Pick-up Dogs How Two Rescue Dogs Save the West from Being Won

A poem for home

“Ish River” —

like breath,

like mist rising from a hillside.

Duwamish, Snohomish, Stillaguamish, Samish,

Skokomish, Skykomish…all the ish rivers.

I live in the Ish River country

between two mountain ranges where

many rivers

run down to an inland sea.

Robert Sund, 1979

Cloud House

There is something about the immediacy of the land here in the most northwestern corner of the contiguous United States. The immensity of the mountains that rise straight up from the inland sea. Just looking at them, you feel like you are glissading down one of the glaciers. Kulshan calls me. The Sisters and their mass of dolomite elude me in my attempts to climb them from a distance. The border peaks glimmering on a crisp winter morning with the morning fog hanging over the Chuckanuts. The Cascades cool and present. The greenness of the land surrounds you. The rivers are full of glacial silt and the remnants of felled trees and rotting salmon carcasses pervade the air.

This is not where I’m from, but the land is powerful and beckoning. It brings me home.

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