Freedom is The River first conceived as falling snow during eons of time building deep during the long, hard, cold Winter. The Wyoming wind blowing it into heavy drifts with only the promise of fluid motion yet to come as warmer temperatures will release the freedom that is The River.
Slowly Spring begins to arrive in the high country of Wyoming. Warm winds set in motion the slow release of The River. Snow melts and drips and falls freely forming a small streamlet flowing ever more untethered and swelling with each new droplet adding water to the newly developing river.
More rivulets join the new streamlet rushing over rocks, and boulders clear and fresh and alive with freedom. Moving ever more swiftly and gathering new strength, it grows, becoming more powerful tearing at the dirt banks along its path eroding and cutting new paths. It’s becoming a mountain stream crashing, smashing and rolling pulled by gravity ever downward. The River moves freely into its future.
The River grows as creeks join with the newly formed torrent. Beavers attempt to slow The River’s freedom as they build their dams of Aspen branches, Willows, and mud. The River continues finding new paths to freedom, trickling over and around the beaver’s obstruction. Growing with each new tributary the mighty River is formed. Nothing can stop the quest of freedom for The River..
Over one hundred and fifty years ago The River, passing Independence Rock, Devil’s Gate, Split Rock, and South Pass, witnessed mountain men and fur traders as they traveled to their annual summertime Rocky Mountain Rendezvous. Others would follow a few years later driving wagons pulled by stout horses or oxen. More, with a religious zeal, pulling handcarts moving west on their own trek for freedom.
These immigrants call The River the Sweetwater because it was the first mountain stream they tasted on their trek west. The River was sweet and savory after miles of alkali and dryness. Unfortunately these same immigrants seeking freedom would spell the doom of freedom for the American Indian who had roamed unhindered following this sweet river.
Today, The River is still mighty as its water flows toward its destiny. It is a paradise for fishermen, hunters, hikers, and photographers. One can still stand on its grassy banks and witness The River flowing unrestrained and bountiful. Freedom is The River flowing wild, unimpeded, and self ruled for eons of time to come.
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Great story, and some very good photos.
Thank you, Lorrie.
I read the power in your words of description of the water moving.