Monday, June 14, 2010

One of Those Places

Maybe it’s the Earth-old granite or the glacial lake. American Indians called it Spirit Lake but it was erroneously translated to Devil’s Lake in the mid-1800s, according to the park’s Official 2010 Visitor Guide. The sensational name attracted visitors, which pleased the railroad, hotel and tourism officials. It remains an attraction, complete with tie-dyed t-shirts and cheesy beaded belts, but yards from the visitor center are ancient effigy mounds in the shape of a bear, a lynx, a bird. Rocky trails lead away from the beach crowds. Dense hot forests where trees vibrate in the rain. Turkey vultures soar on thermals and somehow you’re above them, watching the quiet lake. Heavier rain sounding like tearing paper. In the moisture each step is deliberate, life-giving, bone versus rock. The biggest daddy-longlegs I’ve ever seen, a delicate creature hugging a boulder as old as time. Ripples of prehistoric lakes. I am one thing, one blink.

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