Cross Here

Follow the Waptus River Trail for three miles. You will find lingering patches of snow down in the cedar draws between the frog ponds, and along the straight tedious stretch of cobbles that the trail crew calls Hour Creek Flats. When you can see the old burned log across the trail, you know that you are almost to the point where the trail abruptly turns downhill to the crossing. You’ll hear the creek, then you’ll see it. You can wade through the knee-deep swift icy current, or you can cross dry-footed on a pair of downstream logs. I clambered out there, and it’s getting tricky. Easy enough to walk on the still tight bark of the Doug-firs. But then you have to crawl over the roots and make a leap for the bank. The creek is nibbling away at the soil, and soon water will be flowing through there.

Oh well. Adventure is what we live for, right? Nothing holds still in nature. The world is always changing. Maybe we see the changes coming or maybe we get surprised. One way or another, we’ll find a way across the creek and deeper into the woods. Jump, wade, or wait for another day–there’s always a choice.

P.S. I had wanted to write and draw about animal encounters–a cougar near Salmon la Sac, western tanagers and hermit thrushes, a great blue heron that slowly flapped its way up through tight tree canopy without crashing. But maybe another day, when I spend less time in the garden and more time with drawing pen in hand…

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