Author's note: This is the third and final part of a story that first appeared in the the December/January 2003 issue of Alaska magazine. It's my take on 30 years of "progress" on a river being loved to death.
Fall is in the air. Last week, I took a quick walk through the woods. I watched golden leaves sail to the ground. A Varied Thrush popped onto a leafless branch in front of me while a small flock of these birds moved along the ground eating berries.
Author's note: The December/January 2003 issue of Alaska magazine contained a photo-essay about the Kenai River, in which I wrote:
"The Kenai River is many things to many people. People float down it in rafts and zoom up it in motorboats.
If you lived in the woods on the Kenai Peninsula in the 1990s, you may not want to read this article. Those were the years when the spruce bark beetle outbreak killed more than 3 million acres of mature spruce forest on the Kenai.