Wrath. Tortilla Flat. And while his characters inevitably stole my heart, I think I've always most admired his ability to evoke a vivid sense of time and place, particularly summer in Salinas Valley, just a few hours south of San Francisco.
The rolling farm lands, sweeping coastlines and the feeling of lingering dusk after a hard day's work. Whenever I drive down Highway 1, I like to think of how Steinbeck viewed California. Wildly romantic and with so much promise. (Personally, I don't think much has changed!)
This past weekend, I hopped down the coast and along the Salinas Valley to Carmel to unwind before flying out again, this time to Turkey. It was the perfect excuse to recharge, regroup and just be. Hopefully this travel diary does the sights, sounds, smells and colors justice. Enjoy!