Trip Log – Day 153 – Madera, CA to Merced, CA

Madera to MercedOctober 5, 2015 – Sunny, 75 degrees

Miles Today: 51

Miles to Date: 8,095

States to Date: 25

IMG_4486Today I was drenched in drought. I zig-zagged through the grid of agricultural roads laid out over the Central Valley. The land is flat, the earth is dust, the orchards grow where there is irrigation. Fields of crops that have low water allocations are ripped up to be replaced by less water intensive crops, or ones that receive a higher state allocation. Apparently, walnuts are out, almonds are in, but that seems to vary according to whom I meet.

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The area is littered with signs about water; either lambasting politicians or beseeching god. No signs acknowledge any personal contributions to the problem, despite the sprinklered lawns in the foreground of the ranch houses.

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The people who live here feel besieged. They provide crops for the entire country and in return we are strangling their water and ruining their way of life. As an observer from beyond, this way of life seems so unnatural, propping it up with more water will only delay the inevitable. We have created a society and economy that will be difficult to shift, but even more difficult to maintain in the future.

About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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