About a year after graduating from college, I packed my possessions into a rental van I’d split with a near stranger and departed my home state of Ohio. We steered onto I-70 West, bound for San Francisco.
At the time, I was less drawn to California in any specific way than determined to escape a state that was too conservative, homogenous, and religious for my tastes. Plus, oof, the winters.
But that soon changed. The more I explored California’s coastline, hiked the trails of the Sierra, stared up at the granite walls of Yosemite, and met others who felt pushed