On the high fire roads there were wooden stakes with pink, plastic strings functioning as flags. I pulled them up whenever I saw one and tossed it into the bushes. “They’re going to put a freeway through my park!” was my one thought. “I’m not going to make that easy for them.”
Then I learned it was an extension to a freeway I used sometimes to go to a canyon where I sometimes walked the dogs. The 52. I felt betrayed. I didn’t know this had been in the works for years before I even know of the park or, maybe, even moved to California. I kept pulling up stakes, but it didn’t matter because they’d started grading the road bed.
Then, they found little horses, remains of little horses, where they had planned to put a bridge. “This’ll stop them, I thought. No bridge for this highly important paleontological sight.” But no. They just dug up some horses to study, left the rest of them there, and built a bridge.
Then it was built, but it didn’t open, and it didn’t open, and it didn’t open. “What’s going on?” I wondered.
Events conspired to bring me to the park one December night. As I was heading down the hill with my dog, Molly, I was struck by the silence of the chaparral. It wasn’t a very pretty night; lots of ocean mist, no visible stars, just a night, but so very, very quiet. Molly and I slowed down to enjoy it.
The next day the road opened. I will always think that my being there on the last silent night was a specially conferred blessing.