There is a place in the Sierra Nevada mountains where I go when I need to breathe.

Sometimes I can only go there in my mind.

It is a simple cabin. It has a kitchen, a bedroom, an indoor bathroom, running water and electricity. It is Tres Pinos.


It has a peaceful, quiet deck that overlooks a canyon where the South Fork of the Middle Fork of the Tule River runs.

Going to sleep on that deck, under a sky full of light and dark, the wind gently moving the pine trees as they guard the earth, is wondrous. The voice of the river would soothe.

As a child sleeping outside on the deck would scare me. It is only now that I realize that the source of that fear was the enormity of that sky, all those stars, all the unknown out there. But the river would put me to sleep.

In Spring, when the winter snows give it sustenance, you can hear the river roar. In the fall the river becomes a rivulet. It’s voice is diminished. It’s life barely sustained.

We would go to the river often. To smell the fresh, clean air of the river. To feel the icy water sting our feet. Occasionally, especially on hot summer days, we would swim. At the “swimmin’ hole”.

Humans created the “swimmin’ hole” with river rocks. The dam held back the low summer river at the bottom of a cascade. Sliding down the cascade into the cold, murky water was an act of courage. Jumping off the small cliff into the water was just nuts.


As the summer turns to fall, the river completes its annual cycle. It no longer receives water from rain or snow. It becomes a rivulet again.

Winter would bring snow high above our cabin. Spring would bring rain. And the river would roar its voice once again.



Categories: Camp Nelson, Daily Prompt, Family, Prompt, Rain, Rivulet, Swimming, Tule River, Uncategorized


  1. Peaceful prose; stirring photography

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! Somehow I knew you (and a few others) would get it. Your kind words mean a lot to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. them.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Show beautiful. It reminded me of the one time my husband took me camping, one of his loves, and I could not sleep. I called out, “Would somebody turn off the stream?” Needless to say we did nt stay as long as planned. Wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I went to your blog and love it. I couldn’t find a follow button so I hope you can add me to your list of followers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sure i am following.. u can find the follow right at the top


  7. Found it! So glad you pointed it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Isn’t it a privilege to get to know a place like this through all its seasons? I love the idea of falling asleep to the sound of the river, like a soothing balm against childhood fears of the vast unknown. So evocative. And your photos are lovely too! Thank you for this beautiful, meditative post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, what a lovely, peaceful visit to your little cabin. Thank you for taking us there…❤️❤️❤️


  10. You are so welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have an intimate history with that river. Also that deck for sleeping. Some friends and I had been shooting the Rapids upstream of Camp Nelson. I had been catapulted into the 100 yard long stretch of rapids. I was like a steel ball in an enormous pinball machine. The closest settlement was Camp elson. We ended up at the Gisvold cabin. I discovered a nurse there convalescing from chemo who nursed me back to health. It was the last time I saw

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for the memory, Smitty! Miss you!


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