A small wooden sign with the words “No water next sixteen miles” introduced us to a faint trail that meandered up and into the trees.
This narrow and overgrown goat-like track – a harbinger of more hard hiking – suggested that others had opted for the wider, well-traveled and easier way downhill.
Given that my dad and I – both tired and foot weary – had been for many days fishing our way through the Olympic Mountains of the Pacific Northwest, the sign’s five words easily convinced us to turn back and take the path more traveled and head home.
When we first began our most excellent adventure, it had taken all of but one mile of hiking before the silver-streaked-side of a river run trout flashed by, the fish mightily refusing to leave its watery world in order to reach its end of its rainbow.
The rainbow trout was the first of many fried in a skillet over what would be many evening firesides.
The placid pools, the twists of the rivers and contributing creeks beckoned my dad and I to cast our lines with the hope of snagging another, even bigger, trout.
Wherever we wandered always overhead was stretched a sentinel of trees, columns supporting a cathedral dome of blue sky and wispy white clouds.
We spent many days casting, catching, cleaning and cooking over a crackling fire another trout.
Like a trout swimming upstream, a half-century of life has quickly slipped by since that fishing trip.
Sometimes as I drift off to sleep, I will recall that fishing trip with my dad and how I used to lie on my back listening to a river run by and gazing up in wonder of the forested cathedral overhead.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.