Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scary - Andrew Skurka's new Great Alaskan-Yukon Loop Project


In one year circumvent the Alaska - Yukon wilderness. 4500 miles. No trails. Seven months.
Andrew Skurka's webpage on this trip

There was a local Camino de Santiago gathering of pilgrims recently. A lot of sharing of stories and exchange of experiences, and a couple of presentations. One was by Phil Cousineau, author of the Art of Pilgrimage. He was a good speaker, and I took a bunch of notes which I can't locate now. I do remember that he had a broad definition of pilgrimage. As a baseball fan, he made a pilgrimage to Cooperstown. Certainly Andrew's trips are pilgrimage to the extreme.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sibley Desecration

The Sibley Labyrinth is one of the sacred spots in our east bay hills. Hills block the freeway sounds to the east and the west.



A good spot to take grandchildren for a moment with nature.
BEFORE
We've been gone most of the summer, hiking on the long distance trails, so it has been months since we have been to the Sibley Labyrinth. Finally a couple of friends stop by for a hike, and we include the labyrinth. I am absolutely stunned when I round the corner where the labyrinth comes into view. Instead of this scene of peace, there is a giant dam in front of us - fill for a new road cutting around the hill to the east. A major part of the hill has been removed to provide the fill.
AFTER


As I looked at this, I kept saying how could they do this without a hearing? Maybe something happened while we were gone, but this kind of construction doesn't go on without considerable planning. I still don't know why it was allowed to happen, but our friend was able to find out the purpose.

The road now leads down to a hill with three PG&E towers on it. EBRPD made some sort of trade with PG&E for some of their land for the right to build this road.

I don't know what the park district gained from this trade, but I hope it was substantial. I still find it hard to believe that any EBRPD board member who had been to the labyrinth would allow this desecration.