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COLUMBIA RIVER

----------We are tied off between two spruce trees, in a little cove on the west side of Revelstoke Lake. Last year, at about this time, putting Halcyon into this headwater lake of the Columbia River, was a dream - from such dreams, comes reality.

----------Cold air pours down the drainage from the lofty icefields above. When we launched at Martha's Provincial Park, two miles and fifteen minutes from here, the temperature was in the 90's - here, in our cove, it is 65 and we put on jackets. We shiver - not just with the cold - but with anticipation. We are here - for the first time, riding the waters of 'Nchiawana - The Mighty River.

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THE BEGINNING

---------We are back in the Candy Store. So many choices - so many beguiling names, tastes, and colors. Which one to pick for savoring along this brief stretch along the river of life? Almost exactly one year ago, we took some nibbles from these candies along the Columbia - and they were delicious. (Upper Columbia) (But, one can be fooled - beguiled by the fancy wrapping or even the crust of chocolate. What would a big bite yield?

---------We are about to find out. We left the savory joys of the Gulf Islands, and wended Halcyon across the mountain passes of British Columbia's Cascades. Serrating the horizon to the east lay the glacier-capped Rockies. Nestled within the deep troughs of those saw-toothed ranges, were hidden some promised gems - lakes - Shuswap, Revelstoke, and the Arrows! We had scouted those jewels last summer, and they looked beautiful.

---------Beginnings are thrilling. Anticipation wells up like the excitement of first love - all the dreams imagined, and the calamities so probable. A birth, a dawn, a first kiss - any beginning is so full of promise and apprehension. The future lies in a beginning. Along the voyage of life, it is the re-births of each new beginning that add zest. We are renewed and anewed by the start of each venture. Perhaps, because of the beginnings, we don't get old - we get new.

-------- A year ago, in a lonely cove in the San Juans Islands, at the end of day, near the end of that journey, it was time for dreaming. What next? What lies over the horizon of both space and time? Our lives together have been decorated by these moments of conjuring. Our eyes drifted to the mountains that lay east of our anchorage - the towering snow-capped peaks of the Cascades. Over those mountains was the mysterious hidden source of the Columbia River. Almost two hundred years ago, David Thompson, fur trader, sought the source of that river. He found it, hidden in trenches between the lofty glacial-capped ranges of the Rocky Mountains. We decided to follow his wake, and search out the source region of the Columbia.

-------- We pulled Halcyon from the salt water, left her in a friend's barn, and headed easterly in our truck. We followed the tortuous path the Columbia carves through the mountains - and were thrilled by what we saw. Now, a year later, we were back with our good and trusted companion, Chris and his Rana Verde, rafted together, floating on the headwaters of the Columbia River. The dream is a reality - and we have another beginning.

(07 - 04)

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