Eureka! Yes, that's a town in northern California, but it's also the state motto. Gold fever had something to do with that. California is the third largest state in the country, with the almost 900-mile length of its west coast framed by the Pacific Ocean. Three smaller states border this beautiful state, with its redwoods, pristine beaches and snow-capped mountains.
The western half of Oregon lies along the northern edge of California. The two states meet in a geographically stunning manner along the Pacific coast, and blend into pine country and rolling hills the farther east you travel. Unlike the East Coast of the United States, which is composed of 14 states, the West Coast has three: California, Oregon and Washington.
Flanking almost the entire state along California's eastern border is Nevada. The Sierra Nevada Mountains run along a 250-mile-long portion of this border, with the two states sharing certain areas. The two states also share portions of such diverse sites as Lake Tahoe, Death Valley and the Mojave Desert, the latter being an enormously hot and dry zone with unique features across its 25,000 square miles. Countless visitors annually travel between these major destinations, and also from Los Angeles in Southern California to Las Vegas in Nevada.
Western Arizona lies against the southeastern side of California. The Colorado River divides the two states. Blythe, California, and Yuma, Arizona, are two major crossing points along the border. These desert regions can experience high winds and dust storms, which create problems for travelers. Always stay alert to local conditions. The Colorado River has many areas for recreation seekers.
Though not a state, Mexico borders the southernmost part of California. Tourists and travelers between the United States and Mexico must present passports or other forms of identification when moving between countries, and will sometimes have to wait long periods of time at actual border crossings. The long waits typically occur during peak travel seasons or when something has gone awry that local law enforcement deems is serious enough to stop traffic. Patience and a good book come in handy during such waits, or get out and stretch and try to identify the differences in landscapes.
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