Up the Sol Duc River. Usually you know just before you get there if the salmon are jumping. As the road came around the curve there were no watchers silhouetted along the bank of the river, no cars in the little parking lot for Salmon Cascade. But heaps of water, and yes, the salmon were jumping.
I had the river to myself for a while; could hang around, bouncing up and down a little to lend lift to the fishes, and cheering them on. Go go go, fish. Swim swim swim. Whoo, two and two more and another, whoo. They flap their fins and tails like crazy in the air, so when they land they are already swimming as hard as they can. They never seem to get through; but they must, because I've heard that if you know where to look upstream from this point you can see them making their redds (nests) in the tributary channels; and they can only have gotten there by succeeding in jumping up the cascade. Go go go, fish. Swim swim swim.
Some people came. "Are they jumping?" "Oh yeah," I said, but I didn't really need to answer, a couple of small ones jumped and then a big one. "Whoah!" said everyone. Instant joy. Now more people came, as it was clear to cars passing by that Something Was Happening. Wasn't it just.
Thank you, Olympic National Park.