|The weather has changed! Temps are anywhere from 57 degrees to 32 degrees depending on the altitude. We left San Bernardino this AM traveling NW through the high desert area. There are more military bases tucked away than a person can shake a stick at. The plane is the only look a passer-by will get at Edwards Air Force Base as it is secured. Rolling on down the road with no particular destination in mind, we stop at a McDonald's for a cup of coffee. A lovely couple told to "turn around-you can't miss the Borax mine". Backtrack 17 miles we did; it was well worth it. Desert distance perception can be confusing. What appeared to be nothing was a HUGE mining operation. 40% of the world's borax is mined and refined at this location. As we drove down the dirt entrance road, two speed limit signs got our attention-their purpose-speed limit 371/2 mph and 14 mph. We got a good laugh out of them. The greeter was a retired 55 year mine worker-happily welcoming us to "his" mine. There is no way I can remember all the info we received. The displays piqued one's interest; the info was thorough and understandable to us none chemist types. The entire production process was demonstrated in unique, individual demonstrations. Borax has many household, commercial, medicinal uses. Other borax mining operations take place in Argentina, Spain, and France. Well, this statement was in print and on DVD today...California is an excessively regulated state. Add that to my list of California observations. And another thing, The wind farms litter the beautiful country-side. While the wind gusts are strong, the sustained winds do not supply enough air for the revolutions required. Many of the blades have the covering torn off, blades are broken, the wind mill is under repair, and only 3 out of 10 in a row are turning AND they are horrendously noisy. I just had a bright light attack - "going green" in California has caused drivers to release their frustrations by driving over 80 mph!! I'm very grateful to be enjoying this state; the state's regs are intriguing. The scenery has changed to foothills with green grass, lush fields of fruits and vegetables, and cattle. Pleasing to our eyes. Tomorrow takes us to Lake Kaweah for a week. So long for now!