In Pete’s Own Words
This is the first time I believe anything has been done like this around here to save wilderness areas. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that in spite of a highly developed built up city like Whittier, that up behind the city there lies small wild undeveloped mountains.
Many of you, especially you Scout mothers and fathers and Boy Scouts, thrill to wake up in the wilds alone in the early morning, breathe the fresh, crisp air and watch the sun light up the sky with gold.
The blue smogless sky is above you. Minutes later the warm rays of the sun strike you and your buddies. The rays give the canyon a touch of magic and make you feel not dead, tired and depressed, but alive with sparkling brilliance. How wonderful it is to be alive. This is really what reality is. All around you there is a cool dampness, and dew drops sparkle brilliantly like jewels, while at the same time you hear sounds also.
The humming of bees and bubbling songs of birds, is almost dream like, but still, one knows that it’s reality. One is not escaping reality, but entering into it. This is what life is meant for.
Very few people get a chance to see what I’ve seen and it is a privilege for you to enjoy this rarity. Unlike many slide shows and talks I’ve been to, where making a fast buck is their only goal, this is for an almost entirely different purpose.
I love to thrill my audience and put zest for life into their hearts.
Like a dream, the sometimes unpleasantness of everyday life in
the city far below is temporarily shut out of your mind as you have a day or a whole week to explore the wilderness, the same as our true American pioneers and settlers did. This is the land we respect and are proud of, and fought for. Why not save the little that is left? When we deface and destroy our remaining wilderness it is no longer progress, but foolish and thoughtless destruction.