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Boulder Creek

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posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 11:30 AM
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I am writing a book of reflections of growing up in the panhandle of Idaho. Here is a sample:



It is called Boulder Creek for a reason and if you don't have shoes with good arch support you will find the way up the canyon to the waterfall quite painful. It is July and the water feels refreshingly cool in the 90 degree heat.

We have come to the area with friends from Alaska on their way to Texas. I wanted to show them the beauty of the area and this very special place. It is a narrow canyon that rapidly drops down from the mountains in a series of waterfalls and joins the much wider and deeper Kootenai River.

We drove in from Naples, Idaho, along the upper reaches of the creek and camped near several old mining claims which we explored for most of one day. The next morning we drove past the old mine buildings and descended down the steep switch back road to the the bottom of the river canyon where the old town of Leona once stood. The only thing that remains of where I spent time with my grandparents is the apple tree that once stood in their backyard. My grandfather had skillfully grafted nine different varieties of apples on it. We filled our pockets and packs with apples and then drove down to the where the Great Northern Railroad tracks crossed the the creek.

Our trek up the creek began good natured enough with banter and mutual water splashing. The stream meandered back and forth across the narrow canyon requiring wading through shallow and sometimes deeper water. The rocks under feet were all rounded by the force of the water and their tumbling against one another. Their rounded shape gave no flat place to stand on and our feet were not happy.

It wasn't long before the cries of “how much further is it” and “are we getting close?” I took the lead and with determination led the group, now nearing mutiny, onward. I utilized distraction by pointing out old pieces of mining equipment that had been washed down from above and how beautiful the canyon was. It would work for a while and then I would have to repeat what a beautiful place we were going to.

Assurances were beginning to wear thin and just when I began to imagine they were picking up stones to do me in, we turned the corner and there it was. A beautiful twenty foot high water fall completely filling the canyon gap and spilling into a large pool. The cries and complaints had vanished and were replaced with the oohs and aahs similar to spectators watching a fireworks display.

We stripped off down to our already wet underwear and jumped in. The pool was full of beautiful trout and they didn't seem to be very concerned by our presence. We swam over to the waterfall and felt its power as it pushed us under. We dove from the side of the canyon into the deep pool with squeals and great laughter.

We dined on the apples we had picked and nothing tasted better. We would climb out and lay on the big granite boulders sunning ourselves and then jump back in. We had it all to ourselves, the beauty and sound of the place would stick with us the rest of our lives. We would gaze at the magical world around and then at each other and without saying a word we understood we belonged there. We had become part of that magic.
edit on 06/02/2011 by grayeagle because: correction




posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 


Nice little reflection you had there. It too took me back to a time of innocence. When there weren't that many worries.

I wonder from time to time...can I ever recapture that feeling again?



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 

Time, distance and health sure can get in the way but I have resolved to revisit as many of those experiences as I can. Not as an endeavor to somehow drag them into the present but to enjoy the feeling, fragrance and flavor they brought to my life. I became what I am because of those experiences and how I continue to look at them. Peace to you my friend and isn't it nice to know that no one can take them away.



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 01:25 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 


I was just talking to a friend yesterday about how I had revisited many of the places that I have had adventures in the days of my youth and how they had changed over the decades. It was actually depressing. That's also why I never go to concerts of reunion bands. LOL

Only one place remained pristine. A waterfall and pond that I swam in as a teen. I saw other kids doing what I did and it brought a smile to my face.

The past is the past...I think it's time to get off my arse and embark on a new adventure and make new memories. Spring is almost here after all.



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 


I am totally with you on that!


Let's make some kick ass memories this summer!



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 05:00 PM
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Wonderful. You are inspiring some thoughts for future writing! The area sounds lovely and the details make it unique and alive.

I always enjoy sensory language in writing, so that I can imagine the feel, taste and texture of where a writer is taking me. I have definitely "gotten into" the experience you wrote about - I loved what you shared, and I greedily wanted more... What did the apples taste like? I was dying to know! Apples are subtle in their varieties... The water you swam in - what did it feel like? How clear was it? Could you see to the bottom? Was it deeply dark and mysterious or churned and frothy? The stones - how did they feel in your hands and under your feet. What did the old house look like? What did the air feel like - was it scented with anything? What did the mining equipment look like? Was is rusty - what was it made out of? Do you know what it was (could that be researched?), what color are the canyon rocks - are they layered with different colors or morphed and twisted, or predominantly yellow or red? What kind of grasses or foliage were in the area? How did the waterfall sound? Could you feel a breeze from it coming down? Did it have a rainbow in it?
I so want to dive into with you guys in the story!!!

PLEASE don't take my questions as criticism - I LOVE what you have written! In fact, because I love it, I'm finding I want MORE of the experience. This is a compliment; you've pulled me into the scene and I want to experience it, be in it more fully.


Thank you so much for sharing this - this, and the fishing story are bringing back memories for me that I hadn't pulled up in a long time - good memories. I lived in similar territory with old mines and waterfalls and all manner of amazing nature. I hope you will keep putting these up, and if you feel like it, throw me deeper into the memory of this one... Great writing, great subject matter!

- AB



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 


I could write pages and pages on this place and the event and my family's connection to it. The water is crystal clear and you can see the bottom as if you were looking through glass. The rocks were multihued and rounded but not uniform. The canyon walls reach up from the creek bed and twist and turn through shadow and light. The old mining equipment is rust colored and flaking off, twisted by the enormous strength of years of spring floods. You could almost taste and smell the iron in the air.

The apples each had their own special flavor that made it hard to believe they were all growing on the same tree. Some were less ripe than the others but all were delicious. As I threw away my cores I wondered how many trees I was planting down stream.

The sound of grasshoppers could be heard bouncing of the canyon walls even over the sound of the creek spilling over small waterfalls one-after-another. Periodically small stones would tumble down the steep canyon walls. On each bend there were dark pools that had been scooped out by the meandering stream. Trout could be seen holding in each of them as we made our way up the canyon but we weren't there to fish but to reach our goal, to swim beneath a beautiful cascading waterfall.

I am glad you like what I have written so far and the story I posted so far is but a snippet of Panhandle Imagined. It will contain a series of these experiences that shaped me. There will be more.



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 

Do write pages and pages! Seriously, this is good stuff - I don't want to rush through it, I want to sink into it - going down into memory -its like mining, or looking at the layers of time in that canyon wall digging down deeper and deeper - it just gets better and richer in the experience the more details there are to pull me in. I'm tasting iron in the air, I'm seeing the twisting canyon wall, and I sure as heck want a bite of those apples!
(What varieties were they? Do you know? I LOVE apples!!)

I remember being in places where you could almost taste iron in the air. Where I grew up the summer grasses were long and tickled my calves; they smelled mildly of hay and heat, golden and thick, spilling seeds into the air as I walked through them, while sticky nettles caught my socks and shoelaces through the scrub. Wild sage; it was easy to find the pale leaves and snap one off. I would bring it up to catch the smokey-sweet scent of it, then chew it, bitter and green and fuzzy skinned on my tongue. I remember hiking up near my house where the foothills begin the marching thrust of the Rockies; it was always a challenge. Cactus were everywhere - the fine red needles putting fire into my unsuspecting hands or feet should I misstep or fall - and there were no paths save an occasional meandering deer trail. Climbing was an act of faith; reaching a hand to a pine tree on a steep incline, calves stretched out, body twisting forward, awkwardly gaining a hold for balance on the mountain. The rough red-brown bark left my hand sticky and smelling pungently of sap. There is no good way to get pine sap off your hands when you are hiking - it would catch dirt and I'd find my clothes smudged with it. Now I dream of it, wishing I could keep that scent on me like a whiff of my soul...that, and campfire smoke...the clean crisp air left over after the winds tore through the valley... sage and mint and fresh snow and summer grass...

Thank you so much for sharing your memories. I love how they bring me into myself, as well as pull me into your experiences. Looking forward to more installments!


peace,
AB



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 09:52 PM
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grayeagle
reply to post by AboveBoard
 



The sound of grasshoppers could be heard bouncing of the canyon walls even over the sound of the creek spilling over small waterfalls one-after-another. Periodically small stones would tumble down the steep canyon walls. On each bend there were dark pools that had been scooped out by the meandering stream. Trout could be seen holding in each of them as we made our way up the canyon but we weren't there to fish but to reach our goal, to swim beneath a beautiful cascading waterfall.



I really like that...the sound of grasshoppers could be heard bouncing off the canyon walls even over the sound of the creek spilling over small waterfalls, one-after-another. I just love these details!!! Promise me you'll put more in your book like this - I am feeling and sensing and experiencing this PLACE so strongly - your connection comes through in how you know it so well, how you can clearly take someone who has never seen it and put me right there so I can.
Just wanted to reaffirm the awesomeness of this, as I got sidetracked wandering into my own memories in my last post!! lol!!

- AB



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 10:00 PM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 

I love your imagery as well! Here is a piece I wrote and post a while back on ATS.

Cottonwood and Clay

I believe I was four years old and standing in my grandmother’s yard in Newport, Washington when the fragrance of her lilacs stopped me in my stride. They were in full bloom. Her entire yard was ringed with a profusion of colors and blooms. I stood and inhaled the beauty and somehow even at four I sensed I was in a magical place. This was my first memory of beauty that I can remember.

I was still around four years old when I encountered my second intoxicating fragrance of nature. I lived in Shelby, Montana and I was playing beneath the giant cottonwood trees in front of our house. There had been a hard rain the night before and the trees were still dripping. With each drop they brought forth a sweet smell of cottonwood and clay. I can still smell it in a spring rain.

As I grew older there became a number of fragrances that touched my soul. The smell of the gardenia perfume my grandma wore, the smell of fresh baked bread, the smell of fresh brewed coffee and the smell of fresh mown hay all took their places in my being.

When I was old enough to go to school the smell of new books and crayons captured my attention. Even the chalkboard holds memories and who could forget the smell of that paste some of you also ate. I am sure I would remember if I had.

I can remember living in northern Idaho and playing with my friends under the boughs of great cedars and pines. We would crush the needles between thumb and forefinger and inhale the mystery of healing into our souls. We felt so protected beneath the canopy. I still find myself crushing pine needles whenever I am in the woods.

When I was older and began fly fishing the local streams I began noticing the plants that gave up their fragrance along the stream side. The pungent skunk cabbage and the delicate ferns each providing balance to the bouquet. I can remember the streams by their individual fragrances. Some were musty and others sweet and some smelled like damp granite.

Then age, war, and a deviated septum took their toll. Oh, I still smelled things but they didn’t penetrate to my soul. Along with those wonderful fragrances there have also been many smells that I have tried to forget. That just comes with living.

I know smells are associated with our strongest memories. I believe they often can also help define our lives. When my first child was born, I held her to my nose and inhaled her scent. I imprinted her into the deepest part of my being. I did the same with my son and I believe their smell triggered a part of my being that will always love and protect them.

As you have read this, I hope it stirred in you some of those fragrant memories. If you haven’t done it yet, crush some pine needles and inhale some life. Someday, when I am close to death, please let my children lean down to my nose and let me inhale their fragrance once again.



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 10:09 PM
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Perfect. Yes. You know exactly what I mean when I say I want "sensory immersion" in the experience you are writing about. It reminds me of a phrase I came to hold like a talisman due to various life experiences: It is not the breadth of life that matters, its the depth...

I know what cottonwood and clay smells like!
Those were all great scent-memories - I was right with you for each of them.
Thanks for putting that here!

Thanks for reading my memory snippet, too!

- AB



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 


OK, it is obvious to me we are experiencing life on similar wavelengths! lol I have never encountered anyone else who gets it like you do. Your words are so encouraging and I am like the little neighbor boy who runs to your house to show you my new pocket knife! It is electric! My senses are firing off and memories flooding my head. WOW! Well fellow writer and alive person I look forward to much more discourse and sharing of words! I must retire for tonight but look forward to meeting you here on ATS in the days ahead. Peace and goodnight!



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