Water levels in the Kootenai River were low up through mid-March, but just last week I noticed that they had jumped significantly. I decided it was time to try my luck on Deep Creek, a small tributary that flows north from MacArthur Lake into the Kootenai River about five miles west of Bonners Ferry. I knew from experience that water levels were generally too low in the creek during summer and autumn for paddling, but with spring runoff the levels would be high enough for a decent trip.
Finding a place to enter the creek is problematic since virtually all of the length is private property, except for the last stretch in the Kootenai Wildlife Refuge. I chose to take my chances at a small one-lane concrete bridge just north of Deep Creek Inn on Old Highway 2. It afforded a small rock slope to enter and a parking spot at a fire station just up the road. I unloaded my kayak into the brush, parked the truck and walked back to the bridge. An alternative put-in would be at Deep Creek Inn just up the road, but I didn’t relish trying to duck the low concrete bridge at my chosen put-in....
Continue Reading March 27th, 2006
Last night I had quite a vivid dream. If I were one to interpret visions I'd say this one represents my fear of development and the end of the rural lifestyle.
I’m walking toward Damascus, Oregon where I grew up. I see the hill where our house was, though from a birdseye perspective. Right behind it appears an industrial complex of huge metal silos like grain towers with steel trusses running between them and onto the ground. The overall effect is something like the flying buttresses of Gothic architecture melded with space-age metals. Soon the silos become more distinct in my vision and I realize they are huge condominiums (probably 15-20 stories) rising out of what used to be the woods behind my house. At that moment I remember a previous dream that I had of ascending this hill and seeing signs of construction or logging. Now I realize the entire forest has been cut down. There are people in the town whom I know. I rant to them about how the trees have been destroyed (this part of the dream seems to reflect a real conversation that Kayla and I had during the previous day when I complained that the houses we saw on our walk were set in treeless lots where the natural ecosystem had been completely paved over). The houses of my old neighborhood are somewhat intact in the circle of El Camino and Carmel, although some have been razed. Overall the feeling is one of outrage that everything from my childhood is gone, replaced with an urban complex. Also I’m very sad because I don’t know all the new people who have moved in and they have no appreciation for the old places that existed before they all arrived. I go to a sporting goods store that occupies the first story of a condo. Looking around I'm immediately bored by the store's merchandise (clothes) instead of the adventure gear I'd prefer. I mention to someone nearby that at least the new condos are better than a sprawling suburban subdivision.
March 3rd, 2006