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We walked to the river recently, my husband and I and our little dog Mitsy. A short hike down a canyon a few miles from our home.

I left a crumb-trail of photos, if you’d like to join us.

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This is where we started. The river lies below that ridge of mountains you see in the background in the photo above.

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The way winds downward and grows narrow.

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Among the hollows the oak trees look so dark and wild.

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Eventually the canyon opens up into a wide, grassy meadow before descending again to the river.  A place to linger among the oaks.

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We find a tree perfect for a child to climb or swing from . . .

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. . . and places to picnic in the sun-filtered grass . . .

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. . . while we admire the gracefully curving branches of the oaks, some bending so low as to touch the ground.

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We watch out for the critters, spotting the tracks of deer and a mountain lion in the mud left-over from a recent rain.

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xxx

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And strangely enough,  we see the barefoot print of a child, judging from its size.

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We cannot imagine what a child this young would be doing out here all alone in the wild. A fairy child, perhaps?  Or one raised by wolves? Or the one that lies down with lions and lambs?

Soon enough we catch glimpses of the river far below the meadow.  Here a ribbon of blue shows beneath a fringe of pine and oak branches.

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Another glimpse, framed by falling strands of moss, shows where the river parts, passing in two strands.

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Nearer now an old tree stump stands guard.

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Closer still the river is almost lost among shadows and leaves.

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The final steep trek winding down toward our destination.

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Ah, the river, at last.

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Looking to the east is a sign warning us to stay away–a military training camp lies beyond this peaceful setting.

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Looking westward all is calm and still.

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A stand of trees fed by the river rises straight and tall on one side of the shore . . .

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. . . watching their white-barked cousins dance on the other side.

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Our little dog sniffs among the leaves . . .

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. . . and wades among the shallows . . .

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. . . and stops to gaze upon the perfectly rounded world reflected in the still water.

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Up close the river is just as pretty–a still life of rock and moss . . .

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. . . lies beside the rippling water . . .

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. . . while green fronds rise from the mud below.

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One last drink before we head home.

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The walk back is just as lovely as the way down, the path still dappled in sunlight.

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I never tire of admiring the oak trees, each so unique and elegant . . .

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It’s almost two lovely to leave . . . .

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