Notebook

 

In one of the holes of the cement abutment beside the bridge over the Lillooet River, on the road to the Hurley Pass, I placed a jar containing a pencil and a spiral notepad.

Dad and I would park nearby, walk to the bridge, observe the height of the river using the measure attached to one of the bridge pilings, then record the data in the notebook.

At first the entries included nothing but date, time of day, temperature and water level. Eventually and inevitably, other details got included.

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If it was a glorious fall day, or perhaps a particularly miserable day (we would drive on those days) I might add a smiley face or a detail about how long the rain had lasted. Occasionally we’d bet on who would come closest to predicting the level and I’d record the winner. Over time, others discovered the notepad and they dutifully added their observations and sometimes left a brief summary of their trip.

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Dad has moved away now but I still document the water levels when we pass by the bridge. A few days ago, the chronicle took a very creative turn and I was surprised to find a few more items in the jar. After taking some photos of these mementos and the stories, I returned it all for the next person.

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It is not easy to find this container, as it is nestled behind the abutment and the roadbed is not wide beside it. A person would rarely decide to walk there but clearly, some have. What delights me is the glimpse into other lives these guest entries provide. Clearly, some people have stories just waiting to be released and a tiny notebook hidden beside a bridge offers a chance to share their thoughts with others.

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