Nature Noir: A Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra
Jordan Fisher Smith
on present-day maps. And the dam site is full of things that look like old graves—miles of slit trenches the geologists dug and then filled back in, to study potential faults after the Oroville earthquake. And the rocks under the dam? They're like Swiss cheese ... there's over nine thousand feet of abandoned underground tunnels, drifts, and raises under the dam site, and over a hundred thousand feet of bore holes they made taking core samples." Morita was looking at me. "You think she's in
town of Cool, a county fire station and a group of plywood false fronts like a western movie set placed in an expanse of rolling pasture punctuated by stately blue oaks. She turns east onto State 193 at the only intersection in town, past the dirt turnout where scruffy men from the hills sell firewood out of beat-up trucks, advertising their loads with spray-painted signs on scraps of plywood. Just east of there, Barbara Schoener passes the main gate of a residential development along the south
through them bathed everything beneath in luminous pale green. The track we followed forked often, and at each fork I stopped to listen for the saw, then steered toward it. Soon we saw stumps and tangled piles of limbs on either side. By now the trail was nothing more than two wheel marks of crushed vegetation slaloming through the trees. A stick popped under one of our tires. I stopped to listen out the open window for the reassurance that the saw was still running. It was. Toward the
carried Early in her arms. For days they hid in the jungle with the Communists all around them. They found a man with a boat to take them across the Mekong River under cover of darkness. Eventually they came to America. Their kids had grown up solid here. "I hear from everyone he was a very good boy," I told them. "Yes—he want to be soldier," she replied. "He always want to help people, since he was little boy. Always help people. We lucky to have him. But he is not lucky—" Her eyes brimmed
Could they have any idea what the flip of a switch could do to us here? Probably not. The world was not founded upon such empathy and imagination. Although it is counterintuitive, a rapid can be far more dangerous at low flows than at higher ones. At low water, rocks you'd normally wash over stick out and try to grab you. The water runs through them like mouthwash through the gaps of your teeth, straining out boats and the boaters who fall out of them, to be pinned underwater and drowned.