Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustry Day
“There’s a bear.” My son announced this fact in the same tone as you might expect him to say, “There’s a coffee shop” or “Look, a Taco John’s”.
I turned my head, and sure enough, there was a black bear, just walking through this little wooded alcove on the side of the road just outside a heavily traversed sector of Yosemite National Park.
Not exactly where I’d expect to find a bear. In fact, the crowds I’d encountered in the gift shop had just prompted me to say, “wow, this place kind of reminds me of Busch Gardens.”
I’ve discovered that we often can’t judge things by what we think we know, anyway.
For instance, I’ve always been told that Chicago is “the windy city.” Before last week, I’d never been there, so I simply accepted the information as fact.
Although our time in Chicago was admittedly brief, I can’t honestly report detecting so much as a zephyr within the city limits.
On the other hand, I’ve never heard any reference to wind in association with the Golden Gate Bridge, so you can imagine my surprise when a stiff wind nearly tore off the door of the van as I attempted to exit the vehicle to picnic at the Golden Gate recreation area.
I haven’t been out in such blustery conditions since my failed attempt to total my old Jeep by parking it under a large pine during Hurricane Isabel. There were no special weather conditions contributing to the gale. In fact, it was an otherwise sunny and calm day. It appears breezy conditions are the perpetual state of the bayside area.
But I guess discovering all these things for ourselves is kind of the point of a trip like this, after all. Having some of what psychologists refer to as “authentic experience"—some slice of personal reality by which to frame everything we read or hear in the future.
And as far as the bear—although I only caught a glimpse of him, and the other half of the family missed it altogether—one of his cousins crossed right in front of the van later last evening. He was viewed with much excitement by everyone in the family.