|The Dardanelles Crest in 2006|
|The Dardanelles Crest, August 1, 2019|
|The Dardanelles in 2008|
|The Dardanelles on August 1, 2019|
|Columns of the Giants, 2016|
|Columns of the Giants, August 1, 2019|
|The Dardanelle Resort|
|Highway 108 near the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River at the Old Dardanelle Bridge (which burned in the fire)|
|The old abutments for the 1933 Dardanelle Bridge are left of the highway in the center of the photo|
But there is also an emotional toll. We can't maintain the world as a museum where our favorite places remain, unaltered and unchanged by time. Change comes no matter what efforts we expend to preserve the past. Sometimes we can plan for the changes, such as developing master plans for parks and monuments, but wildfires are the bull in the china shop, causing destruction and change without pity or mercy. I grew up in Southern California and watched some of my favorite haunts in the San Gabriel Mountains disappear in wildfires. I moved to central California 30 years ago, and in that time have witnessed apocalyptic events like the Rim and Ferguson fires destroy large portions of the forests along and in the margins of Yosemite National Park.
As those of us who study geology know from our studies, there is nothing permanent about the world except for change. And sometimes the changes are tragic.