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By Christopher Norment

The prior is often with me -- What I wanted so much was once break out -- It used to be most unlikely to not ask yourself -- The silence was once like no different -- They constantly knew their method -- the reality will probably be printed -- Fathering the map -- within the fullness of time -- after which i used to be domestic

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In a similar way, the passage in Sierra South states what should be obvious — that a trail beginning at five thousand feet and ascending a steep, south-facing slope may be a brutal bugger on an August afternoon. If I were contemplating hiking into Granite Basin I’d ignore the rococo of Sierra South in favor of Starr’s Guide’s minimalism and leave more to my imagination. I’d settle for Pete Starr’s best Phillip Glass imitation and get most of my information from the 15-minute USGS Marion Peak quadrangle, which shows a trail beginning at 5,035 feet and switchbacking steeply up the south side of the Kings River Canyon for over a mile with an elevation gain of 1350 feet, through scrubby vegetation (shown by stippled green on the map).

I also enjoyed the temporary and moderate notoriety that sometimes was mine when I recounted my adventures — such as the secret flush of pride I felt when a nonhiking friend, after listening to stories (only slightly embellished) of my first Sierra hike, responded, “Two weeks hiking, carrying all of your stuff and sleeping on the ground? ” Unable to gain entrance to the world of the socially privileged and uninterested in most of the alternative cliques at Los Gatos High, I joined the tiny cadre of hikers and climbers, exclusively male and mostly “H” students, who took pride in their independence and disdained the Boy Scouts as a paramilitary organization.

1 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake that struck the Bay Area on October 17, 1989. The earthquake, with its epicenter only four miles from our former house, occurred when crustal rocks of the Pacific and North American Plates suddenly shifted by as much as seven feet, killing sixty-seven people and causing seven billion dollars of damage. Although we escaped a catastrophic shift of tectonic plates, plenty of slippage was occurring along family fault lines — enough to more than compensate for the relatively quiescent natural world.

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