May. 1st, 2009

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It is dark and drizzly outside today. I'm glad I got my hike in yesterday. I headed towards Birch Lake, but because the path there is so short and I wanted to actually walk a little, I took the branch to the right. Wandered around awhile, found myself at the campground for Mather, sat at a picnic table and wrote for awhile. Then, I started to return home. Now, this trail I had followed has numerous branchoffs in every direction, and I found myself quickly confused, eventually so turned around that I had no idea where the road was. I knew I wasn't *that* far out, but I didn't want to get myself really lost. I came on the national forest boundary a few times, which was a pretty telling sign that I was going the wrong direction. Finally, getting tired of walking in circles, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and *felt* the right direction. I started walking that way and soon found myself back at the lake, which is a pretty straight shoot back home. Don't ask me how I managed this. I have a terrible sense of direction, but evidently some subconscious part of me knows how to navigate the forest, or perhaps was more aware of my location than my conscious mind. All the same, I'm going to be far more careful next time to take note of unique landmarks, the number of trail branches, and direction.

I am working in the morning. I'm about to throttle Alex. I get good and accustomed to the night shift, and he insists on switching us around for no apparent reason, even though all three of us in laundry have discussed and agreed on the best shifts for each of us. He insists that it wouldn't be "fair" to me to work nights and only nights, because there will be extra things to do during evening shift once we get into full swing (stocking sheds, etc). Erm... I really don't care. I have to do extra work already. Screwing up peoples' internal clocks is not the way to promote some twisted version of "fairness," especially when the staff has voiced their desires very clearly, and their reasons for them. This says to me that this isn't about fairness, but about power. I find it amusing that, upon first meeting Alex, he rather snottily said that there is a power play in the laundry room. Something told me that wasn't the whole story, so I observed those working there. The only power play I'm seeing is on the part of Alex. Oh, don't get me wrong, I fully expected a load of bullshit when I came up here. I've been here before, after all, and it's really the same crap, just different people. My philosophy is that there will be bullshit to cope with at any job, but if the benefits outweigh it, then it's worth it. I've been here three seperate times now, so something's working for me. Even with the crap abounding here, the job itself even is preferable to what I had previously.

My attempts at gathering a paranormal investigations team have yet to come to anything. The only person I've come across who might have an interest is my roommate, Stacey, but two people won't exactly make an effective team. On the research angle, I've been combing Amazon for books on the area. I'll be making a purchase as soon as I can do so. It seems that the Hetch Hetchy dam, down the road from here (which this place was incidentally built to support the construction of), was surrounded by a huge controversy during its construction. The City of San Francisco was hoping to use it as a monopoly on a fresh water source, while John Muir and fellow ecologists fought tooth and nail to preserve the valley. Muir, unfortunately, lost. The dam area has a very... odd feel to it. It may well have something to do with the violent destruction of a thriving ecosystem, but my gut tells me there may be more than that. So a little research may go a long way....

Hetch Hetchy is a definite interest from an investigator's point of view, but it's no training ground. There is far too much area to cover there, and the outdoor setting creates more variables, making it harder to run a safe and effective investigation. I'd like to start out with the Lodge building, if I can ever garner enough interest. It's a contained setting, relatively small space, easier to keep track of what's going on.

And, dinner is almost ready. So I will close for now.
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I'm doing some internet research on Hetch Hetchy, and I've come across some interesting things, which aligned with some of what I had guessed about the area, in that it was a long-standing Native American territory.

The Hetch Hetchy valley was flooded in 1921 by the City of San Francisco in order to create a water reservoir for the city, amidst much protest by the environmentally-conscious explorer John Muir and others interested in preserving the valley, which was reputed to be quite possibly the most awe-inspiringly beautiful within Yosemite. What is not often told is that Hetch Hetchy Valley was the historical home to the Paiute Indians, who were rivals to the more often discussed Miwok. There also is much controversy amongst the modern Paiute regarding their elimination from the modern rendition of the history of the area, which evidently even goes so far as to rename the famous Chief Tenaya, who was Paiute, as a Miwok. Yes, I could well understand some tension from both the departed and the living at the destruction of an anscestral home and the erasure of their tribe from historical memory. Ancient pictographs were found in Pate Valley within Hetch Hetchy, and the oldest Native American basket of California origin also was found in Hetch Hetchy, both of Paiute origin. The valley was known to be a shelter and hiding place for the tribe when they were faced with crises.

I am forced to wonder if a few last remaining Paiute were lingering in the Valley, refusing to leave their home, when it was flooded. That answer may be a bit harder to find.

There are efforts to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley to its former state. http://www.hetchhetchy.org/about.html

One thing to take note of is that the Hetch Hetchy reservoir is no longer San Francisco's primary water supply-- Toulomne River is.

"Removal of the dam would result in the loss of less than two-tenths of one percent of California's yearly electricity use. All the lost power could be replaced by the programs described above [see web site given above], plus an energy efficiency program. The efficiency program would actually save homeowners and businesses more than the cost of implementing the energy efficiency program. It would also be possible to build solar, wind, or conventional gas-fired power plants."

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