Tucked inside the big, complex, War-delaying Compromise of 1850 was a line that turned California into a state. And what a state! For starters, your editor was born there. For seconders, it’s got an economy comparable to Italy. And for thirdsers: Don Henley, redwoods, Ursus americanus, Mount Whitney, the Golden Gate Bridge, that time Alan Rickman blew up Nakatomi Plaza, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Randy’s Donuts, Richard Nixon, palm trees, every server rack for every social media site, the rewired Skynet 800, vomiting celebrities, and the greatest Americans of all: crazy prospectors! That “ribbon of highway” and “endless skyway,” indeed.