Friday, March 19, 2010


Duwamish River - I put in from a neighborhood called South Park. The tide is falling and the current will pick up for the next few hours. But, there is a stiff wind blowing up the river, the cause for me coming here instead of out on the sound. If I just sit, the wind blows me slowly up river against the current. This area of the river is all industrial. At one time, this part of the river meandered all over a mile wide river bottom. It would've have been part forest and part marsh land. It is very abused water and toxins will flow out of here for a thousand years more. There is even a taste in the air of grinding hot metal and sometimes, something plastic. The banks are fortified with old chunks of concrete and in places, rotting wooden sea walls of indeterminate age. A half mile up, the deadness gives way to a seal that surfaces and cautiously watches me as I pass. Then, I hear the piercing chirp-whistle of eagles and find a nesting box atop a 75 foot tall pole. The box keeps them from nesting in nearby power lines and the resident pair then keeps other eagles from nesting. I wonder what they eat, there are no coots in this river. As I continue, the river bank gives way more often to mud and brush. When I reach the big oxbow, the banks, at least the outside bank in the curve has taken on a primordial appearance with large silt impregnated drift logs partially buried in the mud. Almost everything is the same nearly black color. There is some life here. As I turn, some Boeing workers on shore crack a joke my way, but it has nasty undertones, just something not quite level about it. I acknowledge it and move on knowing, because I worked there far too long, what they are up against.

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