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at the falls on the fall river & at the hatchery

The Fall River in central Oregon has a waterfall. To find it one needs to know it exists and where to find it. No road signs stand on the side of road to direct the way. Nor are there directions to the Fall River Falls from a parking lot.

A path enters the woods from the parking lot and winds its way along the Fall River; and if you follow it you will eventually arrive at the only falls on Fall River. It has a large pool below it with many fish. Fly fishing below the Falls is restricted during the fall. It closes to allow for spawning.

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To fish is not required to enjoy the area, of course. A walk through the woods can be cleansing. John Muir wrote:

“Keep close to Nature’s heart . . . and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

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I left my fly fishing gear behind and instead took my camera and walked in the woods. Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods at sunrise. I took a self portrait. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

I wandered about in the woods. I wished to be deliberate, to confront the essential facts of my life at this particular moment, and maybe I could see if I could learn what the woods had to teach me again. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

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I did see a fly fisherman. He had a chance at this moment to wash his soul with pure air. The Fall River flows quietly by him, and the early morning sun shimmers a bit on the surface. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

Above the falls for some miles is situated the Fall River Hatchery. After having visited the Falls, I drove to it and watched the trout in the holding tanks. (Can you spot the shadows of trout in the reflection in the last photo?) (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

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I saw a strange creature, a strange submarine critter, obviously looking toward the center of the Fall for trout that might swim by. It looks patiently up stream. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

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I stepped into the Fall River at this spot many times, or did I, for “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he’s not the same man” [Heraclitus]?  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

It is restful, isn’t it? It has no doubts. It gets where it is going. It doesn’t want to go anywhere else. It is constantly turning and bending.

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