When you drive in to Riverside, California on the 60 freeway, the first thing you see is a barren and rocky hillside with a giant woolly mammoth on top. This is the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center.
I got a good look at it, because traffic was moving slow.
By the time I was five miles from my exit to downtown, traffic was creeping along at five miles an hour.
I'm staying in a modest hotel - or, rather, motel. It's a revamped '60s 2-story Travelodge or something similar, but it's clean and pleasant and the bed is comfortable. It's just down the street from the famous Mission Inn, which, in the holiday season, is not available.
Just as well. After I checked in, I wandered down to the Mission Inn, thinking I might have dinner in its fabulous historic restaurants. But in this holiday season, the place is tarted up for Christmas, and the joint is jumping. There were hordes of elderly folks, dressed in their holiday sweaters, brandishing their Cadillac-style souped-up walkers, taking selfies in front of the glittering lights and giant Nutcrackers.
|The nightmare before Christmas!|
Tomorrow I meet a professor from the UCRiverside Creative Writing Program, and observe her seminar. Then I meet with the staff administrator of the program. I'm going to walk and drive around town to get a feel for the place.
It's supposed to start raining hard tomorrow night. I'll be driving back to LA on Friday. Maybe I'll stop off and visit the woolly mammoth on my way.