In Eric Bowlby’s world, there is no discerning between legal and illegal immigrants: All newcomers are candidates for his brand of vigilante justice. Among his favorite smear-campaign strategies is to blame non-natives for the proliferation of wildfires in California, and he’s gone so far as to target one of the state’s most renowned settlers.
I knew that human encounters with mountain lions in California were few and far between, and they almost always passed without incident. The exceptions generally occurred when someone panicked … which, I surmised by the fingernails digging into my arm, appeared to be a distinct possiblity with my traditionally level-headed sister.
The West Point Inn, two miles slighly downhill from that dearly departed den of iniquity, is Mount Tam’s lone remaining bridge to her roaring past. It is not at all difficult for me to imagine, as I relax on the porch after a summit hike, that John Muir or Jack London might have scribbled notes at this table or that during the inn’s first decade, and I feel all the more connected to my own call of the wild. This is my mountain porch.