There are only a few things in life that silence you by their sheer magnitude. Without a doubt, nature is one of them. When my friend offered to take me to the Beacon Rock in Stevenson, I was thrilled, excited, and nervous all at the same time. And as it is with these emotions, I chatted away all the way up, eager to reach the peak. My patient friend with his experience in hiking with enthusiastic first timers, offered me advice and great conversation throughout the hike. When at last we reached the top, this sight descended upon me knocking my voice out of my throat. For much longer than a few minutes, we stood atop the rock looking down at the marvellousness that’s the Gorge of Columbia River. Despite the devastating loss it’d undergone mere weeks ago, the river flowed along serene as ever.