There’s nothing quite like a leisurely float along the Rock Creek section of the Kettle River to remind one of the quietude of life in the Boundary, thankfully far removed from the turmoil in other parts of the world.
In recent weeks, the news has been particularly awash with reports of mass killings, atrocities executed by individuals stricken with a sense of hopelessness and fueled by a desire to end not only their own lives but those of the innocent, and by religious extremists in their ongoing “terrorism” campaign against a handful of middle-eastern governments and western philosophies.
Add to those horrific events the recent police incidents south of the border, along with the almost embarrassing U.S. presidential campaign, and one could certainly not be accused of pessimism by viewing humankind as somewhat unkempt at the moment, and, perhaps, heading for a cacophonous descent into a moral abyss.
Of course, Earth’s population is composed largely of people just like you and I, (mostly) peaceful and law-abiding citizens looking simply to get through the day physically and emotionally intact. That fact, however, is becoming increasingly difficult to grasp, as the media continues to hyper-saturate the airwaves with stories of conflict, collusion and corruption, leaving us with the challenging task of somehow making sense of it all.
Back on the river, it’s mostly a different matter, though not entirely. From the water, the destruction caused by last year’s wildfire is clearly visible, and I wonder to myself if there were any floaters out on that scorching August afternoon. Likely not, as by the time the fire hit, the river was ankle deep in some places and not exactly conducive to tubing, though if, in fact, there were a few determined souls intent on navigating a painfully slow river, they would have witnessed an Armageddon-like event never before seen in the Boundary, and I can only imagine the emotions they would have experienced as they watched the flames race along the highway.
It’s a markedly different Kettle River this summer, however. The current is strong and the water cold, which, combined with the month-long fishing closure, should help enormously with the Kettle’s overall health, and we may just see the river full of fun-seekers when the Ponderosa Music Festival rolls into the fairgrounds in late August.
While 2015 may have been, for some, the bearer of painful memories, this year is shaping up to be one to forget as just another perfect Boundary summer.