Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Thursday, February 3, 2011

End of the Trail

When we were growing up our parents would take us to Mooney Grove in Visalia. It was a big day for me as Visalia was a CITY to me. It had BIG streets and street lights and lots of cars and stores where people didn't know your name. The park was bigger than our neighborhood!

Dan, as was his spirit, would climb anything that "needed" climbing. And there, at the entrance to Mooney Grove, stood "End of the Trail"

The original plaster sculpture stood in Mooney Park after the San Francisco Expo until 1968. It was swapped out for a bronze one with the Cowboy Museum back east. They restored the plaster one and the bronze one remains in Visalia.

But every time we went, Dan climbed it. Mom and Dad would yell at him every time. And the next time he would climb it.

It was, I believe, this statue that caused both Dan and I to look at the Native American history and learn what had been deleted from our history books. We both felt that the Native American was not at an end and that there was much to learn from their history. But Dan especially felt it after he moved to Montana and lived with the Native Americans there. His feelings were complicated and I can't presume to know them all.

I just know that they started when he first climbed "End of the Trail".

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