California Trip - Spring 2018 - Gabriel Blackhelm
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The Hour of Decision

The thought has been on my mind for some time as to whether or not I should go to California. I have begun to see the Great Salt Lake with a new set of eyes. Looking over Promontory Point at the glow of the sunset on distant snowy mountain peaks as I walk along the terrace while the waves of the Great Salt Lakes roar is like being told a story in front of a large fireplace. To see things for a moment as they were is to witness something that is not meant to be captured. The landscape, in its purest form, speaks of another time. I feel like it is important to stay here while home is threatened by the corruption one would be tempted to liken to the smog in January, but this is a mist so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face, it is a portent of the end. I grew up hearing prophecies from a time when they were still made, but even as a child I doubted their authenticity and my friends and I agreed they sounded impossible. Now I see them coming true, and whether they are true or not makes no difference. We are on the edge of an abyss. It behooves everyone to be alert and realize that the democratic republic of the United States is being dismantled, but there is some deeper metaphysical problem at work. The state is becoming a corporation while people have lost touch with reality and that didn't happen overnight. My hometown, named after a prophet, that was established for the establishment of Zion is worse than any city I have found in the Old Testament and those meet some definitive ends. I heard somewhere that one of the lessons taught in myths is that innocence brings destruction. I can believe that, because I've seen what happens when people are naive. Some people seem to think if we can ride out the current administration that things will go back to normal. But it was before the presidential inauguration that Promontory Point was the sight of the worst corruption I am aware of in American history. Promontory Point marked the beginning of possibilities in America, and now the question is whether or not we have exhausted them, because it then that we see the kinds of figures arising that we see now, a conman who acts as an authoritarian and a distraction while the wrecking crew goes to work. Politicians are ready to sell everything off for money, not for progress or innovation, though they usually cloak it in those terms. Though there are many examples the landfill is the worst by far. That would indeed mark the end of a nation that is already on the brink. The institutions that have supported the country are rotting away and America is no longer the power it was, corrupt on the national, state, and local levels. We were warned by Brigham Young that people would try to pollute the state of Utah and what would happen if we let them. The secret deals which we saw between the president of the United States and the president of Russia are rampant locally as well and will bring certain destruction. The landfill proceedings in 2016 foreshadowed what was to come and I was well aware, being up close, of what was happening. The dismantling of American democracy preceded the current administration and I saw it around the proceedings of a name that is revered in American history. Shakespeare was quoted at the opening of a speech for the centennial celebration for the Golden Spike, "What is past is prologue..." I don't read that much Shakespeare, but what is at stake in the actual scene, is whether or not to commit murder. The stage is set for us to determine our destiny. We have been warned repeatedly about what will happen if the people of this land succumb to corrupt forces. There will be bloodshed. This lonely peninsula stretching out into the mists of time is a battleground. I said somewhere that war is coming, but I said that knowing that it has already started. There are good people, and these times will bring out the best.

I hike out beneath the giant cave toward the pass with the early dawn light gleaming over the Great Salt Lake. At any moment I feel as though I could drop my pack and forget about going to California. The vultures follow me as slowly drifting in the air above as if they are aware I'm leaving. I find myself thinking about someone I knew who died in Yosemite years ago when he crashed into a cliff flying a wingsuit, but he held a world record and was following someone on that flight when he should have been in the lead. A vulture glides toward me in slow, still silence and I watch as it drifts by me at chest height. The golden eagles too follow me out and I keep walking.

Promontory PeninsulaPromontory PointUT