Are You, Are You, Coming To The Tree

How does one spend the 4th of July in unfamiliar places?  As someone who has frequently tended to visit places on our nation’s birthday, I thought it would be worthwhile to share my experiences today in Scotts Valley.  Since today was a bit of a random day, I am going to have varied length for my observations since some things took a lot of time and some did not take so much.  Here goes.


For lunch today we ate at a local cafe that somehow managed to screw up our orders, and I had to send the sandwich back that I had ordered because they didn’t get the fact that I didn’t want tomato or mayo on it.  They were also rather slow about refilling drinks and had a young lady there who did not know what she was doing at all.  Suffice it to say, it wasn’t the best of our dining experiences so far.


After that we had some time before the parade began, so we went off to a state park in nearby Fenton.  I have to say that the park had some pretty tough trails for someone who is hobbling around, but it was a lovely trail–there were pretty trees, and one could hear trains as well as a local creek.  We would have explored more, but we had places to be.


As it turns out, The 4th of July parade was filed with a lot of vehicles and a lot of people throwing out candy.  There were some political vehicles, like a truck which urged people to make Scotts Valley great again, and some people who marched for bad political causes like Medicare For All (and who do they expect to pay for that?) as well as the bogus claim that healthcare is a right.  Most of the vehicles were better, like a 4×4 club, several years worth of young baseball players, and a float that featured girls who were taking singing lessons.  Given my limited mobility and limited interest in eating a lot of candy, I didn’t get too much of it, although I still ended up with some.  As one might expect the sun was blazing pretty hot and my arms ended up getting cooked to medium rare or so, so there should be some more freckles there in a few days.  All in all the parade was what one would expect from a small town, a bit random but generally amusing.


After that we headed over to a local park in order to claim a parking spot and a place to put our seats, and wisely this time we chose to sit under a tree.  Now, this had some consequences I did not think about.  As the fireworks didn’t start until 9:30PM and we were there several hours earlier, it should not be a surprise that I managed to read two entire books during the time that we were waiting, and I would have read more except that darkness hit about 9PM and so I missed out on about 30 minutes more of reading.  The food purchasing was an indirect system, where one had to buy tickets and then buy the food one wanted with the tickets.  Our party tried out a sandwich, a couple of chicken caesar salads, apple pie, and kettle corn, and while the food was tasty it was certainly at least a little overpriced.  Anyway, back to the trees.  It turns out that the tree whose shade was protecting me from going from medium rare to medium in terms of my skin being cooked was also a popular tree for children to climb.  Several groups of small children found the tree to be irresistible to climb, the last group of which were sternly corrected by their parents for doing so.

As far as the fireworks go, they were excellent, even if they did not last very long.  The fireworks show blended a variety of different colors and sounds, and there would be times where some fireworks were going off low while different ones were being fired higher up in the sky, making it difficult to take it in at the same time.  The end of the show felt like civil war soldiers firing at each other and there was the smell of gunpowder in the air and the sight of multi-colored rockets exploding in rapid succession.  What does such a thing mean?  What significance can be drawn by the fact that I and so many people are willing to wait for hours to watch rockets go off?  Does something that sounds like civil war soldiers have any significance for our deeply divided times?  It is hard to say how much thinking about these things anyone does other than me.


After the show was done it was late and we wanted to get home, but the traffic was terrible.  In fact, the traffic was so bad because the police were trying to direct it and not doing a very good job.  It would have been faster had we gone to Fenton and taken CA-9 down to CA-1 and then back up to CA-17 to Scott’s Valley.  In fact, if I had realized we could have gotten away that way I would have suggested it.  Watching the not particularly competent Scotts Valley police officers attempt and fail to do a better job at regulating the traffic flow than the ordinary lights would have done, I was struck once again by the wide gulf between the way that the public sector and its champions often think that something needs to be done that tampers with ordinary systems, but in reality the best thing that people can do much of the time is to get out of the way and let the systems of life work normally.  It is quite to the point that as soon as the cops stopped trying to interfere with the traffic flow by manually trying to direct it that traffic lessened as flow increased and people were able to get around.  Imagine that.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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3 Responses to Are You, Are You, Coming To The Tree

  1. Catharine Martin says:

    The floats that promoted governmental intervention and the police that interfered with the natural order of traffic… one would want to make the connection and ponder where the country would be heading if its course is not corrected. The people who attended the ceremonies there had a very small taste of how inefficient governmental control would be on their lives, not to mention how costly in so many ways.

    • Yes, I’m not sure how consciously other people thought about that, but the matter was certainly on my mind as I watched the parade and thought about the day’s events.

  2. Pingback: Book Review: The Art Of Wandering | Edge Induced Cohesion

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