Riffe Lake

Riffe Lake

Posted on October 18, 2023

We were heading down to the mud flats to see if we could get to the shore of the lake. I had waved at this guy when he showed up to the spot – he’d waved back, which I appreciated. He had a diesel F250, no rust, Washington plates, nice truck camper, solid tie downs, empty back rack. He greeted us with a wave and walked a couple steps in our direction. We stopped and turned towards him, maybe 50 feet between us. No need to get any closer, his deep voice boomed across the landscape. He asked us if we’d been here before. No – our first time. He said he’d been coming here with his wife for decades. This time, it was a stop back from over White Pass, further up Highway 12. He’d been visiting friends in the mountains for six days. Then, he turned back to the lake. He said it’s different from normal. This was the lowest he’d ever seen the lake here. I asked if it was from the dam, maybe they had it open further than normal. He said they had to keep letting water through because they needed the electricity. It’s just that it’s been so dry. So many dry years in a row. He worked outside his whole career, so he knew the weather. When the weather got bad, that’s when he worked. He’s retired now, but he believes in global warming, he said. All the carbon monoxide up in the atmosphere changes the weather down here. He believes in it, he said. The conversation trailed off, and he said if we needed anything from him, he has a good generator, and we can borrow it if we get cold. I said thanks and planned to offer something back, but the situation turned away from it, and we headed down to the mud.

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