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‘Valley Uprising’

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‘Valley Uprising’

Postby Ross939 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:20 pm

The new documentary, "Valley Uprising" examines Yosemite Park's counterculture of the ’60s and ’70s. More specifically, it delves into what is referred to as "the rock climbing revolution" of "beat-nicks and madmen" who gave up on the idea of house, picket fence and manicured lawn for a life on the edge.

Anyone here who counts themselves as one of these "beat-necks and man men"? How was this group regarded by your traditional hikers of the generation? Were they respected as trail blazers or were they scrutinized as trouble makers, bent on breaking the law?

Planning on renting the entire documentary, soon, looking forward to watching it.

http://youtu.be/o86TpaSBcWw




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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby sparky » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:41 pm

I have been looking forward to this release.

Yes they were trailblazers, and they were troublemakers! The stories that came from that time period are pretty wild. But what do you expect when a bunch of young men are in a sort of anarchistic atmosphere...kind of lord of the flies like, only more sensible.

Trees grow from Yosemites walls, and so do bolts. The climbers of that generation were much closer to the park than any of the NPS employees or tourist hikers.....livin' in the dirt and taking psychedelics will do that to you. I like to think of that lifestyle as remembering where we all came from, while the comforts of modern society is meant to forget. And then they climbed.....

I am not a climber or of that generation, but becoming a member at supertopo has let me be the fly on the wall to hear what went down in yosemite in that time. All I have to say is WOW :eek:
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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:36 am

Sounds interesting. I remember hearing years ago about the Battle of Stoneman Meadow.
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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby markskor » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:56 pm

TehipiteTom wrote:Sounds interesting. I remember hearing years ago about the Battle of Stoneman Meadow.

July 3, 1969 and I was there - along with all the dirty hippies, blatantly smoking the herb out in the meadow just north of Curry. About 2:30, 25 - 30 mounted police in riot gear came through swinging batons...a bloody mess.

Where did the time go? 45 years ago, up in smoke.
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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby Troutdog 59 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:20 pm

I had not heard about this documentary, but will definitely search it out and watch it. While not there in 69 as I was 11, it is the folks of that era that got me into packing and that line of thinking still pushes me forward. Sparky, we have never had the pleasure of meeting, but I think you and I would get along just fine :nod:
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‘Valley Uprising’

Postby Ross939 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:45 am

Troutdog 59 wrote:I had not heard about this documentary, but will definitely search it out and watch it. While not there in 69 as I was 11, it is the folks of that era that got me into packing and that line of thinking still pushes me forward. Sparky, we have never had the pleasure of meeting, but I think you and I would get along just fine :nod:

I haven't searched for it yet. I would think it would be a similar release as, "Mile, Mile and a Half," the JMT documentary, where you can rent in for a one time viewing or unlock it for unlimited viewing on You Tube. If you find it out there, let us know, I too am looking forward to checking it out.
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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:12 pm

Discovery channel, April 25 at 8PM:

http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/discov ... ril-38480/

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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby Jimr » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:13 pm

Speaking of the era, whatever happend to George Durkee? He got stationed at Santa Cruz and never came back?
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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby ERIC » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:31 am

Jimr wrote:Speaking of the era, whatever happend to George Durkee? He got stationed at Santa Cruz and never came back?


He's around. I was in contact with him about a month ago. He's had some rotten luck with health issues over the past year.
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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby Jimr » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:58 am

I seem to recall he mentioned that when he told us he was to do the Santa Cruz stint.
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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby ERIC » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:46 pm

It was a struggle over WC to pay for a hip replacement but that was just the tip of the iceberg of what followed over the past 6 months or so. :( Also, think you're confusing Channel Islands/Santa Rosa Island with Santa Cruz.
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Re: ‘Valley Uprising’

Postby gdurkee » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:03 pm

Well, Russ sent me a note on this thread and here I am -- Yay. The rotten luck health worm may be turning. Among some assorted hassles, I've been in atrial fibrillation for over a month but, going in today to get zapped in attempt to convert it, I'd gone back to normal rhythm. Hip is replaced (also Yay) and I'm walking like a primate again.

But, anyway, certainly a thread that brings back memories. A quick correction: the riot was in 1970, not 1969, but time flies when you're having fun. It was a classic clash of cultures. I wasn't there (fire crew in Modoc National Forest that year) but was hired the next year 'cause they wanted young people to 'relate to youth.' I was your average Berkeley hippie. Most all the rangers then were, as you'd expect, conservative and with little tolerance for the hippies coming up in large numbers. Remember that this was the leading edge of the Baby Boom just reaching their late teens, with driver's licenses and fueled by getting away from their parents. They were lighting out for the territory in good Huck Finn fashion. The clash came about because many of them (too many) just wanted to hang out, smoke dope, camp in the meadows and, generally, create a mess. Too many were not yet clued in on a wilderness -- or park -- ethic.

The rangers were not only a bit rigid, but totally untrained in crowd control or trying to calm the situation. And it was not just the July 4th spontaneous gathering, it had been building for weeks -- even the previous year. The Berkeley Barb had been encouraging people to go to Yosemite and party. Rangers would meet vehicles at the entrance and use whatever excuse (vehicle safety - no tail light etc) to turn them around. A bit of tension developed. Also, a number of the seasonal rangers were teachers and took a pretty paternalistic approach to people who had no use whatsoever to being talked down to.

Quick story?? Oh, OK. in '71, I was often partnered with just such a guy. A gym teacher I believe. Nice guy and long time seasonal but had absolutely no sense of how his attitude could take the mellowest doped up hippie to raging psychopath in only a few minutes. I lived in fear when answering a call with him and would try my entertaining tap dance routine so we wouldn't have to start wrestling with someone. Good training for a future in LE, but nerve wracking at the time.

In the days before the actual riot, there were a couple of rangers who did go out in the meadow and talk to people, trying to convince them that their motorcycles, camping, beer bottles etc. were affecting the ecology of the meadow and the peace of the park. It was a good try but too much energy in the opposite direction. So, as Lincoln said, "and the war came." Again, rangers -- like police of that era -- had no training or experience with crowd control. Things went badly for the first attempt to herd everyone. I don't think there was a general plan other than disperse people. Where would they go?? So rangers, fire crew etc. were driven from the meadow. Score one for hippies.

That night and next day, reinforcement came from surrounding LE agencies and CHP. Lots of arrests and bad vibes. On the bright side, it was a turning point for both how parks viewed all visitors and, very soon, for how rangers were trained in law enforcement and who would have LE responsibility and authority (another longer story, but kinda fascinating).

And, as mentioned, I was hired to ride herd on hippies. A bunch of younger rangers were brought in and all sorts of programs were developed to entertain and educate them to a park ethic. Also at the end of '70 and all of '71 summer season, Washington sent the US Park Police, a relatively humoerless group of officers. But the good news is they were afraid of bears and wouldn't get out of their patrol cars after dark...

But the programs and new rangers were reasonably successful -- combined with a equally aggressive program to arrest drunks and get folks under control. The film clip is actually part of a longer movie filmed by Dave Vassar. I know the park has a copy -- it's actually pretty good.

Long range, the new generation of rangers (if I may so call ourselves) effected a slow but, ultimately, successful effort to change hearts and minds of how people viewed their parks and wilderness. I think it's fair to say that spinoffs were minimum impact for backcountry; naturalist programs more in tune to their audience; acceptance of other cultures and age groups & etc. Eventually (within 5 years) LE rangers started attending more formal and more intense LE academies.

And then ol' ranger George fell silent, staring into the embers of the campfire and slowly rocking back and forth, humming to himself, a small line of drool running down his chin.
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