.All Trips / Mexico / North America

Baja California: La Paz — John Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”


The Sea of Cortez was once pearl-rich, but for unknown reasons there’s been a dramatic decline in its pearl-producing clams during the past half century.  Some postulate it’s because of over-harvesting; some say it’s because the Colorado River no longer drains enough water into the Sea of Cortez, altering it’s chemical composition; some say it’s part of a normal cycle — nobody knows why.

Just as he introduced me to the Sea of Cortez, John Steinbeck also introduced me to La Paz.  When John Steinbeck and his pal, Ed Ricketts, were exploring the Sea of Cortez, they visited La Paz which at that time was a small city but still a major pearl harvesting port.  Here they heard …

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