River Walk

My husband and I walked the river Saturday morning. I hadn’t been there for a couple of weeks and was amazed at the tulips and other flowering plants in full bloom. It looked a brand new walkway, all dressed up in pinks, yellows and whites.

We had to leave Titan at home. He would have loved the outing a little too much for anyone’s comfort because our destination was our area farmer’s market. Both my husband and I are trying to get into better shape, so we parked about a quarter mile away and walked the river to the market, which also is set up on a bank river.

Our town is dissected by the Snake River, which is both a bad and a good thing. The river itself can’t be safely swam in because it has such strong currents and it has so much rock and debris under the surface. You can sit watch whirlpools start to form all up and down the river. The whirlpools are not always strong enough to pull a person under the surface, but they do indicate the many conflicting currents in the river. It is not unusual that drowning victims get trapped by a strong current and then injured and trapped under the water by roots, driftwood and rocks. So while swimming is not a wise option, the city has created one of the most beautiful greenbelts along both its banks. The downtown east bank is a park and common place for community events like the farmer’s market.

The landscaped part of the river stretches between three traffic bridges, each about a mile apart. We often walk one loop connecting two of the three bridges, which is about 2 miles. There are may sections of multi-level landscaped paths and wide stretches of park like grass and trees. It is really beautiful.

The river is running very high right now with spring snow run-off from the mountains. We unofficially measure it by how high the water gets to the walking bridge that crosses the river diversion. The city built the diversion ages ago for its hydro-electric plant (which it still has, but in another spot further down river) and a fish hatchery (which no longer exists.) Saturday the river was less than an inch from the bottom of the walk way. That is high! I have seen the water lap up against the bridge in an exceptionally high water year, but I have not yet seen it crest it. We still have a good month or more to go with the run-off, so I’ll keep you posted.

There are a number of Canada geese who take up residence in the river. Right now they are nesting and soon little gaggles of tiny geese will be waddling around. There also are a number of ducks and songbirds. While standing by a flowering plum tree, I startled a little black cap chickadee who was feasting on the flowerseed.

The market was great for an opening weekend. There were two or three artisan cheese stands and as many artisan meat booths. Some farmers brought tomato, flower and other seed starts. Although not as iconic as street food in other countries, the food booths were typical of this area – cowboy breakfast scramble, corn dogs, and scones seemed to be the most popular.

Except for wishing we could have Titan with us, it was a great start to the day!

Enjoy the read, TC Robinson

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