Occasional afternoon showers arrive before I do. They arrive all at once. They stay.
A steady rain falls on a day that isn't too cold for people that live here. It is just enough that I don't quite feel like diving into it. I have to wait for a friend to arrive, so I make a small batch of cinnamon frybread, leaving the kitchen door open perhaps just to ease myself into what might be a full day of rain.
S and I head upriver to the diagonal road. The cottonwood forest has the smell of new growth. Even the rain can't keep that down. The river is running high again. It is already a foot or two higher than it was when I left on Sunday, so it has been raining upstream of here for some time. The small sand beach by the USGS river gauge is nearly disappeared. I always check this spot for animal tracks. I cast a fine cougar print here once, but today there is no reason to drop down for a look.
Our first stop is the squatter's cabin. I lead to the grove below it and then point S towards the trail and let him find it himself. He says that it has a good spirit about it. This is not the first time that someone has said that. I've always felt something creative here and I may be wrong about that, but a feeling of "creative" and a feeling of "good" could be easily confused. S photographs while I collect a nice sample of witch's hair lichen.
We drop down and continue up the road. We are exploring this area as a site for a collaborative project and we spend a couple hours moving around examining stumps and thinking about the shape of the land. This is a mostly cedar forest in this spot, so while it rains steadily, we don't get nearly as wet as one would expect.
Our plan improves as we talk it out. When we go, we continue upriver to the slough, which is once again thigh deep. One of the two logs that the kids had placed as a bridge is gone and we have no reason, apparently, to get wet from the bottom up, already being wet from the top down. We take a round-about route back, walking to the braided grasses, the lower beach and the barn before settling in at the kitchen to finish our chat. A fine day, a fine day for sure.