Hidden Treasures

Sunny western winters invite exploration. The mountains are tall, the forests deep green, and the lakes are looking for company.

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Tortuga is drawn to paths we’ve traveled before, and paths that are infrequently visited in the winter.

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If you look closely at the picture below, you’ll see deer looking back at us. No doubt they’re wondering who might be invading their privacy so early in the year.

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But we don’t stop … we’re looking for treasures … visual treasures.

At this time of the year, the nearby lake is drawn down in preparation for the spring runoff. This is a great time to wander and ponder in areas that are usually way under the water.

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From 1910 to the 40’s, there was a town named Marcus, in the northeast of Washington State. It was a railroad hub for the area, and had hotels, hospital, and was a sizable place for that time. With the spring drawdown of the lake, we can visit the site of the original Marcus … which was relocated in 1940 with the creation of Lake Roosevelt and it’s hydroelectric dams.

OK … we’re down under the roots of some of the trees … and heading lower …

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… and we can see some of the corners of the buildings from the 1940’s …

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… and walk on the sidewalks from that time … and imagine the gardens and columns that were around this building, below …

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… and walk the streets, pondering the red pavements (under the silt). Imagine the views those people had of the sometimes raging Columbia River that was right next to them. Imagine the harvest of salmon, the picnics, the small pleasures of living here.

This will soon be hidden, under water, until the next spring. But for now, we can relax here, seeing what those people saw every day.

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But those times are gone. The views have changed. Still beautiful, but different …

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… and still a treasure.

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