A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT
The days and nights spent in the cathedral of the trees and in proximity to the crashing surf, the song birds and the boxing matches among the voles and squirrels are done on the magnificent coast. It is time to move on to new, different things . There was one more memorable morning of fog that lay on the water allowing the rocks to peek above it into the bright sun above. It is a beautiful sight, spiritual in its way and a good way to remember the serenity I have enjoyed.
When Monday arrived it was time to move inland. In order to do that one goes south back to California and the Northeast up U.S. 199 to Grants Pass through groves of Redwoods in the Jedediah Smith National Forest. It was a lovely day once one left the overcast of the coast. As the road winds upward, the weather cools even in the brightening sun. Fall colors are everywhere. The leaves are red and yellow and the rivers one crosses are teeming with salmon . It is time for the fall spawning run. It is an amazing sight. The crystal clear deep pools hold the fish until they are ready to go up the next rapids. One supposes they rest.
After lunch at the side of the road in a park placed here for contemplation of these sights, the ever valiant La Coachasita takes us into Grants Pass and we are suddenly confronted with strip malls, civilization, cars, and people, far more cars than I have seen in awhile. While the life on the coast has hardly been monkish, everyone here seems to be in a hurry. For nearly two weeks, there hasn't been anything to hurry about and now I hurry just to get out of their way.
Once at Grants Pass, it is a short ride down the highway to the Valley of the Rogue State Park. It is a delightful open park like place with fall color all about and plentiful wildlife. The Rouge River runs through it. The Coho Salmon climb the rapids near the campsite and one could probably stand there all day and watch them. I am puzzled by the absence of predators, yet realize the houses nearby and the proximity to the Interstate probably make other areas more desirable, There is a grazing area that draws deer in the evening just before dusk.
My lack of plans are often as much an enemy as a friend especially in area I have covered often before. It leads to thoughts of the trip south and which way to go. I spend the first morning pouring over maps and campsite information looking for a new way, give up after I get an idea where I will be through the weekend, and decide it is too nice a day to spend doing this and go out. My nearest neighbors are nearly always walking. They are accompanied by three dachshunds, all related, the youngest of which is 12. The dogs seem to have parade training as they always seem to be walking in step. They all live just north of Yosemite now that they are retired and are pleasant companions who point out they best vantage points along the river and the best places to see the deer that come down to feed.
This is a different world and I will be here but a while and then back to the Redwood Coast for a few days before going east again and then south. The weather will stay clear if cooler until then.
That's fine. It will give my rain suit time to dry out.