Here’s where the grasslands divide in two. The river in the foreground is the Shuswap. That water flows into the Thompson, which flows into the Fraser, which flows into the Salish Sea and the Ish River country, and out to the Pacific through the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The lake in the distance is 135-kilometre-long Okanagan Lake. I live above it behind the distant hill on the mid left. Okanagan Lake gathers water from the green space below the hills of the mid-left, flows into the Okanogan River, and from there into the Columbia and out to the Pacific over the Columbia Bar. These waters only meet again when waters from the Columbia drift north for hundreds of miles along the Pacific shore, in through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and into the Ish River country, where they mingle at last. The grass, however, is continuous, and is the true ocean here. I’m sharing this photo, because how often do you see the world dividing yet remaining the same, and coming together, although it was never separate? Okanagan Lake thrusts deep into this country and provides a passage between the two great grasslands of the Pacific Northwest. In return, the country gives it water.
Head of the Lake
Okanagan Okanogan is written from a spot just behind the intersection of the ridge in the middle of the image and the image’s left.
This is a gift never to be taken for granted. Thanks is always to be given. It is given here.