Metolius—Night Run. A week on the Metolius River, Central Cascades . . .
On the road in the American Northwest.

The Color of a River

The Metolius is one of the largest spring-fed rivers
in North America. Its source is a sight to behold. At the
foot of| the north side of Black Butte, which rises some 1,000
meters behind it in a nearly perfectly symmetrical volcanic cinder
cone, the river emerges out a of relatively small wetland almost
fully formed. The color of the water which flows through a
symphony of spectacular forms ought best have an
epithet, a descriptive word, all its own. Something like
'metolius crystal blue.'

I can think of no greater gift to a young person than to take
them each year, early or late in the season when it is a bit
cold and perhaps a bit of snow on the ground and there are
few cars about, to this river. Each year. to get to know the
rhythm of the thing. And simply to walk, up and down the river,
to get to know and love its unique color an moods, and
to get to know and love and protect the inspiring wildness
of its rushing sound. It will be a gift that will stay with them
all their days.

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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2008
(created: IV.27.2008)