“Fortunately, the task of preparing this volume has been carried on by those who have had the feeling that a piece of work must be done, but who also have had a purpose to make it reveal beauty and exude the historical atmosphere of the region with which it is concerned.”

—Santa Barbara: A Guide to the Channel City and Its Environs (1941)

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Grouch of the Woods

Santa Barbara Hikes San Roque Jesusita Trail StevensThe tentacular limbs of coast live oak trees in the Los Padres National Forest.

“The presence of a jostling crowd. . .a familiar irritation to be borne with resignation.”

Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

It’s not that he hated people. He just didn’t like people.

Pulling up to the trailhead his mouth cracked open in disbelief and his grasp on the wheel tightened. Cars lined the road overflowing the small pullout. An audible groan escaped his lips, a slow grumble from deep inside somewhere. He drove on, caught off guard, flustered, and unable to bring himself to park amidst the mob of vehicles and the few chattering people.

It was Sunday. He had expected people to be out on the trails, but was stunned by the lineup. He drove up the road, spun a u-turn, and drove back and finally parked.

He fumbled around in a drawn out act, readied his gear, and tied tight boot laces. Irked by the crowd he tried to think up a plan to escape it.

Sometime later down the well-beaten trail not many seconds after leaving his vehicle he was passing people as if on a downtown sidewalk. Head down, chin pinned to chest and thumbs tucked snugly under shoulder straps, he said hello to exactly nobody, looked at nobody. Through peripheral vision he noted the cocked heads and curious stares of people he passed wondering about this strange fellow storming by as if nobody else existed.

They kept coming, nine, eleven, fifteen. Like ants, they were scurrying up and down the trail everywhere. Voices echoed through the canyon. What the hell is this, some kind of public hiking trail on a spring weekend?!

“I’ve always valued solitude and anonymity . . . Silence is like music to me, and I need some time to myself.”

Kira Salak, The Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To Timbuktu

Eventually another hiker said hello, which consequently forced from his mouth a gruff “howdy.” It was the sort of mutter to which Mr. Stathakis, his tenth grade English teacher at Santa Barbara High, would’ve asked of him before the class, “Can you mumble a little louder, please?”

Onward he stomped. Growing increasingly agitated. Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen in one fell swoop. Bam! Bam!! Bam!!! At nineteen he had stands all he could stands and he couldn’t stands no more.

At that point, hardly down the trail but a few minutes yet having passed a score of people, he opted to veer onto a different footpath. A contingency made up on the fly to salvage pleasure from the maw of the detestable closing over him. The alternative path would be far less busy, might even be empty, abandoned if he was really lucky. Totally forgotten and completely ignored. What better place to roam?

Let ’em have the oak shrouded cool canyon trail that wound gently along the creek through forest and meadow. He took the exposed and hot south slope and upward huff through the chaparral, as bristly as his own nature, a good match.

It was there amidst the “stillness, solitude and space” that he found “a sense of time enough to let thought and feeling range from here to the end of the world and back; the discovery of something intimatethough impossible to namein the remote.”

It’s not that he hated people. It’s just that what he sought when in the forest was solely the forest.

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Peak 3662 Santa Ynez MountainsSearching For Soul Outside the Cage

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Gooseberry Wildcraft

Santa Barbara gooseberry Los Padres National ForestCalifornia gooseberry illustration from Pacific Rural Press (1873).

“The California wild gooseberry, red variety (Ribes menziesii), is certainly a desirable variety, and is said to be superior to crabapples for jellies, etc. The plant is exceedingly ornamental when loaded with its reddish-gold fruit.”

-Pacific Rural Press (1893)

I first ate wild gooseberries in the mountains of Oregon as a boy. Sometimes, when my dad and I went trout fishing or when we were staying in the mountains, my aunt would forage for wild berries to make fresh pies or jam.

I ate myself sick in the woods on more than one occasion, shoveling down strawberries and huckleberries by the handful. They were smaller in size than their store-bought cousins, but they burst with superior flavor.

Coastal southern California always seemed like a wasteland by comparison. Trout were small, few and far between. What few wild berries did grow in my local weed patch were sparse and puny.

Not only were the gooseberries around Santa Barbara smaller, they were wrapped in an armored shell that bristled with an especially dense coating of evil looking spikes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a meaner looking gooseberry than those found in the southern Los Padres National Forest.

Gooseberries Santa Barbara Los Padres foraging wildcraftingGooseberries (Ribes menziesii) ripening in June in the Santa Ynez Mountains.

A person today may still possibly receive some mild medicinal relief from the bark of a willow tree. Then again, they could just crack the lid on an ibuprofen bottle and swallow a couple of pills.

Not all traditional wilderness knowledge is still relevant. I think, sometimes, that foraging around this here neck of the woods is an eccentric pursuit inspired by a romanticized view of the past.

gooseberry syrup Los Padres Santa Ynez Mountains Santa Barbara

Wild gooseberry syrup.

Nowadays foraging is a leisure pursuit of the well-off rather than an existential necessity of hardscrabble times. It’s largely wisdom long since rendered obsolete by the march of civilization, but I like to think some of it’s worth hanging on to.

The Sisquoc River pioneers of Santa Barbara County would probably think it’s ludicrous to waste time and energy hiking into the woods to pick gooseberries, when today we have fully loaded supermarkets, refrigerated shelves stuffed with over-sized blueberries and gargantuan strawberries, and everything available on demand at all times of the year and most hours of the day.

Wild gooseberries, I think pioneers would say, are too much effort for too few calories to be of much worth nowadays. But if the value is found in rare flavor rather than generic nutritional density, then a good ol’ fashioned gooseberry harvest may still be worth while.

gooseberry Santa Barbara Hikes Los Padres National ForestGooseberries are rich in natural pectin which makes for exceptionally thick syrup and jelly without the need of added thickening agents.

Gooseberries are a sweet-tasting wild edible I like to eat right off the plant even though each berry doesn’t offer much. I introduced my children to them when they were only a few years old, and while the novelty of tasting a wild fruit in the woods was initially exciting, their enthusiasm quickly evaporated.

Gooseberries contain more spines and hard and bitter-tasting seeds than sweet juicy pulp. Having been raised on ridiculously large and sugary domesticated fruit, my kids clearly thought I was crazy and soon lost interest. Nearly everybody else has no interest either so they have plenty of company. There are certainly good reasons why very few people, effectively nobody, eat wild gooseberries around here.

There is yet, however, no supermarket substitute for the uncommon and complex depth of flavor these wickedly spiny little berries hold.

And in that deep burgundy, wild pure juice may be found a reservoir of traditional, natural wealth that perhaps has not been devalued and rendered obsolete by the 24/7 cornucopia of postmodern civilization.

Gooseberries Santa Barbara Los Padres Forest foraging
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Flight of the Condor, Rare Santa Barbara Roost

condor-sespe-wilderness-los-padres-national-forest-hikeA condor over Sespe Wilderness in December, 2013. (Return to Whiteacre Peak Or Day of the Condor)

Earlier this month I stood on a ridge along Arroyo Burro Trail gazing from afar into the rocky mouth of San Roque Canyon and remembering times past. A couple of decades ago was the last time I hiked up the canyon. I had no idea back then as a kid that condors once lived there.

Two years ago I had learned from Sandy Wilbur, who led the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s California condor research and recovery program from 1969 to 1981, that long ago they nested in the caves of San Roque Canyon.

“Frank Ruiz took two eggs, apparently both out of San Roque,” Mr. Wilbur told me referring to events around the year 1899, when Mr. Ruiz and Fredrick Forbush raided nests in the canyon. (Historic newspaper story: “Desperate Fight With Condors: Narrow Escape of Santa Barbara Man” (1899)

The Santa Ynez Mountains were apparently once prime nesting habitat. “Willis Griffith claims to have taken 10 eggs out of the various Santa Ynez Canyons,” Mr. Wilbur told me. “I can positively account for six, and know of two more that are probably his, so he may really have taken the full ten,” he said.

San Roque Canyon, Santa Ynez MountainsLooking into San Roque Canyon I thought of condors flying there, something entirely unknown in my lifetime. How it was 100 years ago. I tried to imagine such a sight, what it would mean if they once again soared over the iconic crags of the Santa Ynez Mountains above Santa Barbara.

And then a few days after my hike to the top of Arroyo Burro Trail I learned about news of a rare event (hat tip NB). Two weeks prior to my hike a female condor had flown right over the trail and had been circling San Roque Canyon.

More notable yet, she spent the night in the Santa Barbara foothills not far from the city. It may be an overstatement to say that such an event is unheard of, but it most certainly does not happen often. When was the last time?

Calochortus fimbriatus Santa Barbara rare wildflower Los PadresJune bloom. Calochortus fimbriatus, a rare flower, growing along the Arroyo Burro Trail, its barbellate petals combing droplets of moisture from the morning marine layer.

Condor Santa Barbara La Cumbre PeakThe flightpath of the condor shown in purple. She appears to have taken some interest in the historic nesting grounds of the San Roque Canyon area, located to the lower left of the green tree icon.

The condor’s flight was recounted and illustrated by “The Condor Cave” Facebook page, which posted the image shown here using Google Earth accompanied by the following brief:

“On May 25th, a two-year-old wild-fledged California condor soared into Santa Barbara County and spent the evening in the Santa Barbara foothills!

Female #717 flew west from the Pine Mountain Club area, through Bitter Creek NWR, before flying south between Los Olivos and Solvang, and into the Mission Canyon area. According to the GSM data, she roosted in a draw below La Cumbre Peak.

On the morning of May 26th, she perched on a cluster of rocks near the Jesusita Trail before flying north past Cachuma Mountain and over Peak Mountain (5,843 ft), the highest point in the Sierra Madre range.

This adventurous condor hails from the Pole Canyon nest territory and is the offspring of sire #237 and dam #255.

While it is not uncommon for condors to venture into the Santa Barbara back country as it is an important part of the species’ nesting and foraging range, it is rare to see them in the Santa Barbara foothills.”

As if taking a gander of a swath of the Los Padres National Forest that may soon be named in honor of the giant vultures, she flew along a length of the Santa Ynez Mountains above the Gaviota Coast known tentatively as the “Condor Ridge Scenic Area.”

The condor made this unlikely flight, of all days, on the day before the “Central Coast Heritage Protection Act” was reintroduced in Congress on May 26. The legislation would, in part, officially establish Condor Ridge.

Condor 717 Santa Barbara La Cumbre Peak Santa Ynez Mountains

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The Los Padres Box Of Chocolates

Tiger lily Santa Barbara hikes Los PadresHumboldt lily growing in Los Padres National Forest.

“Sometimes I feel so uninspired
Sometimes I feel like giving up
Sometimes I feel so very tired
Sometimes I feel like I’ve had enough”

Steve Winwood, Traffic – “(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired

I often go for aimless hikes. I wander. I need not a notable destination, my only goal to leave the city and immerse myself in nature.

Many times, if not most, I don’t even know where I’m driving to go hike when I leave the homestead until I end up there. This has been, more than usual, my modus operandi of late.

There has been a sharp decline in my activity on this blog for some months now. I suddenly lost interest, inspiration waned and I had had enough, but there is more to it than that alone.

The blog started as a creative work that complimented my existing proclivity toward outdoor recreation in the wild and my love of writing and learning. I could venture out, take a few snapshots and then write about my experiences. The blog added another element of fun to what I already had been doing my entire life.

But my digital offspring mutated like Gregor in The Metamorphosis into this hideous beast that became a burden to keep. The blog turned into something of a cyber despot dictating what I should and should not do.

No longer did I feel I could merely go out just to get out. While I never felt as though I was in competition with other bloggers, I did increasingly feel that in each outing into the woods I had to achieve some notable ends, had to bag the big story and return with a humdinger of a feature. This led to a necessity for more planning than I have ever had any interest in spending time doing. No longer could I just wander without intention or goal. I had to generate content.

swallowtail butterfly lily Santa Barbara Santa Ynez Mountains hiking Los Padres

“My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'”

Forest Gump

The longer I set aside concerns about chasing waterfalls and caves and long trails and catching interesting material upon which to build a meaningful blog post, however, the more I hiked in relatively average areas with seemingly nothing remarkable about them.

Yet, at the same time, I was increasingly surprised to find during nearly every aimless wander through the supposed ordinary, how I stumbled upon something that made it all well worth my time and energy. It was not ordinary at all. The line from Forest Gump would always replay through my head. I just never knew what treasure I would find next.

A few days ago I was hiking with my dog up a heavily visited canyon, a place I habitually ignore because of its popularity, despite its natural splendor. I had managed to carry my dog over a dry waterfall before coming to a couple more, which I could not get him over.

Frustrated, I turned back early.

Though I enjoyed the hike, it had seemed that in being cut short it had no point. I had not reached a destination. It was the lingering taint of the dictatorial blog burdening my mind.

Then on my way down the creek I took a wrong turn, just a few feet the wrong way into the bushes, really. Turning back I found the path I had intended to follow a few steps later and a lily came into view, which I had not seen on my way up the creek. I stopped to take a gander and a tiger swallowtail butterfly fluttered down onto the bloom.

I had been waiting years to capture a snapshot of a swallowtail on a lily, two of the most striking small varieties of life in the forest. And here was my opportunity. Had I been able to hoist my dog over the waterfalls a short time earlier I would not have stumbled upon this chance.

“I don’t believe in coincidences, only chains of event which grow longer and ever more fragile until either bad luck or plain old human mean-heartedness breaks them.”

Sandy Dearborn in Stephen King’s, From a Buick 8

Of course, such an event can always be looked at as though every little choice made throughout my entire life had brought me to this specific place at this specific time just as this butterfly floated out of the sky to sip the flower’s nectar, after having completed its own long unknown chain of events in its own life.

Anyhow, whatever the case may be, I got the photo. And it made the hike worth every bit of my time and energy. I never set out searching for this chance. I just went wandering with no particular aim and it happened, because in Los Padres National Forest you just never know what you’re gonna get.

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The Politics of Rock Art

Santa Ines WinerySanta Barbara County vintage making use of Chumash pictograph motifs.

When one takes an interest in actively seeking out and visiting Chumash rock art paintings they soon learn that there is an emotional and contentious political subculture swirling around these archaeological sites. Certain etiquette dictates, or at least some people would like to think that it should govern, how the sites are expected to be talked about or shared.

The rise of social media outlets have further complicated and exacerbated this matter. When a person infringes upon or violates these unwritten rules they can expect to receive criticism ranging from respectful, tempered and reasonable disagreement, to comments reflecting all reason having been drown in simmering emotion, to unhinged and vicious hostility.

The following quotations are real comments I have received in response to having posted a limited number of photographs of Chumash rock art sites over the course of several years. The comments are followed by my response.

“Get this ******* **** off the Internet!”

It is an emotional issue, for some. This outburst was delivered in response to a post showing a handful of bedrock mortars.

“Rock art isn’t meant for consumerism and materialism.”

Nobody really knows, unequivocally, what rock art was meant for because the people that created it no longer exist and they left no written record detailing their motivations. All that is said to be known is rooted upon a questionable foundation of differing degrees of conjecture based on empirical information obtained by scholars while visiting the sites in question, and educated presumption based on the testimony of a scant few secondary sources, as derived from the ethnography of a single white man.

Pictos

A screenshot of an advertisement that popped up on my computer.

What is known about Chumash rock art represents a slim sliver of the entire body of facts surrounding the work, the vast overwhelming majority of this information having been forever lost when the people who created the art and their immediate descendants died or were killed or murdered.

What rock art is meant or not meant for will never be decisively known. Such a statement as quoted above is, therefore, an opinion more than anything else. It is a normative statement, and whether it holds any more validity than the beliefs of anybody else is a matter of opinion itself.

When I attended the Santa Barbara Harbor Festival last October there was a “Chumash Education Booth” which was selling t-shirts adorned with rock art motifs. They obviously had no concerns about exploiting the matter for profit for the purpose of “consumerism and materialism.” I did not see anybody from any band of Chumash protesting.

More importantly, the quoted opinion above runs contrary to the manner in which the most visible and socially active contemporary Chumash people in Santa Barbara County currently make use of rock art.

Far from shunning “consumerism and materialism,” these people have embraced it with vigor to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in annual material gains selling gambling and liquor, among other things.

Visit the Chumash Casino on the Santa Ynez Reservation and one will see that the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash readily make use of rock art motifs as a means of marketing their gambling house. One can see depictions of rock art on token coins, poker chips, roulette wheels, casino carpeting and the casino logo itself.

Furthermore, rock art motifs have been licensed for commercial use by a Chumash elder and are sold for profit:

Pictographs for profitA screenshot of Larry Carnes’ “Chumash Stone,” a phrase, as denoted above, that has purportedly been copyrighted.

The opinion that “rock art isn’t meant for consumerism and materialism” is utterly out of line with the practices of the Chumash themselves, which seek to profit from these images in various ways some of which are dubious and morally suspect.

I have been told than many Chumash believe rock art sites are sacred. I don’t know that I needed to be informed of that, it does not come as a revelation to me. But again, the actions of their leaders, and by extension the common folk themselves, reflects a very different feeling. And as the cliche goes, actions speak louder than words.

Is something sacred to be sold for profit? To be used as a marketing tactic to sell gambling to the tune of billion dollar profits?

One may object to note that the Chumash should be free to use the rock art left by their ancestors in any manner they wish, which is certainly a reasonable point. However, the assertion here is not who gets to use it for what purpose, but that it is not meant for certain uses by anybody.

The person that wrote that quote does not have a drop of Chumash blood in his veins.

“You treat it like a museum attraction that everyone has a right to.”

The corollary being exclusivity, that only some people have this right. It appears this person does not know what a right is, but is instead speaking of privilege.

This I am accused of for merely posting photographs of rock art. It is a statement that reeks of elitism and reveals a mentality of exclusive entitlement, that only a select chosen few should be allowed to lay eyes upon a photograph of rock art.

If a person is not among the coterie, or is not known and approved of by the ruling class elite, but rather a member of the untitled public lacking credentials, a mere commoner, they should be prevented from even so much as seeing a photograph of the rock art found within the National Forest, which is essentially owned by We the People.

It is a sentiment that I would posit runs contrary to the very founding principle of the National Forest system of conservation, as founded by President Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot during the Progressive Era of American history.

At that time a few powerful men of vast financial means and influence sought to use the American forests for their own purposes, while dismissing the right of the people to have any claim to them.

Roosevelt and Pinchot waged a political war against powerful congressmen, senators and their allies in business to secure for posterity national forests and the resources therein for the many people, over the select few special interests.

Pinchot and his colleagues and peers often did this at their own personal expense without recompense from the government. This fact being a reflection of their earnest, selfless commitment to preserving the forest for all people.

Furthermore, it is a sentiment that runs contrary to the actions of the United States Forest Service, which has installed numerous register boxes at rock art sites throughout the Los Padres National Forest, wherein visitors can sign their names, leave their address and comment on their experiences when viewing the rock art in person.

In addition, the USFS created campgrounds at some of these rock art sites, which have been listed on publicly available maps created by the United States Geological Survey, both federal agencies, by definition, being of, by and for all American people.

Moreover, the man that wrote this comment above in response to me posting a few photos of Chumash rock art has published online, by way of a world renowned magazine with a world wide audience, numerous photos of pictographs. He also regularly publishes to the world via Instagram, as noted below under his quote about supposedly “not flaunting where I’ve been,” photos of rock art sites he visits. In other words, I have done nothing different than what he does himself apart from having a far smaller audience.

PictographA screenshot of a freely accessed scholarly journal article by Dr. Thomas Blackburn, recipient of the Fredrickson Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for California Archaeology. Many other such articles are readily available to the general public.

“Archaeological information is limited to fellow archaeologists. . .”

This assertion is demonstrably false.

Archaeological information can be readily accessed by the public through various physical locations, such as libraries or book stores, and much of it including peer reviewed scholarly journals can be freely read by the public online or accessed through subscription sites whose only limiting factor are paywalls.

Furthermore, any American citizen can obtain archaeological information by filing a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA). Authorities have some discretion in choosing what they release with respect to concerns about protecting sensitive sites, but this does not equate to a blanket ban on the release of such information, which they are otherwise obligated by law to provide anybody that asks.

“. . .or conscientious people that can keep a secret. . .”

Were it a secret this person would not know the location of any archaeological sites. It is apparently okay for them to be told and for them in turn to tell others, but you should be prevented from being one of those told or doing the same yourself.

“This info should only be accessible to people who have paid their dues, . . .”

Another self-anointed arbiter and gatekeeper of the public’s resources for whom if others do not act in specific accordance with their own personal opinion, then they should be barred from access and denied opportunity.

That is not a reasonable basis upon which to deny anybody anything.

It is a meaningless statement reflecting the capriciousness of individual opinion. What exactly is due? It is certainly not a sound basis upon which to found public policy governing public resources.

“shouldn’t be online.”

That battle was lost years ago on account of the federal government and leading scholars and authors in the field of Chumash archaeology, all of which have published to the world far more detailed, revealing and sensitive information than the limited number of photos I have put out, which comprise a puny percentage of the content on my blog.

This person is concerned about the figurative mist leaking from the wee hole that is my blog, when the leading figures in this field responsible for protecting these resources and studying them have blown a gaping chasm in the dam the person wishes would hold back the reservoir of knowledge they do not want revealed.

“I don’t think you do the wild secrets of the backcountry, their long standing remoteness and sparse visitation rates, or the communities who love and visit them any good by doing this. . . This is backcountry pornography whether you will ever admit to it or not. And YOU are whoring it out.”

This may be the most reasonable criticism I have received to date. I have to confess that I cannot think of any good my posts have done for these sites themselves as places other than perhaps increasing knowledge and awareness, which in turn helps build support for their protection, because you cannot possibly hope to protect something that people do not know exists, do not know about and do not understand.

That argument, however, can be flipped on its head and it can be said that such exposure, on balance, creates far more damage than good, through increased visitation by way of making more people aware of something they otherwise might not know about.

But again we hear of supposed “secrets” needing to be kept, supposed secrets that exist on public land in the nation’s most populace state, but which the public should never enjoy nor see, and shame on me for revealing them, even though I provide no directions but only a few carefully selected photos which are not dissimilar in presentation on my blog relative those photos published to world be leading scholars.

These secrets will be erased by nature alone in time rendering this entire debate meaningless and irrelevant.

Edward Abbey

“My lips are in general sealed”

Yet this is the same person that unexpectedly called me one afternoon and proceeded to inform me that he knew of many rock art sites, which he promised to lead me to or provide directions to once he returned from a trip to Belize.

This from a person I had never spoken to in my life. An utter stranger that rambled on for long minutes, as I listened in silence, dumbfounded as to why he was telling me all this information I had not even asked for or suggested I was interested in receiving from him.

This is the same person that commented on one of my blog posts that there was some really nice rock art nearby the location I mentioned in the post and that he hoped I saw it. This was a post that had nothing whatsoever to do with archaeology nor did it mention rock art. He made these public comments on my blog anonymously, which suggests to me he did not want his name to be tied to such a revelation, which I presume was because he really did not think what he was doing was the proper course of action for somebody in his professional position as a leading scholar of rock art in California.

Apparently, there is a lot covered under the rubric of “general” in this statement about supposedly having sealed lips. And if this was the case with me, that this stranger called me to say they would give me directions to archaeological sites, it seems reasonable to assume it happened to other people, as well.

And in point of fact, I know it has indeed happened and that this person has revealed  information to another person whom he did not know personally, somebody that he knew had a history of publishing photos on the Internet of pictograph sites. And because this person with supposedly sealed lips freely gave out specific directions more photos were posted online of an exceptional, unique rock art site that may well have never been previously shown publicly on the Internet.

Perhaps earlier scholars and government agencies made a mistake in making information about pictograph sites publicly available. Whatever the case, the leaks, if that is what they are, continue today straight from the mouth of a somewhat prominent California archaeologist who could hardly contain his eagerness to unload this information to me, a perfect stranger who never asked for it.

“I’m not flaunting where I’ve been and don’t feel the need to”

I could provide a photograph of this person posing beside, very close to, a large pictograph in the San Rafael Wilderness, but out of respect for his privacy I will refrain from doing so. This is not personal, but business. I seek not to embarrass anybody but to expose their sophistry. The photo is, however, found on the Internet, published to the world, but apparently not flauntingly.

I could provide a link to this person’s Instagram page whereupon he has posted photos of numerous pictographs, including one he published just four days ago as of the time of this writing. The photo is captioned with text describing how he is looking forward to visiting the rock art site in the photo, which is shared to the world without restriction.

More to the point, I do not post content to my blog to flaunt where I have been. My motives are far removed from any desire to flaunt or brag about anything. Such an allegation misses the point entirely.

“Why is there the NEED to share something like this in the way you did?”

If we are going to emphatically speak of needs, then let us note the fact that there is no need to do anything on the Internet and in fact no need for the Internet itself. Civilization operated just fine prior to the advent of the world word web. So we can cast this question out with much of the other empty, thoughtless criticism as it lacks any reasonable basis whatsoever.

The way I shared was only different than the books, the magazine articles, the peer reviewed scholarly journals, the international licensing agency peddling photos of the site, in that I did not name the particular creek upon which the painted cave is located, while all the aforementioned sources did specifically name the site’s general location thereby revealing it to the world.

That is the difference. And it is a rather notably big difference.

In that it can be confirmed that I exercised more discretion than the purported professionals, a fact which appears to be in-line with the previously expressed sentiment by this person, that what is acceptable behavior for the clique is not acceptable for those people outside of or those people unaccepted by the elite chosen few, the self-anointed gatekeepers.

“I honestly feel that blogs like this are selfish”

I am being accused of selfishness for sharing.

United States Forest Service chumash Rock Art Pictograph SignThis sign was erected years ago by the United States Forest Service near the site of a relatively well-known Chumash pictograph site in the remote Santa Barbara backcountry.

Generations not yet living cannot possibly possess a moral claim over current living generations on the ownership of present day public resources.

“Can it be conceived that there are men so absurd as to love posterity better than the present generation; to prefer the man that is not, to him who is; to torment the living under pretense of promoting the happiness of those who are not born, and who may never be born?”

-Jeremy Bentham, British philosopher (1843)

“‘If the law supposes that,’ said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, ‘the law is a ass — a idiot.'”

―Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (1837)

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