We hiked on the river loop by the Skagit River near the campground this morning. The sky was grey and it looked like it was going to rain. After walking through the trail among the woods that was filled with firs, cedars, and Western hemlocks, a large area of burned woods came to view. It was disturbing to see the charred trees and the scene was somewhat bleak with the bald trunks. But a few glowing fireweed, the tall pink flowers, gave the place livelihood and hope. As we walked along, more and more fireweed appeared and we were in a sea of flowers! Some of the fireweed were even taller than me. From the interpretive sign, we learned that when a forest disturbance (such as fire) occurred, fireweed is one of the first plants to bloom. The heeling power of nature is amazing.
Trees near the river were covered with dense and long moss. Some of the trees were huge. Native Indians carved out the trunks of western red cedars to make canoes. We spotted some kayaks and a raft across the river. So we walked down to the river and waited to see their launch. The Skagit River has rapid currents here. I sat by a small patch of sand under a long moss covered branch watching the flowing water and listening the sound of the river. An unknown creature was digging under the sand near me. I could see there were three men and four women by the kayaks and a raft. They were busy preparing for the rafting or kayaking. We waited patiently for about an hour. Finally, some of those people got on the raft and onto the river. The raft rode the wave down the river and disappeared in our vision in just a few seconds.
It didn’t rain and became warm in the afternoon. We walked to the Newhalem Creek again in the afternoon. It is actually a small cascading river. The sound of the water cascading on the rocks is music to our ears. Then we checked out the over 1300-year old shelter which is under a gigantic boulder.
We lit up a campfire and cooked dinner: spaghetti meatballs. I also cooked some mung beans and boiled some water on the campfire. It all worked out.