MANY FOLKS WHO RIDE motorcycles are asked, “Why?” They respond with terrific and varied reasons. All legitimate. Yesterday, I drove from home, up I-80 to Colfax; from Colfax into and out of the North Fork of the American to Iowa Hill; from Iowa Hill to Michigan Bluff, then down Gorman Ranch Road to the Middle Fork; thence up the ridge to Foresthill, Auburn and home.
The reservoir at Sugar Pine reminds of the relationship between humans and water.
The hundred-mile loop provided field lessons in history, hydrology, transportation, economics and politics. At many points I asked, “Why here?” Followed shortly by, “Oh.”
I WORRY ABOUT THOSE OF US who cannot ask “Why here?” and follow it up sooner or later with “Oh.” It seems to me that citizens of this world who do not understand that quote at the top of this piece are more likely to:
- Drink water with little concern about where it comes from;
- Consume and throw away without grasping that there is really no “away” to throw to;
- Travel paths following ancient routes without realizing the why the past passed this way, or that there even was a past;
- Assume our resources are limitless;
- Assume our people are chosen;
- Assume the future is now; and
- Not grasp the breadth of the continuum we enjoy for only a fraction of time.
There is beauty in both the world’s complexity and its simplicity. I enjoy the ride because of what I can see, learn, figure out or prompt to research as a result of having been on the journey. I need to pause to thank Dave Lantis, Jerry Williams, Bruce Bechtal, Art Kiernan and a number of other CSU Profs for the life-long gift.
And I must not forget Eldred Self.
“Nature’s Half Acre” may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meaFIBdGewY
Church of the Open Road Press