Mountain Musings


For What It’s Worth


I have come to the conclusion that we are living in very strange and perilous times, what with the explosive growth of wildfires, some burning throughout California, the U.S. and globally for over a month, as well as record-setting hurricanes, flash floods, melting ice caps and tornados, not to mention the latest variant of COVID-19.


Many say it would be foolish to deny the existence of global climate change, while others are so worked up and worried about the current state of affairs they are loading up with guns and ammo. Well, I don’t know whether it is or isn’t climate change. Whatever’s goin’ down ain’t exactly clear.


“Something’s happening here. Whatever it is ain’t exactly clear. There’s a man with a gun over there telling me I’ve got to beware. Hey children, look around, everybody look what’s goin’ down.” (“For What It’s Worth” – Buffalo Springfield – 1966- Penned by Stephen Stills)


As a result of all the wildfires, we find that the national forests in California are closed to the public, with stiff fines (up to $5,000 for each violation) for those daring to trespass on any forest land, including campgrounds, trails or anywhere else within the San Bernardino National Forest or any other national forest in the state of California.


Locally, this includes Dogwood Campground, Baylis Park, Switzer Park, Heart Rock trail, Heap’s Peak Arboretum, Snow Valley and Snow Summit (which are leased from the national forest) and the North Shore trails in Big Bear.


I forgot to mention the canceling of the annual Pine Cone Festival and last year’s Rotary Art and Wine Festival due to COVID. Good grief, what’s getting canceled next? Christmas because some of the trees may be taken from a national forest?


Adding to my personal anxiety is that my computer has crashed and I’m worried that after I take it to a computer repair service, it may have lost 10 years of important documents, emails, articles and, worst of all, all of my photos.


With me just shy of a nervous breakdown, me and the Missus decided to head down to Laguna Beach for a few days to check out those various art festivals. My favorite one is the Sawdust Festival which features paintings, photographs, glass blowing and many sorts of handmade arts and crafts. Not only that, they also had bands playing each day we were there, with of course lots of sawdust on the ground.


Meanwhile, back at our beachfront hotel, I wandered out one morning just before dawn, walked down the steps to a bench, where I sat and watched the waves gently roll in while I pondered the vastness of the ocean, our galaxy, the universe and whatever is beyond… perhaps God.


Anyway, I feel better now. “…Hey children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s goin’ down.”


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott