For the indigenous people of North America, maps have always been carried in the heart and mind. In the era of colonial exploration, the first maps unlocked the landscape for others who followed, guiding us where to go, and pinpointing where the rich resources for extraction would be.

In this era of google maps and GIS tracking,  hand-made, hand-drawn maps remind me that landscape is still a place for the soul to roam.

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River Love, Part 2

    My map of the Incomappleux basin here, with help from my imagination.  What this map cannot record is the quantity and persistence of the rain that fell during my trip into the heart of the valley to see the old trees. What the map does record is the relative amount of remaining, untouched… Read more »

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Sophie Morigeau’s Landscape

  Sophie Morigeau was the daughter of a French-Canadian free-fur trader and a Cree-mixed blood mother, born in the beautiful valley of the Columbia River headwaters in 1836.  While many attempts were made to “civilize” her through Catholic Mission schooling, marriage and other conventions, Sophie couldn’t fit the mold and became a rare free-trader like… Read more »

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Saffron Peak in Purcell Range

  I was reading The Purcell Range of B.C. by Mr. Thorington and came across his marvelous description of Saffron Peak and the river flowing out of that yellow mountain.  Maps.  Exploring.  Choices about which way to go.  All of these prompted my journal to explode with possibilities…..

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Columbia River Sea to Source

I created this map when writing about a crack in Wanapum Dam in 2014, imagining the Columbia to be flowing in a crack in concrete      

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Columbia River Narrows

  In 2013, local author Takaia Larsen invited me to participate in a history of the Columbia River valley between Castlegar and Revelstoke.  In preparation for my contribution to this volume, I imagined the Columbia River as it was 1,000 years ago, drawing on my years of research and travel in the region.