Nearing Bakersfield, the landscape has evidence of California’s other gold rush: rusting rigs alongside the route burrow into Southern California’s vast oil fields. Black gold was discovered here in the late 1800s, and Kern County, the southernmost along Hwy 99, still pumps more than some OPEC countries.This is the setting of Upton Sinclair’s Oil!, which was adapted into the 2007 Academy Award–winning film, There...
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