There a bit of the maniacal in this photo, isn’t there?
Meet Andy. Serial visitor and, in a parallel universe, an accomplished creator in film. I’ve actually seen his name chiseled quite elegantly in bright lights that emanate from Hollywood and Vine, or close to it. In that world I imagine he’s quite the big shot. Here, however, and much like the rest of us, he plays a minor role to the redwoods, river and beasts of the forest.
Yesterday I followed Andy on his annual trek in which he walks the center line of Mill Creek, one of the major waterways that feeds into the Smith. Andy has been doing this walk and variations of it for the past nine years. He loves the creek and frolics like a trusting child within its current. This walk on the wild side was silly, brave, engrossing, and it created a unique connection to the area.
For over two hours we walked, slipped, swam, climbed and cursed. We were short-term swamp people (yes, with cell phones) who followed the creek for about a mile. It was a very different experience. The fall colors were obvious in the maple leaves that had already fallen and were dead or dying below the surface. Huge logs that had been brought downriver during the higher water of winter were airborne now, balanced between banks. Pools of moss sprang up here and there, and were avoided. Giants rocks below the surface skinned our knees and elbows. At times the creek was so deep all we could do was swim for it and in the cold, laugh.
Me, I had a pretty good time of it but, honestly, I talk big but more often than not secretly crave the terra firma of my deck or pathway along the bank of the river (instead of walking waist or neck deep within it).
The walk was maniacal, crazy, silly but real. Contrary to what one might think, even in a dry summer the creek could, if it wanted to, swallow you whole.
Sure, we brought cameras, chocolate bars, and cell phones but it could have gone either way.