In February, the Inland Northwest said goodbye to an extraordinary soul who left quite an impression on many of us who play and live on and near Lake Pend Oreille: Captain Wes Jones. This is my tribute to a man who showed me wonders of nature on the lake, shared his poetry, and brought more color into my life.

The loss of you runs deep and cold

like the waters you loved

to chase and pace

through rain, sun, wind, snow.

The lake drinks our tears

as we seek to reconcile

your leaving us

with our lustrous memories

of a man who wove

words and wildness and wonder

into everything he did. // (S. Michal Bennett)

Editor’s note: You can read S. Michal Bennett’s 2017 article about Captain Wes Jones and the Lake Pend Oreille water shuttle service he ran with his 22-foot Duckworth he dubbed “The Liquid Limo” at Outthereoutdoors.com.