Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Works and Days: The Old Wisdom

Recently I went up on the so-called Kaiser Loop, a 15-mile round-about hike to Kaiser Peak (about 10,300 feet). Lo and behold!—there were three hikers on the summit in that rarified atmosphere. And after exchanging pleasantries about the beauties of the empty wilderness, one well spoken and nice person remarked about the exploitation of the forests (yet not a house, road, or human to be seen), and the greed of developers (the nearest road hasn’t been improved since the 1940s).

Then Presto!—out came Katrina, Iraq, Bush this, Bush that. The clear air, the panoramic vista, the Sierra junipers—none of that could stop the onset of this paroxysm, this fit of madness. I hiked down, unsure whether I should have called the paramedics to copter him to Fresno.

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