Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
So I’m driving east on 120/108 just before the Highways splits and 108 continues to Sonora and 120 takes a hard right and goes to Yosemite. It’s Sep 1, in the middle of the Big Meadow Fire. For days we had been watching the road closure situation. We were going to Tuolumne and the road was clear to the east in the early days of the fire. Then it was by escort only. There was a lot of uncertainly about the status of the Tioga Road. As I approached Keystone and the Copperopolis turnoff, I saw an encouraging road sign. “For Yosemite Road Information Tune to AM 1610.” Surely the latest facts about the road would be broadcast to visitors to help them know if they would be turned around at the Big Oak Flat gate. I hit pause on my CD player midway through a Doors classic. I then cranked on the little used AM band and spun the dial to the right. Past the revival station, then the infomercial about Pro-Biotics, and several Spanish stations. I stopped at 1610 AM. Perfect timing – to turn onto 120 or continue up 108 and over the Sonoroa Pass?? Static, then more static, then a faint female voice – no, a recording. Reminded me of Tokyo Rose beaming a weak signal to our boys during the Asian campaign. Fuzz and more static. Then I could make out something about the closure of some minor street in some unknown burg. Then it told me I was listening to an information station with road conditions. Then it repeated over and over. More static. It must have had the power of a 40-watt light bulb. NO mention at all of Yosemite, the fire, or road closures there. “You’re kidding me.” As the great actress Clara Peller once said: “Where’s the BEEF?” A rolled down window inquiry to a local confirmed the 120 road at Crane Flat east was closed. So we continued on 108 and over Sonora pass to Lee Vining and into the park – only a 4-hour diversion. 1610 AM – a good idea on paper.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Look over yonder what do you see? The sun is a-risin’ most definitely. A new day is comin’ people are changin’. Ain’t it beautiful: crystal blue persuasion.” – Tommy James and the Shondells
*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com