Wild and scenic Smith River, in isolated northern California, has been a spiritual river since the first people, the Tolowa, fished it for salmon. For my family and me, it is the traditional heart of our summer gatherings.
Since before we had children, my husband and I have boated, snorkeled, protected, studied, and loved the crystal clear waters. Named after mountain man Jedediah Smith, the river’s serpentine soils yield a unique habitat that is home to many rare native plants.
Years of camping and backpacking in the watershed have only increased our devotion to, and appreciation of the Smith. Our family has dispersed far and wide, but continue to honor the yearly pilgrimage, passing along the spirit to friends and new family.