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Trout Lake Afternoon

It’s a bright June afternoon and Bernardo and I have lunch and a couple of beers lolling on the collapsing, paint-chipped back deck of the Trout Lake Merchants Store, overlooking field and marsh and Mt. Adams fat and pristine in new snow almost too brilliant to be real.

We drive a few miles into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to find the ice caves, but are stopped by snowdrifts. We are marginally disappointed and have a snowball fight to compensate.

It is not Mt. Adams we stare at now as we drive toward the gorge, but Mt. Hood. We’ve done a loop and returned to the Columbia down that gushing engorged with snow-melt White Salmon River to the town of White Salmon. We want to stay. We do not want to head home to Portland where we will return to overcast skies and dripping wet. We want to stay in the warm, where the sky is blue. Amazingly, our vehicle obliges with a flat tire. Reprieve. A bit more time in the sun.

We take our miracles where we find them.

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