couples gather on the foothills at the shallow-rising base of the mountain range for picnics in the spring time. men bring their dogs there for leisurely hikes. women bring their children there to let out some bottled energy - preserved over the long, white winter here. artists line up along the edge of parking lots with easels and battery-powered radios that only pick up the national weather service and an off-shore pirate station. poets fall asleep under blossoming trees. bees discover new flowers where last year's had withered. a ranger watches over the flocking people. watching out for that bear.