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Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Last Photo

wild azaleas - the final shot

I spent my last afternoon in Del Norte County hanging out where our family cabin was at the forks of the Smith. It had been built in the 30's and my father bought it from Harold Neilson when I was 3 yrs old. In 1964 the mountain slid into the river and took The Morning Star with it. It had probably been raining steady for at least a month. Tragedy. I was 15 and thought I would live there forever. Since it was a mining claim, the Forest Service reclaimed it some years later. They burned any cabins that survived, including some very substantial houses. I suppose it was a blessing that our cabin was already gone. Now, that site is a put-in for kayaking and the road is paved all the way down so I can get right to the spot where I learned to swim.
my old swimming hole

I finally got myself to leave this beatiful spot and drove about 10 miles up river to visit with an old high school teacher and dear friend, Rick Bennett, who lives up on the North Fork. By the time I got back on the road it  was late afternoon and I stopped on more time on the river to check out another swimming spot I had been told about. When I got my camera out I had a very bad surprise: the lens would not open. What the? It was not batteries so I gave up, drove on and figured I'd solve it in Eugene the next day. Dotson's Camera Shop gave me the bad news that it would take $250 to repair.  End of an era. Time to buy a new camera, which I did the next afternoon at The Shutterbug.... a place I used to have film developed in 1983.  I am now the owner of a new Nikon and my next post will show off a great visit in Eugene, Oregon with my Katy girl.

As for the azalea shot.... they are the sweetest smelling flowers ever and I always swim across the river to a spot where I can pick a few and have them if my car for a day or two of nirvana. 

I am posting this from South Lake Tahoe, where Katy and I arrived on Friday after spending one night with friends in Shasta Lake, CA.  We depart on Wednesday and I will be heading East somewhat reluctantly. There is another travel adventure in front of me and I will be heading for hearth and home (ie: Sweet William) but I cannot hide my love, my loyalty, my need for the West. Everywhere I have gone I have wanted to stay longer. Many places I have gone to I could live forever. Where will I land? That chapter has not been written yet.

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