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Louis Valentine Johnson | Walking the Yuba River

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Walking the Yuba River

by Louis Valentine Johnson

You may watch this river flow like life, peacefully through forests in Northern California, then suddenly crash into turbulent waves carving canyons of nature’s art into the timeless rocks at the precipice of centuries.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
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1. Walking the Yuba River
3:31 $0.99
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Album Notes
On the Western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California where I live, there is a magnificent river called the Yuba. Named by Native Americans, it moves sometimes peacefully and other times swift and turbulent through deep canyons where it has cut patterns into rocks over the centuries. Like life, this river sometimes seems to ripple placidly, but the water actually moves very fast on its journey to the ocean. Red-tailed hawks and eagles soar slowly in the sky above this exquisite marvel of power, beauty and danger. Many people die in the river each year, but if you are careful, you can walk the narrow trails of these canyon walls while the river flows far below you.

This composition begins on a sunny autumn morning, rich with the anticipation of a walk with Libby on this beautiful river. Our love, like the river, is a strong thread of silver and gold, connecting the lives and hearts of many. Our footprints are now together with the ancients who, over thousands of years, have walked upon the dirt paths above this river. After rounding a curve on the trail, the music expresses our view of waterfalls and whitewater rapids along with shear mountain cliffs guarded at their crests by tall pine tree sentinels. Rocks, some gigantic and rugged with standing with smooth ones, extend out into the river.

Northern California poet Karla Arens writes in one of her poems about the Yuba:

“…and upstream there are secret deep pools we have yet to swim, deer trails high on the canyon where we have always wanted to hike…”

Once you have been to the Yuba River, you will have a memory of unparalleled natural beauty, and a wish to return will always be your desire. Resting upon the rocks under a canopy of trees, you can listen to the water while contemplating life, the worlds of yesterday, today, and breathing for tomorrow.



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