Columbia travels

We've set ourselves a goal of traveling the Columbia River from its headwaters to its mouth over a number of years.  Last month, we started the journey. We drove to the town of Canal Flats in British Columbia and wandered through a residential neighborhood to reach a tiny park and a short trail around a marsh.

After a few minutes, we reached a foot bridge. On one side was the marsh. On the other side, the water formed a small moving stream. That would become the great river that flows a few miles from our home.

Before it gets to us, the little stream will become Columbia Lake, then a free-flowing river surrounded by miles of wetlands, then a series of dammed-up reservoirs and the massive Columbia that flows, albeit much tamer, into the Pacific. We don't know how long it would take the molecules of water that froze Matt's toes (yes, he stood in it) to get to Astoria, or if any of those molecules would make it this far, but it's been fascinating to think about the journey and its implications for our part of the world.

Coming back to Portland, we took Highway 14 along the north side of the Columbia Gorge. We loved remembering the tiny stream and thinking about the massive flooding that created the gorge -- and how it's all interconnected.

As we start our annual farmers market indulgence, we're excited to have more context about the water flowing into our region. That trip helped us feel connected to our own geography. So do farmers markets -- as what could tie us to our region more profoundly than small-scale agriculture?

We came home to fresh local raspberries. Already we know it's going to be a great summer. Enjoy yours -- and your local market. We hope to see you at one, soon.

Columbia Lake