The smoke was so thick that the temperature was easily ten degrees higher than normal. The wildfires that were burning just to the north of us up in Oregon were creating havoc in the California redwoods.
I wait at the edge of the mighty Klamath river for our boat to arrive, watching fish occasionally jump out of the water. Regardless of the smoke, today I’ll be taking a jet boat tour of this sacred river of the Klamath Indian people.
The surreal nature of the smoky air against the water and mighty redwood trees is an aura of wonder, a magical mystery. We head out first to where the Klamath and the Pacific ocean meet, a crossroads that is full of life.
Seals rise to the surface, splashing about as they are searching for salmon to eat. Occasionally killer whales can also be found here, but not today.
We turn around and head downstream.
The quiet stillness silences all of us in the boat as we quickly glide along the water. As the afternoon turns into evening, black bears come down to the waters edge looking for a quick meal before night settles in.
Giant sturgeon and salmon rest on the rivers bottom as we pass over head, fisherman along the shore try to tease these mighty fish to the surface.
It’s the ultimate game of man vs. nature.
I hear about past US Presidents that made this place their fortress of solitude, from Roosevelt to Truman. You even see the remnants of an old homestead these great leaders once used.
We come to a confluence of a mountain river that flows from high above down into the Klamath. We are told that this sacred crossing of the two rivers is where Klamath Indian men would start their spiritual journey deep into the mountains to search for God.
It’s hard to put into words the feeling one has being in such a sacred place, the peace that flowed through my body and spirit as I sat here contemplating my life.
Who am I, really?
Who are you?