To the editor:

I read with much interest Jayson Jacoby's editorial on California vs. Oregon. I was disappointed that he chose to compare Yosemite with his experience at Marble Pass and the Elkhorn Crest Trail, as the two are so vastly different.

But what really caught my attention was his reference to Dardanelle. As a young girl from Wisconsin, I spent a wonderful summer working at the very resort that Jacoby speaks of at Dardanelle. The population sign in 1978 was seven, so apparently the population has actually decreased in the last 30 years.

I was fortunate enough to meet my husband that summer, as he worked for the Forest Service just down the road from Dardanelle at the Brightman Guard Station. After that, we spent 24 years in Northern California in different areas working for the Forest Service.

Jacoby's editorial disappointed me in that he discussed what everyone already knows about California. . . . there are a lot of people there. But what so many people in other states don't know is that California has its Elkhorn Crest trails as well. Did you check out the Lakes Basin, Jayson? You could have hiked there for a week and never seen another person. Or how about a trip outside Lassen Park to check out the Subway Caves? It's only a few miles from the park entrance but you'd likely have the place to yourself.

I am not a California native but I'm painfully aware of the reputation California has been given, especially by neighboring states. Frankly, it's sad that Jacoby decided to perpetuate the myth. There are many, many places in California where you can find the same solitude we enjoy right here in our backyard.

We loved California and we love Baker City. You just have to go looking for the good qualities in any place you land. And, by the way, Baker City is the largest town I've ever lived in, even after spending 24 years in California.

Helen Hall

Baker City