Flying Gull, Watsonville, CA

April 30: Here I am at the edge of the Pacific, poised between arriving and returning. I've seen such beauty in California -- sort of unexpected. I understand now how people could come out and not want to return east, and why people who are raised here would not get excited about living elsewhere. There's an ingratiating abundance and variety to the beauty of the landscape.

At the same time, I feel unexpectedly uneasy here. I arranged to stay in my host's vacant beach condominium. This stop presented the seemingly welcome chance to relax in solitude at the geographic turning point of my trip. But I am having trouble adjusting to isolation. At home I like it; on tour I guess I depend more on social interaction. Also it's hard accepting life in an affluent resort setting, with farm workers laboring in the fields just beyond the gate. It makes sightseeing and even this fairly demanding project seem pretty self-indulgent.