California Dreaming

Text read by Mary Peters

Bernard travels down memory lane.  

In 2009 I visited California, Nevada, and Colorado in the United States. The trip lasted three weeks. It was a fantastic trip, which I recommend because we travelled through many states and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

We flew from Mulhouse to London and then flew to Los Angeles. We drove on Route 66. I saw the Grand Canyon, gambled in Las Vegas, ate with the Navarro Indians, broke down in Death Valley and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Route 66 was the first trans-continental asphalt road in America, the “mother road”. It was opened in 1926 and is 3945 km long. It was built to start in the east in Chicago and end in the west at the Pacific Coast in Santa Monica, Ca. The road crosses many big towns, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, and many States, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, California.

The US 66 was the main route for farmers who travelled to California looking for work during the drought of the 1930s. (And now the US have the same problem, there is a drought in California).

The road supported the economies of the communities through which it passed.

People doing business along the Route 66 became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway. The same people gave everything to preserve this road to develop tourism.

Interstate 66 (I66) was officially designated a tourist route in 1985 when it was signposted in several places under the historic name Route 66.

There are 5 major climate regions in the United States. The southern states are the hottest region and the aridest. There, the temperature can rise to 43°C in the summer. The Central States are the most humid. There is a lot of snow in winter, but the summers are hot and dry. In the Mid-West, the climate is moderate and dry. It can be very cold in the winter and hot in the summer. The Eastern States summers can be hot and humid and the autumns with their Indian Summers are pleasant, the winters can be cold. The Pacific Coast / Rocky Mountains. Dry and sunny, very mild in California but clear and cold in the mountain regions. Summers are long and sunny.

The continental United States covers 4 time zones.  When it is Midnight in Paris, it is 6 pm in New York, 5 pm in Chicago, 4 pm in Denver and 3 pm in Los Angeles.

The United States now has two official languages, North American English, and Spanish.

I invite you to join me on my American adventures over the next few months, when we can explore a beautiful and interesting area of our planet.