On our third evening at Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site, just after dinner, I saw a flash of light illuminate the window of our back door. A few seconds later, I saw another one, and then another. I put on my shoes and went outside. The sky was clear, but hovering just above the northern horizon, I spotted a large white cloud. The cloud was full of energy and every few seconds, three or four bolts of brilliant white lightening would streak through the space between the cloud and the earth, and shear the night. Remembering that sound moves slower than light and that each second represents a mile, I began counting the seconds after each flash waiting for the rumble of thunder. But no sound ever came. I watched for over an hour while the cloud mysteriously remained anchored to one spot, spitting silent lightening. Just before we went to bed and I took Melo and Pix out to do their stuff, the cloud was still there.
It was mid-afternoon when we arrived at the almost deserted campground in the middle of nowhere. The Mountain View RV Campground was mostly empty and we got a choice spot to hook up our camper. We took the dogs out behind the campground and walked on the dirt road beside the railroad track, taking in the infinite space in all directions. Melo and Pix were too busy exploring the strange new scents to notice the small cottontail scurry into a hole under some thorny bushes. The air was void of all sounds as the late January sun shone upon us, warming our souls. It felt like a good place to spend our first night in Arizona.
It was a sign from heaven! I felt it in my soul. As I crested the scrubby hill to catch my first view of Lake Superior, my eye was drawn to an incredible sight. Swimming away from me on the steel blue surface of the world’s largest fresh water lake (at least that’s what Kat says…), was the most beautiful bird I’ve ever seen. The light was shining on it in such as way that its feathers glimmered with all the iridescent colours of the rainbow. I swear I saw one of its eyes, ringed by fiery reds and dazzling blues, staring directly at me, winking at me, beckoning me forward.
The trail followed the Columbia River for about three or four kilometres before ending at a cluster of bullet-riddled cars. It was a reminder of how the garbage of industry, and civilization, can await us at every turn. But before coming across the rusty remains of what must have been someone’s dream in the past, I came across another remarkable sight. I saw the river flowing uphill.