I've driven the length and breadth of California on two occasions, and of course managed to see but a fraction of it. It's a huge State, three times the size of the whole of Great Britain. As soon as you strike out east of Los Angeles, over the mountains, you realise that large tracts of the southern State are essentially desert, endless mile of the stuff.
I love it though - endless miles of highway disappearing toward some distant range of hills - you ARE in a movie. Now and then you come across a small wind-blown town that will have a truck stop, some dodgy eating houses, a junkyard, and smattering of Motels.
It's those huge old rusting Motel Signs that are so alien to our eyes, a real bit of America, and now sadly gradually disappearing from the landscape as the old motels close down. I think they're such an iconic part of the American landscape - I'm glad that some are now being preserved. Here are some examples: