Archive for the ‘Elwha’ Category

Yesterday I went on my first hike of the season: four miles along the western shore of Lake Mills, the lake created by the Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha river.  They are removing the dam at the end of this summer as part of a plan to restore the Elwha to its original state.  Here’s a bit of what I wrote as I ate lunch on the trail and a few pictures I took along the way.

The wind blows hard along the lake-shore, taking the sweat of the trail and ripping it away, leaving only chill behind.  But up along the cliff-line, where the trail dead-ends above the little rapids of Boulder Creek, the sun shines sweet and orange-mottled butterflies dance between the orchids and the stonecrop and the saxifrage and the licorice fern.  I have come today because in another six months this lake will no longer be here.  They are tearing down the dam and there will be no lake left: only a giant’s empty bathtub, with feeble creeks drizzling down its muddy walls.  The trail I walked today will be orphaned, high up a barren hillside, overlooking, I imagine, the world’s largest drainage ditch.

For a while.

Until the forest creeps again into the valley.  The press finned fir-seeds into the soft, damp earth, thrush drop huckleberries along the riverside, ants carry trillium seeds deep into their nests, and the moss pulls its blanket over the rocks.


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