Tuesday, May 22, 2007


R.O.Y. G. B.I.V. has never been so captivatingly beautiful. I wish I had been there to see this rare occurance...an evening rainbow (or spraybow) near Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA. Ah, it does, though, bring back memories of romance and risk. Read on, oh intrepid post reader, and you shall see through my eyes and words what didst transpire almost 50 years ago at this very spot.

The last time I remember seeing a rainbow and being utterly enthralled was when we had one right out of our front window looking northeast. I took a picture of it and it appeared to be resting on the street sign right outside my house. It was as though my house was the "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow. I posted a blog about it here probably a year or two ago (220+ posts later). It was thrilling. Rainbows just have that effect on me. Reference.Com today said, "A rainbow is a series of concentric colored arcs that may be seen when sunlight, or light from some other distant source, falls upon a collection of water drops as in rain, spray, or fog. The colors are a result of the refraction and internal reflection of light rays entering the water drops, each color being produced by rays bent at a slightly different angle. The colors separate as they emerge from the water droplets. The spectrum of a rainbow, from the outer edge inward, consists of the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet." My question would be: does this order change if the light that is refracted and reflected is from the moon which is already reflecting the sun? It would appear not to in the picture above.

When I was in high school my parents liked to send me off for the summer to work at a summer church camp. I can see why now. It gave them a break from me and visa versa. I earned alittle extra money and got alot of work experience for future jobs and the "work world". It wasn't the kind of work you'd write home about, i.e. first summer, cleaning toilets, washing dishes in the dining hall kitchen to all hours of the night; second summer, same place but a "promotion" I was assistant cook and pots and pans washer (not much of a promotion). We, my church buddies and I, made fun out of it. We drove the caretaker/manager's model A truck all over the camp ground, learning how to backshift and turn the ignition off and on to cause extremely loud backfires especially when we were passing hot chicks, girl campers. There was a mountain road around the perimeter of the the camp that was remote in spots and mostly residential (cabins etc.) There was a romantic lookout spot we'd drive to with a bunch of kids in the back. Every two weeks or so we'd get a "new crop" of church campers (girls) to try and impress/take out after evening vesper services. We'd then come back and brag about our exploits ie. "first base, second base, homeruns" etc. We got a reputation I'm afraid. I kind of remember that was the first time the term "moonlight evangelists" was coined or used about us. We'd also have other fun tricks like locking h.s. girl employees in the walk-in refrigerator for...minutes...extracting promises etc.

It was from these "mild" beginnings that my next summer "work assignment" through our church connections was to a two-part job in Yosemite Park's Tuolumne Meadows. One of our former members had a job at Camp Curry on the floor of the Valley. She had the responsibility of posting young h.s./college aged students at the various satellite camps such as Tuolumne Meadows as "student/assistant ministers". Our job, on Sundays was to help the rotating, vacationing, real pastors to run a morning worship service out under the pines. We'd pass out the hymnals and take up collections etc. This was not enough work time of course so we were assigned to the Standard Oil Gas stations on the weekdays. This went fine with me. I was learning how to service cars, pump gas etc. and "think" about whether or not I wanted to continue on after college into seminary. I didn't have to preach but I sure heard alot of different sermons from many different denominations. I also met and got to know three other college students who could sing parts and so we formed the "Strolling Madrigals" on those Sunday afternoons and we'd serrenade the campgrouds with olde English Madrigals (early barbershop harmony, but SATB) What fun! I'd also have Mondays off. That was my day for hiking to the famous surrounding peak(Vogalsang, Glen Aulen) by myself or preferrably with girls that I had met the previous Sunday at the campground church meeting. Now, you can probably see where this is going...some of those hikes did last into "moonlight time" and, being the "evangelist" that I was so familiar with...need I say more?

One weekend I had off, I hitched a ride down into Yosemite Valley with a oil trucker. He only talked of WWII and how horrible it was. When I got down there I looked up my folk's church friend's trailer and touched base with her. She recommended that I stay at least until it got dark and witness the awesome spectacle of the "Firefalls". I had never seen it and wondered what it really was. She gave me the name of a student she had "employed"/reccomended working at the Baskin Robbins there as being a "good guide" to that event. I went into the ice cream store that afternoon and asked for her. She wasn't there, but an awfully cute co-worker was answering my questions with "interest". I expressed disappointment at not being able to find where to sit to watch the "Firefalls" that night and she...volunteered to show me. I don't even remember her name. She brought a blanket out to an open field with a perfect view of Yosemite Falls maybe a quarter mile away. We had some snacks and conversation etc. and then, when it got dark enough, "Let the fire fall!" was yelled out from below. Pretty soon someone was pushing live, burning coals over the edge at the top, right next to the waterfall. It was "breath-taking". We responded in kind...as I remember. As they say, "Time stood still".

There was an after glow but no "moonglow" or "moonbow" as I remember. At the time, I had other thoughts on my mind...I was trying to save this "poor girl's...soul"?...I thought.

It is wonderful now to "reflect" on a "reflection" brought about by a "moonbow". It certainly confirms the truth and power of NOW, books that I'm reading by Eckhard Tolle. Our egos (my ego) through my memory drives me and what little I have left, are mostly, "moonbows". Bob!


At 6:11 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

I forgot to give credit to the source of "Moonbow". Eric Bailey wrote an excellent article in the L.A. Times today, 5/22. Ben Franklin, Mark Twain and John Muir commented about the phenonmena. Now a team of astronomers from Texas State U in San Marcos have provided a computer program/math/calculus, spherical trig and computing to predict where/when these moonbows will occur. Photographers are lining up to capture their rarity. They also occur in Africa's Victoria Falls, Cumberland Falls in Ky. and at Niagara until they lit them 24/7. You can also make one in your backyard by putting the hose on mist/spray with your back to a full moon. Bob!

At 8:01 AM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Eric Bailey responded to my email about this blog. He enjoyed it too. This is one of the reasons why I continue to subscribe to the L.A.Times...excellent reporters and judges of "fine writing". Bob!


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