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2839 km's : Silicone or Silicon Valley?

Written on: Saturday February 23rd, 2008

A journal entry from: North America in our Camper Van!

Next was another very long drive down the Interstate 5 (I5) highway with the destination of San Francisco in mind. This highway is the main transportation artery for the west coast of the US and into Canada. Some parts of the highway drive are quite scenic, while others, especially when passing through the big cities such as Seattle and Portland are only scenic if you can appreciate and marvel at the concrete highway and interchange engineering feats.

The link between food prices and fuel prices was especially illustrated watching the thousand of transport trucks head north carrying California produce to Western Canada. With the majority of our produce currently travelling some 3000 kms to reach our plates it is scary to think how peak oil and increases in fuel prices (in addition to biofuels) will affect especially our food supply. We spent one evening camping in the Oregon Mountain pass, not far from the California border. We were surprised by the number of permanent RV ?homes? in the RV park and chuckled when the park owner excitedly encouraged us to come back in July for their annual super-rad wet T-shirt contest.

We finally made it to Mountain View, in the heart of Silicon Valley, a day and a half after leaving Corvallis. No, we did not head to Mountain View just to check out the Google Head office?. Rob has a good buddy, a specialist in artificial vision, who is working for the sports company that developed the glowing hockey puck television effect. Canadians hated it and so you may have only ever seen it if watching hockey on a US channel.

Farooq toured us around Mountain View and was quick to correct my perhaps Freudian slip. ?No, not silicone valley, silicon valley? those are two very different things?. The term silicon originally referred to the regions large number of silicon chip manufacturers, but eventually came to refer to all things high tech. As for silicone, considering the significant gender imbalance in this rather geeky place I laughed that many here probably wished there were more breasts!

We stopped at a crowded coffee shop that Saturday night. All around us people were having coffee and? reading, surfing or typing on their personal laptops! Even the couples here to have coffee had each brought their own laptop. I thought that they were likely Skype-ing each other from across the tiny table.

On Sunday, Farooq toured us around Stanford Univeristy and to San Francisco, about an hours drive north from his home. We walked along the pier, visited an old WWII submarine, saw some sea lions, hit the Golden Gate Bridge, drove the most winding street in the world and of course, rod in a cable car.


From mule-issa on Feb 28th, 2008

NEJ!!!!!! hey guys, looks like you are having a great time. miss ya!