30 July 2008


Yep, that's right, I survived the trip to Montana. I haven't, however, been able to find any updates on the fate of the besieged Russian scientists. Perhaps they have all been eaten and word has yet to get out. I hope not. Much as I think bears should be entitled to eat those people who encroach upon their territory - the food chain should not be tinkered with - I think the people who are being threatened with being consumed, should be able to fight back.

In Montana, while driving from my father's house to the west entrance of Glacier National Park, I did pass this place. "Your Car is Your Cage" is one of the very best slogans I have ever encountered. So good that I've had moments of thinking I should have it tattooed upon my body. I would have to personalize it: "My Car is My Cage." It says so much about life in Los Angeles. I suppose it also says a lot about me that I can write that, believe it, and yet I love living here. I guess that, much like a long term zoo animal, I have become habituated to my environment.

I could never live in Montana. There's just not enough variety, not enough noise, not enough people, not enough of everything. While I was there I had occasion to think about California. It is arguably the single most varied, diverse - geographically, geologically, culturally, socially, economically, in every which way - place on the planet.

Still, I'm happy to visit other places and Montana certainly was beautiful: The "Going to the Sun" highway in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park. McDonald Creek, Glacier National Park. My father, Martin Stone on the trail. The guy is astounding. The reason that I, and the rest of the family, were there was his 80th birthday. He led us all on a four mile hike. He was a bit disappointed with that. He had a much more strenuous 12-mile hike in mind that he could normally easily do. But, due to a recent problem with one of his legs he had to settle for the lesser march. Good thing. By the last third of a 12-mile hike he'd have had to carry me on his back. The thing is, he probably could. Plus, if that had been the case it would have made it far too easy for the bears to eat the both of us.

My upcoming book, FLIGHT OF THE HORNBILL, is dedicated to my father. If you like my books, if you find some of what I write in this blog of interest, if there are things you like or find interesting about the way I look at the world and write about what I see, you can thank, or blame, my father for a lot of that. I, for one, thank and love him for it.

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