It’s summer, how about I cast a wide net?
Here in the USA, we have a pervasive problem with housing our population. The issue hits our mountain tourist-economy regions as much as anywhere. It’s challenging to live where you can ski tour without excessive driving — or more altruistically, tough to raise a family in a place you might love. And if you do raise a family in a mountain town, your kids might be forced to leave when they become adults. I’ve always had a vague unease with the government’s role in this. Seems like they might be the problem, and the solution. Worth pondering. Here are a few articles that zapped me. First, the title says it all: How San Francisco Planned Its Own Housing Crisis. And on an up note, check out what Oregon just put in motion!
Here in the Aspen, Colorado area towns outside the resort cores are housing most resort workers, thus enabling the astronomical real-estate appreciation places like Aspen are known for — which in turn creates jobs for the workers. Yeah, I get it. But I can’t help but thought experiment: what would Aspen look like if nearly all its workers still lived there?
I’ve been pondering big-W wilderness. What makes it special? It’s not hard to find the same trees, animals, and even solitude a few hundred feet off the side of a country road as you’ll find after a backpack into hills — where it’s legally called “Wilderness.” Conversely, if you’re not careful you’ll find legal Wilderness to be crowded, noisy, beat to a pulp: Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range, in July, for one example of a “sacrifice zone.” So, that’s what we’ve made for ourselves, a mixed bag we call “Wilderness.” Being a recreation advocate I can live with that, as the vast majority of our Wilderness is not trashed.
Okay, sacrifice zones, but there’s one aspect of Wilderness I can’t abide giving up: oases where there’s no cell phone signal, no internet, no easily connected DATA. Places where you can take a screen addicted kid on a grand adventure, fishing, hunting, climbing, carving sticks with a pocket knife, and their phone will flatline. What made me think of that? This brutal article in The Atlantic was the catalyst. It begs the question: if Google or whomever blankets the planet with thousands of cell-phone internet satellites, is this heaven on earth, or nothing more than a path to digital tyranny? When the satellite constellations are launched, will Wilderness activists fight for “blank” areas encompassing these haloed lands? Is that even a concept within the “wilderratti” community, as they click wine glasses at their fund raisers? Readers, your comments?
So, continuing the subject of screens… A few days ago I was killing my eyes with artificial blue light, when I found a source of healing adrenaline. As my heart slammed like I was listening to “Shoot to Thrill,” I could only think why had I not reviewed this thing when it came out several years ago?
I’d happened upon the solution for all gated roads and other annoying access problems, something much better than installing our own locks and otherwise being bad. Something that’ll work on packed snow as well as dirt, but way cheaper than a tracked ATV and easier to sneak around with. Is the DTV Shredder the solution? Or just “yipee, I can now shred at ten miles an hour!” And thank heavens for legal Wilderness!
If you got this far… I’ve seen “Shoot to Thrill” called the most “perfect” rock song ever written. I’d probably reserve that for something from the 1960s. Your thoughts?