Hellgate Canyon Cindy Barganier

Hellgate Canyon on the Rogue River

Our experience on the majestic Rogue river has been life altering. I even find my cursive flowing to the rhythm of the fly line after a day and a half fishing for the ever elusive half-pounder steelhead. Standing thigh-high in a flowing river as the sun ripples across the wake all by yourself except for your best friend and you fishing guide- the only sound the rip of the line across the water as you finish your circle on the spey cast and pull into the “J” settles you spirit. I found my very soul crying out the majesty of my God. Indeed the only fish I caught came as I sang the Hebrew blessing Baruch Atta, Adonai, “Blessed be the Name of The Lord”. But that’s another story.

The Psalms flowed through me. My mouth could not constrain them as my heart rejoiced. Entering the gap at Hellgate Pass (don’t ask me why they call it that) brought a completely different experience. The towering multi-colored walls of the canyon had me marveling at their beauty. As a textile designer I can never hope to match the beauty found in God’s creation. White became grey became black became iridescent green as layer upon layer upon layer of natural mineral cliffs rose around and above us. The class II rapids brought squeals of delight as “our hands went UP” (according to the song LOL). We wondered aloud what heaven must be like if earth is this great.

We watched the osprey skim the two foot deep crystal river snatching his supper from those living waters. The great blue heron barely turned his head as we floated past him. The salmon jumped in their teasing way but never took our bait. Life is good. God is good.

As I ask ,”What’s next?”  I sense God saying that he is not through with us yet. I rejoice for my heart’s desire is to be used of Him. To not know the peace, love and joy that Jesus gives for the asking is not an option. This life of grace is far superior to the dos and don’ts of the life trying to keep the law.

Tomorrow I will share the images and more stories that led to the above entry in my journal. Grab your sunscreen!