A slight fever only adds to my mood to see the Moose River, the Plains, and to take some walk to an isolated lake. Sitting by the Moose, swelling downstream but pooled where I sit above, I imagine Paul Schaefer here*, speaking before a camera in 1948 to let the world know what would be lost by the building of Higley and Panther Mountain dams.
Pushing down the trail, yellow birch the diameter of two canoes put together, with boles on them that would make a bowl maker cry. A grouse, dusting on the sandy trail, leads me into a special grove, the pines, mostly bleached now, some fallen, but one giant remnant still vigorously dusting the fine air. The pines conjure up an elephant’s graveyard in majesty and mystery. Then, a distant view of water, a clearing and descent to Beaver Lake.
Not a soul or a sound. A loon, with head down, fishing in the distance. A public lake, but at that moment decisively private in its mood and thoughts. May it never become what I have just left over at Fourth Lake.
*Paul Schaefer successfully led the Moose River Committee’s 10 year campaign (1945-55) to prevent proposed Higley and Panther Mountain dams from flooding the South Branch of the Moose River and the Moose River Plains.
Top photo: South Branch, Moose River.