Kings Canyon Autumn

My sister-in-law just told me my nephew is reading my blog, so I want to send this out to him.

He’s a skier and an all-around outdoorsman who lives with his family in Colorado. Actually, they used to live in Puerto Vallarta in a charming house a few steps from the Bay of Banderas. You know the kind of place . . . tropical breezes and sunset views over the ocean. But hey—-he missed the SNOW! WINTER! THE MOUNTAINS!

I’m glad to see he’s carrying on his Uncle Dave’s tradition of being TOTALLY INSANE.

I just want to remind him of his uncle’s Thirty Second Theory.

Here it is: Snow fed mountain lakes at 10,000 feet elevation are not cold if you only stay in thirty seconds. Your body doesn’t have the time to adjust to the cold, so you won’t feel a thing.

Word of advice. Run this theory by your cousin Anna before you try this. She was Dave’s first lab experiment. Now everything in life that seems dubious gets lumped into the category of one of Dad’s thirty-second-theories.

Actually, my husband does have a lot of brilliant theories and ideas. One of them was to take this walk by the Kings River up to Mist Falls on a moody autumn day.

The river has narrowed so much from the early summer when it was a rushing torrent of snow melt. Soon it will be ice, I thought, and that reminded me of this poem by one of our great western poets William Stafford.


Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

William Stafford (1914-1993)

4 responses to “Kings Canyon Autumn”

  1. The Canyon is gorgeous. I didn’t get down there before they closed it for the winter. I am appreciating more intense fall color than I have ever seen up here though. We took a drive from Badger, past Whitaker Forest, to General’s Highway a week ago. It is a different world.

    • Hey Julie,
      We took our Thanksgiving guests up to Eshom Valley for a visit to the pioneer cemetery up there. I forgot the darn camera! (We’d been snow-showing up in the Park. That’s my excuse.) Boy was it beautiful! One of our guests commented that she had no idea there was a place left in California so untouched by development. I really feel like I’m in the old California whenever I drive those roads. Plan to get back up to Eshom with the camera and write a blog about the last Ghost Dance that was held there.

  2. It’s still as beautiful as I remember. What a joy it is to read your blog…grateful memories are all around.