Chapter 546

Skipping Ahead A Bit

Posted 5/1/09

I know that the previous chapter was Chapter 23, and you are probably wondering what happened to chapters 24 – 545.  Keep in mind that Chapter 1 started more than half way through the seventh grade, and Chapter 23 is the beginning of my senior year in high school, and that was 41 years ago.  Allowing for some really short chapters, none of which have yet occurred (unless you count Chapter 21, of course), I’m just taking a shot in the dark and guessing, off the top of my head, and without incorporating the number 17 (see chapter 19, where I explain the derivation of the Third Fermat Prime Number – see footnote at the bottom of this page) that right about next weekend, Chapter 546 would be rolling around…

Hence, Chapter 546…

Knowing that, I think I can correctly surmise that, you are also probably wondering what next weekend is doing in my biography, especially considering that it hasn’t even happened yet…

Well, to repeat what I said in the addendum to Cow Facts 3, I’m glad you asked…

This will be an adventure full of Firsts (good ones, I hope)… It will have, as do all future events, things that have never happened before…  Sweat that has never been perspired… Pictures that have never been taken… Stories that have never been told… Food that has never before been eaten… and even people I have never met in my entire life (and one who I met “once…  long time ago…”)…

And it has the benefit of being in the future, so I can take a week off from writing, to recover, without feeling all that guilty about it…

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls – Children of ALL ages – you are about to witness biographical history in the making!

I’m not absolutely certain of this, but I may be the first human being to actually biographize events in his life that haven’t yet taken place.  (I am fairly confident that I’m the first person to use the word “biographize” in a sentence relating to life not yet lived, though.)

That behind us, I shall now proceed to regale you with history not yet existing…

One week from this Saturday, I will be embarking on a journey that, frankly, I have made three or four times before, though not in the past few years…

I have been invited by one of the many the sisters, Lori, of my friend, Koni (who will be appearing in future – or is it past? – chapters of this seemingly endless history of my musical life), to join her and some of her friends and hike the Upper Yosemite Falls trail in Yosemite National Park.

For those of you who have never hiked this trail, take my word for it when I say that it’s not an easy trek.  It’s about three miles with an elevation gain of a little over three thousand feet…  that’s about a thousand feet per mile, which roughly works out to about a 20% average grade… And it’s fairly rugged… And I hope I have at least one more in me…

I invited my son, Shawn and daughter-in-law, Megan, to join me and keep me company…  These people do ALL of the trails in ALL of the places they can get to – and they do the Half Dome trip a couple of times a year…  When I invited them, Megan responded “I hate that hike”… that’s how tough it is… I agree – it’s one third the miles of Half Dome with two thousand fewer feet of elevation gain, and it’s at least three times as tough as Half Dome…

I have warned Lori that I will not be keeping up with the group (who, after seeing some of their pictures on her Facebook page, I truly believe probably have some mountain goat in them – that’s not a slam – that’s a testament to the shape they must be in), but she has implored me to “suck it up” and I have made the mistake of saying that I can do exactly that…

I had actually challenged one of my many brothers, Tim, to this same hike last September, and, in preparation for that, I went to the park several weekends in a row, and trained by seeing how fast I could get from the valley floor (the parking lot at Camp Curry) to Nevada Falls.  I actually made, what for me, was pretty good time the second weekend out – I got out of my car, made it up the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls, and then to the top of the Nevada Falls, ate lunch, Stuck my feet into the water, came down the John Muir Trail and started my car for the trip home in well under four hours.

Unfortunately, the September trip never happened… Then winter hit and my training skids got equally hit…

In the winter around here, I tend to be a bit sedentary.  Not too many trips to the park to hike (slide) around the valley floor, so I’m not in the shape I usually would be in for something like this (although, as they say, round is a shape), so…

Over the past week (we’re still in the past, and the here and now), I have decided that I should start to train for this adventure…  It’s weed-whacking time in my neighborhood (that’s exercise, isn’t it?)… I also took the trash out this morning (well, OK – I loaded it into the back of Judy’s car so she could take it to the bottom of the driveway on her way to work.  But I carried the empties back up the driveway, and that’s 364 feet up hill, so I actually did the hard part)…

OK… Here we go… Here’s how I see this going down Saturday after next…

Sometime early in the morning, I will arrive at Lori’s camp site, or maybe at the trail head, at Camp 4 and hope I don’t look too much like I’m not a rock climber… At any rate, we’ll all meet up to start the mosey up the hill…

At this point, I will refer to the group as Group Zero – when we are all together…

** Note:  I consider a person to be part of a group if they are within the length of my driveway, or three hundred and sixty four feet, of that group.

Approximately twenty minutes up the trail, we will diverge into two separate and distinct groups:

·    Group Two, the lagging behind group, will consist of me
·    Group One, the lead group, will consist of everybody else

At about the time that Group One hits the middle falls, Group Two will be hitting Columbia Point, and pretending to stop to take a picture.  Then I’ll pretend to take about thirty more pictures from different angles.  When I run out of nature to shoot, I will open my backpack and take a picture of my lunch…

After shooting my lunch sitting on a rock, and my lunch sitting on a fallen tree branch, and my lunch sitting on the ground, I will take a picture of my lunch back in my back pack.

Then I will continue on…

Sometime later, Group One will reach the top of Upper Yosemite Falls.  They will take lots of pictures of Yosemite Valley, three thousand plus feet below.  They will eat their lunch.  At least one of them will read War And Peace while relaxing in Nature’s wonderland… Cover to cover… The more fearless of them will leap over the guard rail and onto the ledge below to get a closer view (I know they will do this because I once had to follow (chase) my youngest son, Steve, out onto the same ledge to make sure he didn’t do something stupider than jumping over the guard rail onto the ledge).

***  Note:  Steve is why I don’t mind being slow when we hike together… I figure that by the time I get to where he is, he will have either already done the stupid things I know he is doing or has killed himself attempting to do them… Either way, I don’t have to actually watch…  He is our “Envelope Pusher”… I, on the other hand, have to work hard to drag the envelope behind me…

Groups One and Two will eventually converge and become Group Zero once again.  This will actually happen twice on the hike… This first time will be at the “seven eighths of the way up the hill” point as I am on my way up, and they are on their way down.  We’ll stop, exchange pleasantries, and I will tell a story or two of the magnificent wonders I have encountered along the way.  Then, in an effort to stall for time and rest awhile longer, I will show them the unbelievable pictures I have taken along the trail…

“Look at this one of this rock!  Isn’t it spectacular?”

“Oh, and here it is again, but the lighting is a little bit different, and there is a nice tree in the background!”

This will go on for as long as I can stretch it out, until they can’t take any more… that’s when I’ll pull out the BIG GUNS –

“And here’s my lunch, sitting on the nice fallen tree trunk – check out the way the peanut butter is starting to slime over the edge of the bread crust…  Oooooo…”

At this point, we’ll, reluctantly, bid each other “See you at the bottom of the trail”, and I will be forced to continue the struggle upwards alone…

And three hundred and sixty four feet later, I will be back in Group Two…

By the time I actually get to the top, Group One will be back down as far as the Middle Falls, and may take a few minutes to frolic and put their hot, tired feet into the soothing, ice-cold water.

I, finally at the top, will NOT jump over the rail this time.  But I will take the opportunity to take some more pictures – the view really is spectacular – and maybe even get one of myself with nothing but air behind me..

Then I’ll pick a spot by the water (above the falls) and eat my oranges, trail mix, and my lousy peanut butter sandwich…

Then, rested and refreshed, I’ll begin the long walk down…

This is actually the hardest part of the journey…

About half way down, I will don my favorite Knee braces (assuming I can get them back from Shawn before the trip – I know – maybe he will mail them to me!  That would be nice!), adjust my shorts and prepare for the loose and crumbling (that’s why they call it “decomposing”) granite along the trail.  This is one of the many places my official Yosemite Park hiking stick has literally saved my life in past years – I’m not kidding.  Shawn and Megan got Judy and I the telescoping “ski pole” type of sticks a few years ago – One of mine doesn’t stay telescoped any longer, so I won’t bring them with me.  If I rely on them, I’ll be dead before somebody has the opportunity to carry me down the hill.

About three quarters down the trail, I will trip over my own two feet and start cannon balling down the path.. I will gain speed and, at last, the second of the re-convergences will occur as I bowl my way through Group One… this will change the entire dynamic of the hike – Here’s how…

As I roll down the hill toward the other Group, I will eventually come within three hundred and sixty four feet. At that point, there will no longer be two separate groups, but only one – Group Zero.

They will hear me singing “Climb Every Mountain” at the top of my lungs (I have to get something musical in here somewhere) and, perhaps a bit startled, or perhaps unwilling to take another look at the pictures of my lunch, will get out of the way and let me pass.

At some point, I will, once again, break the three hundred and sixty four foot barrier and we will become two groups again… BUT…

Did you notice?  What happened here?  Think about it… It was actually quite subtle – almost insidious – a metaphysical phenomenon…

And it puts me in my rightful position…  I will have become…

Group One…

Yes, ME – Group One…  Buahahahahahahahahaha – I’ll teach them young whippersnappers a thing or two about hiking the trails in Yosemite….

Buahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

So Lori, what’s for dinner?

__________________________________________________

Footnote re: the Third Fermat Prime Number…

Back in Chapter 19, https://billkammerer.wordpress.com/2008/09/ I discussed the importance of the number 17.  And I explained, in careful detail, the Fermat number:
In mathematics, a Fermat number is a positive integer in the form:   f_{n}=2Ù {2Ùn} + 1
where n is a non negative integer.

Some of you thought I was pulling your leg… Not so, and now I have absolute proof…  Because I own my web site, I have access to statistics… Somebody actually was directed to my site by looking for an actual Fermat Prime Number!  Here’s a screen shot from my statistics page:

Proof that Fermat Numbers exist... So there...

So there you have it… I truly am some sort of genius… Or, at least, I can use Wikipedia…

Addendum #2 – Actual footage actually shot by me at the top of the falls during the above described adventure…



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2 Responses to “546 – Bill’s Bio – Chapter 546”

  1. Delilah Says:

    I read this piece of writing fully concerning the difference of newest and
    earlier technologies, it’s amazing article.

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