birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Center of the Universe

The trip down river is a visual vitamin for winter weariness in the Spring. (I am planning a day trip tomorrow.) There should be eagles and all manner of wildlife activity. But the real tonic is when we turn into Dillon Creek. 

Stepping out of the car, the sound of the water rushing over marble mountain stones is white noise balm. The water is a herald of welcome. There isn't an app in the world that can duplicate it or come close. I've tried to record it. Again, the audio doesn't capture the feeling.

How can I possibly describe it to you? Maybe I can provide a context.  

Dillon Creek is a riparian stream that flows in the Klamath National Forest. Out of the mountains, and down a canyon, it meets the river and goes on to join the Salmon River. The Karuk people say that confluence place is the center of the universe.

I have come to accept that this is a medicine place. The forest is transitional between inland and the coast. Coastal effects make for plush moss. Rampant blooming Dogwoods. Soft earth in spring before the hard dryness of summer.  

The creek in spring resembles a river. Torrential, and fresh with thawing rains, it is a force of nature to witness, not to get into. There will be time for that in summer, when the water slows into hospitable swimming holes.

Then, in summer, ferns and greenery that line the creekside become fairy hats and places of refuge. Cliffs above are for challenging climbers whose reward is a daring dive from above. (Look out for the poison oak.)

You Cannot Stay and Go at the Same Time

Yessir, Yessir, Zero Bags Full