I taught at Deep Springs College in 1995. This is a great entry into California. The Sierras loom up like nothing else right from the Owens Valley Floor to the 14,000 foot Mt Whitney.
Deep Springs is a great place reading Melville and Nietzsche in the Desert, they also cowboy through their stay herding cows into the mountains and delivering calves on freezing cold starlit evenings. To say the least a romantic place! In the literary sense.