Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'm concerned for James Kim, the still un-found father who was stranded in a remote Oregon spot for nine days, and whose wife and two daughters were found on Sunday. (CNET). It just reminds me of times when I've been in a car in a remote place, and you take a strange turn, and you're lost, and it's winter time, and there are no signs or towns, and you think---what could happen? I'm not saying that we should all freak out, but I think we have to have respect for the danger that the wilderness can cause. We all think we are safe with our cell phones; but in such a remote spot, not even those were working. (Hell, my sprint phone doesn't even work at the mall.) They did however give an indication to rescue workers about where the family was.

I'm remembering one time when I flew to Carcassonne (France) and we were going to drive the back way to Prades. The smart way would have been to drive east to the coast, south to Perpignan and then west down the correct valley. Because we were crossing a ridge, we had to go very high up in order to get to the next valley, and up there, on a road hardly anyone ever drove on, there was snow drifting about because of the wind that had few obstacles to keep it from whipping around. We got out and played in the snow (because at lower altitudes there was hardly any). And I'm not going to even talk about the incident of our failed trip to Andorra, and the fun (!) detour we took with the Alfa Romeo, making a dent in it (by braking too fast on a thin coat of snow on the road) which we desperately tried to hide from family members for the rest of vacation to avoid the inevitable ridicule.

The website for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is surprisingly silent on the Kims and not very alarmist about the road in question, where the car got stuck. It just says:
"12/2006: Forest Road 23 - (Bear Camp Road) is not advisable for winter travel. The Bear Camp Road may be blocked by snow drifts. "

But of course, the family was traveling on the road in November, so maybe that info hadn't been posted yet.

Siskiyou National Forest is also the site of intense bickering over logging permits for areas that have undergone fire, because there is now evidence that logging after a fire hinders the regrowth of trees. (Seattle Times) Oregonians have been opposed to the logging because it might detract from the stunning beauty of this rugged and isolated landscape, especially as the park has up until now had so few roads built through it.

No comments: