Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My State

Two items which are not at all related, other than both taking place within the State of California:

First of all, there's a huge wildfire in Henry Coe park. That kind of makes me sad. I love this park, although it is so far away that I don't make it out there often, despite it technically being in the same county as me. Fortunately, it seems like the fire is only affecting wilderness areas, so there isn't much risk to the human population out here. Still, I am worried about what it will do to the park. I'm following the news, but the stories are (understandably) more focused on the property risk than any effect on trails in the area. After the fire has burned its course, will the park reopen for business, or will it be out of commission for a while? I wouldn't be shocked if at least parts of it stay open - this is a HUGE park, with immense wilderness areas that don't even have primitive trails, so even with huge damages parts may still be accessible.

From northern California mountains to southern California freeways: there's an oddly gripping video on YouTube showing a man splitting lanes on his motorcycle in Los Angeles. Another one, which is less kinetic but more amazing, shows him splitting lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard for about seven minutes. Now, you know the really amazing part? This is completely legal in California. I hadn't realized that when I first moved here, but I've now grown accustomed to it. I'm fortunate enough to not be stuck in traffic often - I ride my bicycle when I can, and I have a short counter-commute when I drive - but I do feel envy when I'm creeping along 880 towards Oakland and have cycles passing me. The ones I see tend to be safe and courteous, as is the guy who took those videos, which I'm sure helps keep road rage down. Anyways, yet another oddity that California has contributed to the civilized world. I'm curious if this is something that will catch on, like right turns on red, or if it will stay confined to this side of the continent, like hyphy. Time will tell.

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