Have you heard the expression “thin place?” I first heard of this 4 years ago when a Buddhist friend told me about them. Described as places where you can reach out and touch Heaven (whatever that is to you).
The Salmon River is my thin place. I first encountered this place a month after I moved to Oregon. As I hiked along the river I became mesmerized by the salmon spawning. Through the clearest of alpine waters I could see salmon laying on the bottom of the riverbed and I was touched when I thought about what it took for them to get all the way up here on the mountain so they could spawn. What a life they lived. There was something beautiful and also tragic about their story. I come back every year to this spot to watch them spawn and it never ceases to amaze me.
One day in the summer, A year after we’d been coming here regularly, we were hiking along the trail and a woman we ran into said, “Have you been to the secret island? You should go to the secret island! Turn right at the hollowed out tree.” So we went in search of a hollowed out tree and we found it! And we turned right. And there was, indeed, a secret island where, if you are lucky, you will have the best campground on Mt Hood with your own beach for fly fishing. It quickly became my my most favorite spot on the planet. Everytime we hike here I have to visit the Secret Island.
Here are some other photos from along the trail, taken with various cameras at various times of the year.
This is my favorite place in the whole wide world. It is where I go when the craziness of life gets to me. This beautiful place slows me down and makes me see what is most important. Sometimes the river will tell me its secrets, if my mind is quiet enough.