So I went to see what had become of the canyon. As we hiked the trail upriver, it was immediately apparent that it has changed, if not forever, for decades. The places we used to camp are gone, full of blackened trees. The fire charged across the river and up the other side with a power that is breathtaking.
|All sorts of surprises show up when the underbrush is gone.|
As is the nature of fire, some clumps of trees remained untouched, while whole hillsides around them were burnt. Though it's been years since I was in charge of putting out a fire, I found myself collecting clues to the puzzle: it crossed the river here and went up canyon there. The wind drove it this way. Some memories are hard to let go.
Though the canyon is forever changed, the bones are still there. It's still beautiful, still lonesome, still magical. A fire doesn't change that about a place. A fire just adds to the story. I look forward to watching the canyon come back to life.