Monday, March 21, 2011

Lakelse River bridge 1958 - 2007

Photo: brother and sister, nearly 50 years later, sit on the now disused Lakelse River Bridge to nowhere.

On a hot summer day in 1959, Dad took us out to the Lakelse River to see the fish ladders. Before I saw them, I was confused by images of fish climbing up wooden ladders like Dad's. The reality was different. We followed Dad out onto the rickety structure and peered down into the dark water.

"Look for movement," he said, and suddenly I saw the migrating salmon thick in the river.

Above me, Dad's voice was changed by wonder. "So thick," he said, "there's millions of them. You feel you could almost walk across the river on their backs."

Back in the old black Mercury, we bumped over the gravel road. Every time a car passed us, I smelt the fine volcanic dust and the fuel oil that was spread on the roads to lay it. I thought about the fish, and knew I'd never forget what I'd just seen.

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