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    Diving in Van Damme State Park

    The mission statement of Divided Core is "Defending Freedom and Nature Through Art."   I admit that this site not living up to that purpose, but it remains a goal that I intend to see through by gradually building this platform into an organization.  This will take time and money, so we're just gonna have to wait.  Driving up and down the California Coast to go kayaking and diving most likely does more harm to nature than good, so the question becomes one of the impact that individuals have on the environment(s) they explore and are a part of; how to minimize one's ecological footprint and regulate the degree of one's exploitation and pollution of nature, as well as how to give back and leave it a place better than you found it.  For instance, I found an abalone on this dive trip, but I left it there because it did not feel right to prospectively strip it of its home and life (granted, this would be different had I needed it for food or to sell for money, and, as an indirectly related point: the act of buying a fish from the supermarket can be more unhelpful to nature that going fishing oneself.)

    “One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

    -Edward Abbey



    Fire in the Sky

    You see a lot of nice sunsets out here along the Northern California coast.  This one last week was particularly awesome:

    The day’s end is upon us
    The lonely night awaits
    The drums of death are beating
    To the rhythm of your fate

                -Walter Lloyd Waterson


    Kayaking at Stump Beach

    In this footage, I am the person wearing the camera and doing most of the talking and barking orders at Yuan.  It appears that the coping mechanism I've developed to endure the stress of being in difficult kayaking situations is to shout unreasonable and irrational things at my friends.  In this case, I was the one directing us through the chute, and when the water became naturally turbulent, I expected Yuan to help correct the dangerous situation I put us in and which we could do little about.  That being said, we got through unscathed, and I'd just as soon do it again.

    I thank my lucky stars that I am a free man and am able to do things like this.  The world is a beautiful and wondrous place. For those of you who are fortunate enough to cherish your sacred existence on this planet, never forgot about those people and creatures that are suffering as a result of our own devices. 

    You get one shot at life, so don't waste your time.  Your death will be immeasurably more bearable if you do not die in regret; if you know you tried your absolute hardest to fulfill your dreams and to be a good person.

    We also came across a Pacific Sea Nettle jellyfish on this trip; click here for footage.  Also, for an equally entertaining kayaking adventure clip, featuring more of Aaron yelling at his friends, see Yuan, Vince, and Aaron tackle the arch at Goat Rock


    Mount Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Mount Shasta is a dormant volcano (last eruption: 1786) that rises 14,000 feet from out of the southern Cascade Mountain Range.  Its majestic peak is a welcome landmark if you've been driving north through the grueling Sacramento Valley on the Interstate 5 for three hours.  Surreal, mushroom-like cloud formations often engulf the Shasta peak.  If keeping with the past 4,500 year eruption pattern, Mt. Shasta will erupt again in roughly 400 years, by which time the city of Mount Shasta will have re-located to Shambala and Lemuria.  Here are some pictures of the mountain along with some shots of the rural town of Montague, CA, a forty minute drive north.

    Footage of Mt. Shasta as seen from HWY 5 and filmed by Vince, my indispensable barbarian cameraman co-pilot:


    Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to Lassen Peak, one of two volcanoes in the contiguous U.S to have erupted in the 20th century (the other being Mount St. Helens).  Located eighty miles south-east of Mt. Shasta, Lassen Peak is also part of the Cascade Range.  It's well worth a visit, even if it's just a day trip and you're on crutches (if you are, prepare for an rentless barrage of congratulations and support from total strangers; it's as though you've won a marathon).  Here are some pictures and footage of a small part of the park as well as Bumpass Hell, a smoldering sulphuric hydrothermal basin featuring mudpots, fumaroles, and tourists.



    Letter from the Rim

    Thank you to Vince Goble for providing us with this vivid dispatch from his Uncle Rod regarding the Rim Fire (which is now 32% contained) engulfing areas near Yosemite National Park.

    The ladies have flown back to Wisconsin today . This rim fire shit is affecting people we know... Hanna has a friend who's dad has a cattle ranch up by Groveland ... He's telling her they have lost about 100 head of cattle, most of them by way of fire, some just run through fences in a stampede fashion !! pretty sad...We also are hearing reports of old growth forest burning like matches in parts of west Hetch Hetchy .
           East Sonora is on evacuation alert as of 4:oo pm. Some of our friends are starting to pack their valuables now!! Jerry's dad is on alert as well so he might be staying at our house...thank God they don't have any pets.
          Berit was sent some live footage from a client's husband who flies for Cal fire as a survey pilot and he's never seen a fire this bad in his 32 years of service. The footage is scary to watch Don ,the flames are shooting up the mountains with such force there's no way man can even get near them!! Reports of people's horses not being able to out run some of the flames are burning to death while trying escape .It's fucking insane!!!!  Our good friend Robert who also flies for the district has been texting Danika & Jerry saying the media is only being told about half the truth about the severity of this fire , cause they don't they want to create a panic to the public.
           I look out over Sonora High school and see this giant nuclear smoke cloud hovering over the sierras unlike anything I've ever witnessed .The fire burns so hot and fast the moisture from the vegetation is blown into the air forming its own type of thunder storms causing lighting and acidic rain making it even more dangerous for the fire fighters on the ground to do their job , so they have to evacuate their positions allowing the fire to rage on ...while the storm induced lighting starts more fires in its path! It is the perfect fire storm .
         We should be safe in our area so don't worry about us .  I'll keep you posted cause things change fast....rod

    8/22/13 satellite image of the Rim Fire from NASA Earth Observatory:

    And some aerial footage:


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