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“Angel’s Rest”, © 2019, Illustration, (81/2" x 12"- colored pencil on paper), and poem by Chas Wyatt

“Angel’s Rest”

My intent was not to traverse your winding, worn and rock-strewn path all the way to the crest, but, some force kept driving me onward and upwards.

Perhaps it was memories of this place I held close to my heart, ghosts of the past that refused to stay silent, echoes cascading down the crevices, rock slides and waterfalls dissipating into the mist of time.

It seemed to be a harder climb than in the halcyon days of my youth, but, taking my time, pausing now and then for rest, I pressed on.

Blackfly, please don’t bite me and cause me to stumble on the pebbles that lay in my path. Buzzard circles overhead as I wipe the sweat from my brow, as I say to him, “Not now, Buzzard, not now”.

Eagle soars above on currents of air, where crows fear to tread, as the mighty Columbia rolls on below, flowing over the ancient river bed.

As I climb higher, the gentle breeze soothes my soul and each passing bend and switchback becomes a new memory of mine. Reaching the top, as I lay my body down on your granite bed, I am feeling a sense of peace returning to me, carried by the spirits of the wind and quenching the thirst of my soul, in this place where “Angel’s Rest”.

(Author’s Note; “Angel’s Rest” is a rock bluff that juts out into the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon side. It is a 4.5 mile hike with an elevation gain of 1,476 feet).

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