Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Revisionist History

In my never-ending attempt to get my story straight, I'm posting this notice that I have screwed up, again.

One of my least favorite things in the whole world is to find that I have remembered something incorrectly. It's almost like lying to yourself. While rushing to get this story written while still performing my due dilligence to researching the facts and figures about the wonderful phenomenon that is Yosemite, I of course relyed on the script in my head that I've been reciting from memory to nearly anyone who would listen for the past 23 years. If you've known me for any length of time in real life, you will have heard about this story — that's how important it has always been to me.

However one important detail had apparently become blurred in my mind over the years — just how long was this trip? In my mind, I had based that answer off of my memory of Ron telling me that the entire expedition would be about 25 miles, and that we would average five miles hiking per day. So remembering that, it means the trip was five days, right?

Wrong. Try seven, elephant-brain.

I have been telling people we were in Yosemite for five days for YEARS. But I never really sat down and thought about it. Yes, we did spend five days in the backcountry, but in actuality, we were in the park for a full week overall — less a half day coming and going. We were there for at least parts of seven days.

Why am I making a big deal out of this? Well for one thing, because it's history — my history — and I don't like bein' no frikkin' revisionist. It may not make a hill of beans to you, but it does to me.

My sticking to that formula of "in and out in five days" caused a lot of skewing of how things played out in my mind. I had a helluva time synching up the travel schedule with the pictures I had taken, and the time of day certain things happened. I would look at a photo and think, "Wait a minute...that couldn't have happened then, could it?" I mean, it's hard to give an account of something when your memories tell you something happened at one time and the pictures tell you they actually happened 12-24 hours later.

So finally I went to Michelle with my quandry, and she set me straight. Reluctanly I accepted that I had allowed that one concept of a five day trip to completely screw up my recollection of the events.

So to make things right, I have re-written the last part of Part I of this story ("Checking in"), as well as inserting a new map with an accurate detailing of our travel route. The new map isn't as cool-looking as the first one (of which I may re-insert a "clean" version later), but it is 100% more accurate for comparing distances, trails and landmarks.

The next installment is nearly completed, and will be up by mid-afternoon.

Thanks for bearing with my anality, but this stuff is important to me. I hope you continue to enjoy the series.
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