Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Where The Water Comes From

I've been working long days up in the Bull Run Valley, south and east of Portland in the foothills of the Cascades. Much of Portland's drinking water comes from here (one reason why we're working there). And the Bull Run water is so clear and clean and sweet that the City waterworks does not filter it. But the real treasure of this plase, behind the locked gates that keep out litter and sprawl, is the pure Cascadian beauty of it.

Indeed, to call this place "beautiful" is to shortsell beauty; the Bull Run is perfect in the way that nature can be perfect, by being complete in itself. The dark firs and cedars are reflected in the bright water. The mist drifts dreamlike through the heavy forest. The sounds are the rush and roar of water on stone, wind in treetops, the calls of birds; the delirious twitter of the wren, croak of raven, skeer of jay. It needs nothing but to be where and what it is.

There are places where time slows to the rate of the erosion of a stone or the growing of a douglas-fir. Where even the works of Man are subsumed, and softened, by the rich land around them.

This is one.I have to sleep. Hope you enjoyed the visit to the valley of the Bull Run. G'night.

11 comments:

Red Sand said...

What beautiful photos. I'm tempted to ditch work and come join you. It's slushing today.

sheerahkahn said...

As much as I would like to echo Red Sand's desire to drop everything and head north, I have to say that there is plenty around here that makes my head giddy with the smells and sounds of life.
I will not short sell your view, Chief, because without a doubt that area is definitely a place to explore the zen quality of being.
But for me, I have the ocean and the redwoods to calm my soul.

btw, I love that picture of the lichen growing on the valves...it tells me no matter what we humans do, life goes on with, or without us.

pluto said...

To provide a little contrast, we're looking at a low tonight of -25 with wind chills that might get down to -60.

Hopefully that will be the worst we get for the winter and things will start to warm up. In a few monthes road construction season will start and we will all realize that old man Winter isn't so bad after all...

Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing these lovely photos. It is for such places that the word "awesome" should be reserved.

It must be nice to taste such pure water, too. We have cities in Florida where the water is strictly unpalatable. . . Jacksonville, Perry, Tampa. One lives on "quarter water" there.

Brent said...

That's a pretty exclusive club you're in now, Chief - those who set foot in the Bull Run. The city is REALLY proud that its water originates where no man dare tread, not even the discreet hiker.

Glad to see that it's really as pretty and pristine up there as they say.

FDChief said...

Sheerah: Redwoods. Sigh. Yeah.

And I loved the little lichens, too. Even the Works of Man are overgrown, given time.

Pluto: Yipe!

Lisa: I try and tell that to native Portlanders and they don't believe me. And my bride, love her as I do, has a feaking Brita filter carafe in the fridge. Go figure...

Brent: The funny thing is, where we're working (near the Reservoir #2 headworks) is a bustling little place. We must have had a dozen City trucks and vans through the drill site today. I didn't realize that the PWB guys had reopened the road.

So I closed it. Henh. And after that it was just us and the river and the forest and the sky.

Sweet.

Rick98C said...

Incredibly beautiful! How can it be so warm there???!! It was -20F here when I got up and thst's without wind chill.

atomic mama said...

Glad for the sneak peek, thanks!

FDChief said...

Rick: You gots to get an ocean, dude! The balmy Pacific keeps us cool in summer and warm in winter.

But rainy all year round...

AM: Ta.

Beeb said...

So pretty!
After being in these arid high plains for so long, my skin longs for some humidity to drink.
Such a beautiful place you live.

FDChief said...

Beeb: Thank you! I do appreciate that, when the rain stops long enough...