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Field Notebook

Spring, 2010
Rio Baker, Chile


(photo: James Q Martin)
(photo: James Q Martin)
This is the proposed site of Baker 2 dam, a hard volcanic core that the river splits open, a wedge driven through solid earth. El Saltón, Jonathan says, insisting the accent of the o be delivered  like marching orders, like the bestial water it speaks of, cloudy gray tongues of the Baker heaving over an edge with steel-bending force, sheets of mist ripping into the air. The Andes cannot stop this water. I feel it in the rock beneath me, the river muscling and punching. I feel it in my bones as if I were a tuning fork at the edge of the rapid.

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