My search for places worse than Dorris took me to Blythe, CA. I went to Blythe hoping its name was an onomatopoeia for its aura.* I was certain this town would be a contender; it fit all the prerequisites: small town, middle of an arid desert void of civilization, being a truck stop, having an unusual vowel/consonant ratio…
Much to my amazement (and dismay), Blythe was completely livable! There were palm trees lining the boulevards, people walked the streets in families, and shop windows were more often than not free of metal bars. In fact, I had to actively search for something crappy to take a picture of.
Even the worst street I found was still worlds better than the best street in Trona. The houses had color and living plants! I was dumbfounded. It wasn’t even the worst place in Riverside County (that dubious honor goes to everywhere else in Riverside County).** In fact, most of the streets were quite nice, and almost picturesque.
So, congratulations Blythe. Not only are you better than Dorris, you have caught me by surprise with your unexpected pleasantries. Kudos to you. Kudos.
* Upon further research, “blythe” is Middle English meaning “joyous.” What I mean by onomatopoeia is if you took the sound of “Blythe” and separated from the meaning, you would get a word that could only mean “to slap across the face with vomit.” That is the sound of “blythe.”
** To be fair, Riverside and places in Riverside County aren’t nearly as bad as their reputation declares them to be. I find Riverside actually quite geographically stunning, and their strip malls are top notch.