Thursday, January 18, 2018
The Trinity River
This was not new to us.
We knew how to hole up in camp during stormy nights.
Young and free to spend time in miserable weather
With rain pounding down
To keep us tucked in our tent.
One doesn't question in country like this.
One embraces Decembers in the hills.
Long, cold hump over Backbone Ridge
Under darkened forest canopy
Not able to keep out the mist.
Rain beginning as we wade into camp.
The cold mountains.
The wet forests.
Greet us like old friends.
Old goldmine site on riverside bench.
Tailings filling the flat as to make it uninhabitable.
But with a tributary cascading in just upstream.
Its whitewater shimmering in the gloom.
A welcoming sign of woodland home
Delighting any long tread tramper looking for such.
Set the fly against the wind,
And ease back in the sand as the river roars
And the rain pours through our ears
Cleansing our dreams through the night.
In the morning we arise having survived.
No sun for weeks now,
But rain all but gone for today.
A lone goose swooshes by upriver
Like a jet just above the water.
Didn't know they could fly that fast.
Out for a joyride after the storm.
An old black-tail greets us on the ridge
As we climb back to the world.
A hint of sunlight surrounds him
And too is gone as he vanishes down the brush.
He is free to spend his nights
Along the river bends here with the ghosts
Of rusted out stove pipes
And tin can tailings of generations ago.
Pursuing happiness in a darkened canyon.