“In profile, Yadernuk’s face was a relief map of basin and range, her hair a fright of white wires.  Wearing a gold football jersey and navy sweatpants, she yanked at the clothesline.  She wasn’t going to turn a visitor away.  She wasn’t about to look at him, either.  As she worked, she talked.  Yadernuk had good reason, beyond my dropping in on her, to be crabby.  Vandals stole the motor from her boat.  Coyotes got into her sheep.  Three of her cows were missing, and the game warden confiscated a whole line of her beaver traps.”

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“I headed south toward Revelstoke with growing disappointment that I had not yet seen a bear.  In three weeks on the river I’d had many false sightings.  Hyperalert, I mistook lots of things for a bear.  Scanning a hillside clearcut from the canoe, I saw a charred stump and registered – bear!  At the black round opening of a culvert – bear!  A dark hole in foliage – bear!  So when I finally did see a bear, the image flashed to a tiny switchbox behind my optic nerve and registered – stump.  But it wasn’t a stump.  It moved.  The bear browsed just two hundred feet ahead of my canoe on a steep, wooded bank.  He hadn’t seen me.  The bear sat beanbagged, his bulk all sunk to his rump, enjoying a salad of salmonberry greens.  He stripped limbs between his claws and stuffed the results beneath his snout.  This was a left handed bear with a matted dark coat.  His hump was brownish, his snout lighter than his fur.  A black bear. . . .”

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“Change, on the river, would be easier to judge harshly if the people who changed it belonged to a different culture, if they spoke a foreign language, if they were stupid or knowingly greedy.  But it’s not that easy.  Cody Logging and Construction Company is the outfit to which my dad’s generation -- and I, growing up -- pegged our idea of success.”

AAAAAAAAAAAA –From "Voyage of a Summer Sun"

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