The “Other America”

A writer for The Guardian recounts a visit to Yosemite and the "other America" he found there. He concludes, somewhat defensively, that beauty can still be found in this "other America." Kind of sad when the only defense against our politics is our land, wouldn’t you say?

…what does this have to do with the other America? Well, atop Glacier
Point, we stumbled upon a wedding. A young couple, dressed to the
nines, were saying their wedding vows at cliff’s edge, the sky a
perfect blue, the majesty of Half Dome.

We went off on a short walk and came back 45 minutes later. The
couple had been positioned by their photographer on the edge of the
cliff. The man was in a white tuxedo, his bride in a luxurious gown,
the long white veil of which was pushed around behind her head, there
to flutter backward in the wind like a sail pulling her off toward the
great rocks in the background. They looked about as happy as any two
people should rightfully be.

There were tourists from all over the world up at Glacier Point. I
must have heard several dozen languages. Down below, in Yosemite
Valley, teenagers from the four corners of the globe were serving food
at the various cafes dotted around the center of the park, part of a
program designed to bring adventurous young people to summer jobs in
out of the way locales in America.

This is the America that will outlast Bush and the hubris of his
administration. It’s a place of fantasies and dreams – where people can
get married on the edge of paradise, and where visitors from a thousand
different places are welcomed and encouraged to stay.


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

2 thoughts on “The “Other America”

  1. Yes.

    And up until a few years ago, one could mau-mau with the throngs on Glacier Point then escape up Tioga Rd into the backcountry. I realized this was over 5-6-7 years ago when I saw 4 teenagers hiking, all chained to their Walkmans.

    But the solitude is still evoked when I think of Yosemite.




  2. Solitude is not easy to find in Yosemite, but despite the throngs it’s still remarkably easy to escape in the backcountry.

    One personal favorite: Washburn Lake, just a few miles from the popular Lake Merced High Sierra Camp, which is a lovely little lake with a great beach to camp on, and few intruders. I have heard from a reliable source that this is where John Muir himself used to sleep on his way to his heaven-storming assaults up into the mountains, when he was working in Yosemite…adds a little spice to the camp-out.


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