This morning while sipping coffee in Glenwood Springs, CO, and browsing the images from the camera I downloaded the other day, I came across this one – a play image or a mistake – badly under exposed and grainy. It really caught me as something rather odd, surreal, not something I would want to encounter if these things were alive. Images of nooses and creatures waiting to gobble you up or wrap themselves around you. Technological nightmare? I don’t know. But here you are – a bit of play in a gothic way.
Apparently back in the early part of the last century, this was a really nice place to come. The lake was renown for fishing and there was a hotel – resort, anyone? So, to kill a lot of fish all at once, someone decided to do it with dynamite. The result? The area is volcanic and beneath the lake was a cave or something, made from cooled lava. The dynamite broke the roof of the cave . . . drained the lake . . . lots of dead fish, and that was it.
Now it is a lovely rest stop alongside the road, with a trail, picnic grounds, pet area, and a much welcomed spot. When it rains, I think the lake may fill with water, but for now native grasses fill the lake bed.
One of the things about following a track in the woods regularly, you see things that you don’t see another time. Where we were staying near Spokane, our daily walks took us out along the same track, under the pines, alongside the river. While the season didn’t change much in the few days we were there, what I saw became more specific, like this flower against the fallen tree. Different times of day, too, presented the light in different ways as it shone through the trees. This familiarity is one of the delights to be had with the familiar.
We are staying at the edge of the Riverside National Forest, just outside of Spokane, WA. The Spokane River runs through it. Tall pine trees and other plants – flowers, bushes – line the banks of the river. Some people have houses along the shoreline. In high summer, the dusty, dry smell of pine needles fills the air. So do a few bugs – I got a nasty bite from some kind of fly and it hurt! Despite the bugs, it is always a pleasure to walk through a forest and be in the countryside.
As we wend our way to Wisconsin by car, we are seeing a lot of the West – the non-burning part so far – and this is a grain elevator (I think) taken as we drove by it. To one side we had barren hills, an occasional tree, the freeway in front of us, and to the other side, the broad expanses of the Columbia River in Oregon. A building was rare in this barren, beautiful land.