Water sounds are grand, don’t you think? As coffee bubbles in the maker, I like hearing water a-boil in the tea kettle. It cheers me to heat the cup with water from the kettle before pouring coffee into it. I like the ripple-running of water in the brook at the edge of the road. And not far from the Appalachian Trail, in deep wilderness northward, the Swift River flows out of Swift River Pond in Township E, on about the same latitude as the southern tip of Mooselookmeguntic Lake (in the next town over, Rangeley Plantation). But here in (pictured) Byron you find Coos Canyon, with this flowing and falling. Swift enough sometimes to rush gold out of hiding. There is a history of gold panning/finding here.
Let us go into hiding, live in a cave, peeking out to see the flashing of light- and limb-shadows rushing down river. Let’s go pan for gold between muscular tree-bristling hills, like the old prospector on the Swift River, who, in the mid-1950s, after years of panning gold dust out of this isolated tributary of the Androscoggin, was taken downstream by car to Rumford Maine, population (lately) 6500. On seeing such a densely populated town, he could not stop declaring, How is it done? How do they do it? Anxiously asking, How do we all live?