Some of the best times in my childhood were our family backpacking trips. On one such event we were directed to the Bogachiel, after finding out the Hoh River trail we’d planned on cost a small fortune to access. My mom and brother strapped on packs with me and we proceeded to hike towards Flapjack Camp. I remember the old growth cedar, and having to cross a downed tree in the trail which happened to have an angry bees nest on it. The river was full of beautiful holes I imagined steelhead, salmon, and trout to be holding in in great numbers. I’d wished I had a rod, but this was one of the few times when it was okay I didn’t. We had more pressing matters with our heavy packs and ambitious destination.
I remember my mom always telling me to turn off the lights at home, or I would be killing fish. I’ve come to understand how hydropower in the Northwest really does come with a price for every kilowatt, aside from the low cost. I thank my mom for introducing me to conservation and never giving up on the Columbia, Snake, or any of the great rivers in Washington. From the free rivers of the coast to Hell’s Canyon all rivers need protecting, and without people like my mother I don’t like to think what the future would hold.