“Church of the Forest” Yet another vortex experience to feed your soul…

by | Jul 2, 2012


“When Grand Coulee Dam was built on the Columbia River in the 1930s, salmon migration above the dam was brought to an abrupt halt. Due to the loss of hundreds of miles of salmon spawning habitat, the federal government built and began operating fish hatcheries to lend a helping hand to the salmon of the Columbia River system. Funded by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), Leavenworth Fisheries Complex is located in north central Washington State. More…

Judy and I could not pass up our most favorite hike in the world on July 1st while passing through Leavenworth, Washington on our way to Seattle.  We fell in love with Leavenworth and made this very special place, on the east side of Steven’s Pass in North Central Washington, our home in 1990 for 15 years before relocating to the Oregon Coast in 2005.  We call the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery, the “Church of the Forest” because it is a highly spirtual spot for us to connect with nature and with God.  For several years while living in the Icicle Valley, Judy, and daughter, Sarah, rode their horses Thomas and Bud in the park while I watched.  It was always a joy to see how Sarah and her Mom bonded together with their mutual love for riding and caring for horses.  I walked along side of them while watching our dog Mocha run about and swim in the the Icicle Creek.  We always feared that Mocha would go over the dam, but she always jumped out at just the right time.  When Mocha passed away, we put her ashes in the river to mark her special place to run and play for eternity.  The Leavenworth Fish Hatchery will be in our hearts forever…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

Judy at the bridge
Wedge Mountain
Icicle River below the dam
Entering the “Church of the Forest”

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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