John & Anne Wiley

2011/09/12

Chelan Morning

We joined those remembering 9/11 and wept along. Now there’s something nurturing about looking back at photos from another day.

Waking in a quiet apple grove was magical and healing, after nodding off under the stars and dreaming on the journey. The dome of rock stood silent beyond the ripening fruit, keeping its own pace of change slower than the swirl of plants and animals.

4328 Different Paces

4328 Different Paces

The buzz of an insect yielded to the approaching engine of the day’s first airplane as we strolled among the trees. After another drive into town in a borrowed pickup we loaded into Tripp and again flew over what we’d now enjoyed from the air and twice on the ground. The magnificent river beneath the lake was refreshing, and the light of day provided details like the power plant at the left next to a creek that had probably once been the sole raging outlet now reduced to a trickle. This riverside area on both banks of the mighty Columbia seems to be a detached part of the town that centers at the base of the lake.

4335 River Playground

4335 River Playground

A little way up the creek stands an old bridge now fenced off, that perhaps used to be on the highway along the river. Now it seems to be part of a popular game trail winding down the hill on the left.

4343 Game Bridge

4343 Game Bridge

A little further up the creek is a winding gorge that opens up to the base of the lake where the dam now sits, and the town continues beyond.

4340 Chelan Outlet

4340 Chelan Outlet

After we passed the town I snapped this view back at the lower bridge where we’d just dabbled in the lake at the small park on the right where locals jogged and walked their dogs.

4358 Downtown Chelan

4358 Downtown Chelan

You can see the dam again at the top, and at night the tourists’ teens had been walking in groups along the street to the left of the bottom bridge. The lake is quite long, and we decided to fly up it for a look. It widens here and has more small towns on both sides. It’s so big that quite a few boats can zip around and still have lots of space.

4369 Chelan Widens

4369 Chelan Widens

The lake goes back so far that we passed several bends opening into long new sections that continued clear back to snow-capped peaks. We decided to turn toward Renton after a last long look.

4375 Chelan Narrows

4375 Chelan Narrows

Memories are shaped by the experiences that bracket key events, and by the mementos we collect as reminders. Though some events of that day seem crisp, already many have faded and even changed in memory. Are there any elements of my life, or this lake, that will endure ten thousand years? My quest is to live, love and laugh in this brief moment, including contemplative looks ahead and back.

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