Wednesday, September 30, 2009

P.S. to Entracte


Meadow and Sierra Nevada

Lake Tahoe from eponymous town in California

One advantage of this blog is to make me examine things. Why my mixed feelings about Yosemite? My never having been able to get to it, I realize, caused in childhood feelings of inferiority, of being unworthy to get there and my family's being incapable of doing it for me. On reflection, I am sure of that. Similar feelings about Tahoe were removed by my friends from the Oakland High School yearbook, the Oaken Bucket (I had been art editor), taking me there, as well as up into the Sierra to their cabin.
And my significant memory of a drive from Eugene, Oregon, which took us to another, smaller lake, surely another one in a crater (the Cascade Range is all volcanic), still and clear and deep blue, is surely connected with my child's desire to see Crater Lake itself.
Also, though the irritating Mr. Cronon continued to irritate, the account of the struggle to save Great Smoky Park, the one park that I actually have driven through a corner of, in the midst of congressional fights yet again (for health care), struck home. Perhaps I can drive up there myself again, just to stop and look and take pictures. It is not too steep or precipitous for me, if I don't try to hike, and I'll take a cell phone as well as one of the better cameras. If I manage to do so, I'll put a few pictures in a posting here. Like Margaret Gerke, I am old enough to be glad to get home and not to try anything manic. Finally, no matter how much relentless background fiddle playing with voice-over annoys me (the way that exhaust odors in Yosemite and overheard inanities annoy others), I am much impressed with Dayton Duncan's script; I can't imagine how having to write for everyone could be done better.

My friends' cabin

All photos Summer 1997. I hadn't even known that I'd want sweat togs as well as a muumuu, so they stopped for me to get some at a strip mall. Twelve years ago; note vintage Nikon camera case.

P.S. I remember now: in indulging myself in driving the Coast Route from Oregon to California for holidays, whenever the weather permitted (not to get stuck in snow either en route to the coast or in the Siskiyou), I did drive right through the Redwoods, the beloved Redwoods.  To be sure, I was inspired by Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, not by awareness of their being a National Park, but they had been so named by the time I was driving my own car.  The Coast Route was pretty windy for a VW, original wheel base, but lovely to look at.  Farther south, I went inland.  South of San Francisco the scenic route traffic was a bit much for a novice driver, being Monterey and all that jazz.