>a cup and saucer in my cupboard from the camp’s clubhouse


Miles down river from the nearest town, a vista point has been established. Stand here — you’ll be able to  look across a canyon to what was once a power camp. Between here and there, the waterfalls which once caused Lewis and Clark to spend three weeks portaging around them while navigating the Missouri River still kick up spray. If you walk away from the sign and approach the cliff you can feel the ground tremble from the power of the falls.
I’ve written about this before.
When I want to show my kids where (and how) their mother and uncles and aunt grew up, this is where I take them. We aren’t allowed access to the far side of the river anymore. Tourists climb out of air conditioned buses, gingerly stepping between crunchy stands of prairie grass and cactus to examine the view more closely.
The power camp is gone. Houses (homes), horseshoe pits, the water fountain, arbors and hedges, the path to the animal graveyard –gone. What remains are the apple orchard and the white birch tree we used for second base, and a sign that says you are here, with a map  illustrating the course of the river and the path of Lewis and Clark. Nothing says we were there.

About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

6 responses to “>a cup and saucer in my cupboard from the camp’s clubhouse

  1. >Like a diorama, the exhibit out-of-bounds, eyes only. Except how you tell us the power of the falls can still be felt. "Portaging around" strikes as just plain cool…the perfect phrase to capture the time and the challenge. Surely we carry such places, their meaning, within our cells.

  2. >Sherry, Some times I feel so sad that the sights and sounds of our past is slowly disappearing. We come from a different era now. Things have changed so much…Often when I see my grand sons, I encourage them to play games with their imaginations and tell them stories of how things were when I was young.One of my favorite books is WOMEN WHO RUN WITH WOLVES by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. She tells stories of generations passing on family stories, and presents the image of generations all standing above the shoulders of the previous generation, passing it on and on…You will continue to share your stories with your children, and because of you, it will plant a seed within them to make a difference.Thank you for your kind comments when you came to visit my blog. It helps sharing the sorrow of losing such a creative and loving voice as Penny's.

  3. >Hey Sherry, maybe you should bury a time capsule by the place to tell those that YES! you were there…

  4. >marylinn,*portaging around* …you are right, is way cool. i recognize it as a tactic i've used in my life without really realizing it. it's what we've got to do at times with large obstacles in our way.donna b,i'm thinking you and i like quite a bit of the same things and the same books. i did grow up on stories and my kids have as well. we love to sit around together and recall them and then create new ones.hi kerry,what a great idea! and since you said that i am reminded of a piggy bank we once tried to bury in the elaborate park that ran along the top of the cliffs. we wanted to create a map to it and then hide the map. a buried treasure! our mother sent us back out to retreive it, but had we left it there, someone some day would have found 111 pennies in it.

  5. >I love how "I've written about this before" has its own paragraph.

  6. >Hi Sherry, "Nothing says we were there." I love the way you make me think about things in a novel way. We were there, I guess, for me, is in the photographs we take- but there's nothing for another person outside ourselves to know that we were there. Maybe the emotion we feel in natural places, in some way, remains, for those that follow. And the memories we leave with our children, make us come real for them, when they visit where we've been.

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