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Sunshine & California: Life doesn't get much better than that
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"Isn't this why we live in California?" - Teen Grant Bryson commenting on the 90-degree temperatures and sunshine

Texas, Nevada, and Washington, Wyoming - you name the state and they've all run ads in trade magazines and on TV trying to lure California-based businesses to their states.

Their pitch is enticing: Lower taxes, business-friendly environments, less problems.

But California - despite issues that seem monumental and at times hopeless to resolve - has virtually every state beat hands down when it comes to two key things, weather and nature.

California is one of the few places outside the Mediterranean that can replicate its climate. And no political boundaries contain as much contrast and variety courtesy of Mother Nature than the Golden State.

And like its namesake, the Golden State can lose its luster as well as soar in value but despite the rollercoaster ride it is still the gold standard among states. Yes, the California Legislature makes Sybil look functional. Yes, we have eighth of the nation's population and a third of the welfare load. And, yes, we have plenty of problems from A to Z.

Try to enjoy a 90-degree day in Indiana with 80 percent humidity. Enjoy the great outdoors in the Midwest during tornado season. Hop in the car and drive to the ocean in less than two hours in Nevada. Make a day trip to a cosmopolitan city like San Francisco in Wyoming. Try to stay dry in parts of Washington. Go to the mountains to hike in the summer or ski in the winter in Texas.

All of those states have great attributes. But they don't have it all. California does: sandy beaches, high deserts, mountains, fertile farm valleys, wild rivers, large lakes, cosmopolitan cities, forests, dramatic sea cliffs, glaciers, a delta, surfing, volcanoes, and more. We even have a few things that no state can match: Yosemite, the San Francisco Bay, Death Valley, soaring redwoods, and bristlecone pines pushing 5,000 years of age, tar pits, Big Sur, and Lake Tahoe.

Then there are the manmade wonders: the Silicon Valley, the Golden Gate, Hollywood, San Francisco, the California Aqueduct, cable cars, Los Angeles, San Diego, and thousands of unique expressions of individuality such as Hearst Castle.

It's little wonder why people are drawn to California.

And it is also understandable why they're not stampeding to leave even with our dysfunctional state governance and what could be called draconian taxes.

That said more than a few of us seem indifferent to what California has.

We seal ourselves in air conditioned vessels whether they are houses, work places, malls, or cars avoiding indulging in the weather and Mother Nature. We opt for pre-packaged foods when practically anything we want is grown fresh often just miles away. We glue our eyes to screens wherever we go often oblivious to the wonders around us that inspired arguably the greatest transformation of civilization in the annals of mankind.

John Muir probably would be amazed by smart phones and such but the odds are he'd tell you all of the images you can download of Yosemite Valley can't match the real deal.

Sunshine and California - life doesn't get much better.

This column is the opinion of Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Courier or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.