Naming the Wilderness

Certain names come up over and over again in the wilderness. In my experience, there are numerous Inspiration Points and Inpiration Point Trails besides the one in Yosemite Valley. (Nicky is shown in this story on the Inspiration Point trail near Tilden Park’s Inspiration Point.)

Other names that I’ve seen repeated in parks and wilderness are Mirror Lake, Bear Valley, and (oddly) Horse Heaven.

Of course, some names are absolutely unique like Hell For Sure Pass in the High Sierras near Goddard Canyon and Evolution Valley on the Mount Henry topo.

Whether a wilderness name is common or unusual, the entire process of giving a topographic feature an English identifier is as artificial as the image above from the Inspiration Point trail. In other words, the mountains were there before us, will likely be there after us, and are not altered by our conceits, just as adding curvature to the boundaries of Yosemite Valley does not actually change the spaces of the valley.

This entry was posted in Landscape, Photography, Yosemite.

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  1. By Miracle of Light | Photoblog 2.0 on December 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    […] (for the Bay area) December afternoon with intermittent squalls of rain. Around 3:30PM I drove to Inspiration Point in Tilden Park. I dressed in several layers of wool and a down jacket. With about thirty pounds of […]

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