Friday, August 22, 2008

August 22 - Gradations

Up the Oakville Grade in Napa for a walk before heading to Marin, etc.,

after a small Goat Hall / San Francisco Cabaret Opera board meeting with Harriet and Meghan.

The Grade starts as a left turn from California 29, with views north of Mt. Saint Helena,

and evidently shelters a government nuclear emergency somewhere in the back country, to wit:

"Oakville Grade, Napa CA

Continuity of Government operations plans provide the capability to maintain essential government services and emergency functions in the most serious of events affecting national security.

A secret underground installation near Oakville Grade is used by the United States Government for Continuity of Government in case of nuclear attack or other disasters, direct satellite communication, , and secure communication links in the event of a disaster.

This heavily protected concrete facility replaced other installations, including those at Benicia, and an underground facility in an old railroad tunnel at Ukiah. This remote area of Napa was considered to be safe from the nuclear fallout from the San Francisco Bay Area. The Oakville Grade structure is near the top of a mountain. Aerial shots taken over the 87 acre Bureau land near Oakville Grade have been reported to show large cement bunkers with large concrete doors, a new road, freshly graded, and some underground facility.

The facility is the result of recommendations by the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Commission's Commercial Satellite Survivability Task Force, which resulted in 1988 and 1989 initiatives to ensure secure national and international communications and continuity of government in case of war or disaster.

It is less than entirely apparent how accurate this account is, but it is included for the sake of completeness, since it might be true."


O.K., so off we go, by a horse,

from a parking space midway (yes, parked on the wrong side of the road near a washout),

between the intersection of Mt. Veeder Road,

with a scrimmed vista of distant Bald Mountain west in Sonoma County

to the crossing of Dry Creek (this stretch of road is actually signed as the latter) and back to the car (still misparked).

From here, on to Marin over the roller coaster of Trinity Road, through Sonoma Valley (of the Moon) by Glen Ellen near Jack London State Park, over the mountains on 116, down Lakeville Road to 37 and 101 to The Magic Flute in the Terra Linda section of San Rafael, to pick up a full score of G.F. Handel's Israel in Egypt, for orchestrational advice while scoring Israel in Trouble, Op. 54 -- which, unlike Georg Frideric's recalls Jacob, rather than Moses....

Contouring around San Rafael Hill on the Robert Dollar Drive with sightlines to the fog-bisected East Bay,

the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge,

East San Rafael and the 101 viaduct over Corte Madera Ridge,

Mission San Rafael / Saint Raphael's

and Mount Tamalpais

to the San Anselmo post box, then late lunch and grading first fall 2008 theory quizzes at Celia's.

Home via Pleasant Hill and a relatively long stop at the lab, gradually recording instrumental versions of Iliad Songs: III. Achilles and

The Wind God: XIII. We Almost Mutinied,

followed by orchestration by degrees, in residence, of Israel: I. If It Is Thus, Rachel's musical scream-in-labor of the unborn rivalry of Esau and Jacob.

Also, while still at school, post Op. 95 Animal Opera: An Orwellian Comedy: II --

a. Will There Be Any Sugar
b. Drive Away Man
c. The Seven Commandments

-- at (pictured is the Alliance of Pigs and Men from the Goat Hall production several years back).