Along the wild washes raging virginlike through narrows, past steep walls dripping with centuries of moisture, cutting relentlessly toward arid plains, the currents of this river uncover millennia of remembrance. Once embedded in ancient seas, once boulders fallen from ridges pushing upward, once immovable masses blocking gravity’s watery inclinations, the stones bordering the river’s path pause here now as little more than shining pebbles. Their voices speak a wisdom we can only imagine. Their songs echo beyond the melodies of river, of songbirds, of hikers whistling their way to mountaintop conquests. ♨
In the coolness of dawn, before the heat melts night’s calm, the superlative colors of sky break across morning as the marshes embrace another day.
A highlight of Forest Grove, Oregon, is a visit to the water treatment plant, where sewage feeds the Fernhill Wetlands. Before dawn the wetlands bustle with waterfowl and songbird activity as treated waters become the source of life for the thriving chaos of nature. In the aftermath of human waste, a natural place becomes possible.
Spider rock stands as a two-headed spire that rests motionless on its ancient pedestal, like petrified arms stretching upward toward the canyon’s rim. Inside Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Nation, the lithic monument figures into Diné mythic history. ♨
Mountain man Joe Meek’s first summer of fur trapping in 1829, which put him among the earliest of non-indigenous people to enter Yellowstone.
The history of Freemasonry in Yellowstone National Park coincides with its role in a larger religious history of the American west as agents and evangelists for Manifest Destiny.