I've been watching a web site for the past week or so that shows the ongoing deconstruction of the dams on the Elwha River. The hope is that, once these obsolete and ill-conceived dams are out of the way, the river can return to its former glory, and that the salmon will return as well. The Elwha was, at one time, possibly the most productive salmon river between the Columbia and the Mackenzie, before the dams put a decisive end to that.
And now the dams are falling, albeit slowly and in a most controlled manner. I am looking forward to seeing the river running through here again, although it will take some time before the area really looks normal. And, I don't know how else to say it, but there's a part of me that will miss the lakes.
The road up to Whiskey Bend will not seem the same, at least that part at the beginning where it followed the Lake Mills shoreline, where the sun reflecting off the water seemed like hanging gold. And the overlook from the start of the Hot Springs trail, with the lake nestled in the valley below like a rare cerulean jewel in a priceless setting of green. That was damn pretty. And then there's Lake Aldwell, a little further downstream. That will be gone too. There will be no more family canoe trips - like this one - and I know I can't be the only one who will miss those.
I still say it's a good thing, these dams coming down. And maybe I'm just showing my age when I feel a sense of the bittersweet... that's what happens when memories and realities collide, something the young folks don't have to worry about.