Here the river issues out between grey, granite canyon walls in a cascade of white water which falls over twenty feet, boiling over the boulders of granite shed from the canyon over millennia and is just 11 miles west, outside of Markleeville. It’s hell to get down here but even at 68 years he is fit enough to climb in and out. There is, in fact, a method to his madness. You see, he intends to die here if God and fate will allow. It is the spot where he feels most at peace. A peace that many only dream of. A peace that is between he and his maker, his maker and the maker’s creation. He feels the hand of God while standing knee deep in the Stanislaus; naked as a jay bird. In this place he is humbled by the creation and intrinsic beauty that surrounds him like a cocoon.
Buck is a skeptic of timeline’s when it comes to science. Their timeline of human existence, it seems to him, disregeards other, older versions of human history. If, he once posited, mankind is millions of years old how come his greatest leap in technology came just a century and one half ago? Why not the bronze age? And, if man was advanced in those days, why did his technology falter and disappear so quickly; in the historical sense. The Antikythera mechanism was reputed to be 2000 years old. So, he reasoned, the concept and building of machines had to have started much earlier. After all, the gear was the first practical application of physics and math so why did it stop there?
His mind tended toward the religious and he had spent many years of his life attempting to collate the differences between science and religious belief. In other words, where was the confluence and where were the branches. Archaeology, it seemed to Buck, gave too much credit to carbon dating which, he had become aware, was often taken for granted while dismissing or ignoring historical fact.