36°46'19.4"N, 121°18'35.4"W

Recent Nearby Seismic Activity

Date Time Lat Lon Depth Mag

2017/09/11 05:47:15.91 36.83967 -121.29867 6.480 1.68

As a bus brakes & accelerates, its riders feel an opposite motion pulling them forward or backward. Physicists call this a non-inertial reference frame. The force is fictitious. They say this resulting motion exists only in relation to the movement of the bus.

I ask her about the Three Pines again. This time she laughs and tells me they’re not here. During the building of the railroad, the final destination was advertised to be Tres Pinos, but ended in Paicines instead, 5 miles away. Rather than continue the railroad 5 miles to its publicized ending point, officials simply switched the town names.

We pass through Confederate Corners, which sits 20 miles from here in nearby Monterey County, the same county through which parts of the 36°30’ line and the San Andreas Fault pass. In the late 1860s, two former confederate army captains settled there with their families, followed by other Southern sympathizers who talked about secession over drinks. It only exists in the United States Geological Survey, on Google Maps and several other apps. No street signs call it by this name. Steinbeck renamed it “Rebel Corners” in The Wayward Bus. Some locals want to change the name to “Campesino Corners” to honor the farm workers of Salinas Valley.

I ask her what role the reliability of memory plays in a non-inertial frame of reference. She doesn’t answer.

Instead she reads to me from Steinbeck. “One night a week he played poker with men so exactly like himself that the game was fairly even, and from this fact his group was convinced that they were very fine poker players.”

Photo:

Civil War Days

Tres Pinos, California

September 2017