NEW from Jill Hance Bakke

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest, the fourth largest in North America, and the largest hydro-electric power-producing river on the continent.

It is also a sight to behold!

On any given day, you can see sailboats, paddle wheelers and cruise ships merging with pilot boats, tugs, small fishing boats, cargo ships and other vessels that ply the waters of this majestic working river.

Sea lions, salmon and even occasional pods of whales mix with other sea life, and seagulls, crows and cormorants share the sky.

Filled with lovely illustrations of the Columbia River and the surrounding area of Astoria, Oregon, these reflections reveal what the river has taught the author about life, and how it has become her muse.

In considering the mysteries of the river, the author urges others to think about what speaks to them. Whether it's music, dance, the smile of a child, or some aspect of nature, you'll learn important things about yourself – and the universe – by honoring it with expression.

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What Readers Are Saying About Messages from the River

Messages from the River is one of those books that allows you to dream and learn along with the author.  Through it’s pages Jill demonstrates just how one who is walking the shamanic path sees the world around them.  There are so many valuable pieces of wisdom that are shared in each chapter.  It’s a beautiful book that allows one to escape when the mind needs to slow down.  It teaches us how to stop, observe and listen to the wisdom around us that is there for the taking.  I thoroughly enjoyed each and every reflection shared in it’s pages.

– Barbara Pike

Insightful, self-reflective, and thought-provoking!  This gem of a book highlights the importance of a guiding sense of place in each of our lives. For the author it is the beauty and power of the Columbia River; for others it is special places big or small. This book thoughtfully and carefully offers perspectives to enrich us spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It engages us with a creative weaving of inner and outer worlds. It is easy to read and to relate to, with clear and colorful portraits of the author’s daily life, multi-faceted challenges, and spiritual directions to help the reader on life’s journey. It is a book to read and re-read! 

– Tina Bishop-Tuddenham, EdD

This book is passionately written by the author - it captures the mighty Columbia River and her research on the history of the river and path to the Pacific Ocean are very interesting. I find the Bar pilots amazing. I can see myself in this book as I, like many people are afraid of taking the first step or facing the unknown. She makes it necessary to take the first step and conquer our fears - and also combine our love for nature's beauty and unlock our inner self to unlock the secrets and find their treasures. I would love to transport myself to her front porch and be memorized by watching the water. I enjoy this book and highly would recommend it to all!     

– Sue Connell

I was taken aback by this blend of poetic insights, contrasting prose and revealing wisdom that inspired me with reflections on the past and how those lessons could guide us towards a brighter future. Whether you're looking for inspiration, motivation or understanding that can be seamlessly transferred to you to transform your life, this is one of the milestones that can help you along your journey!

– W.O. Cassity

Everyone who has their special, happy place where they go for reflection and self-care will understand Dr. Jill Bakke’s love of place as described in “Messages from the River.” For me that place is the ocean, and as I read the book I felt compelled to go there.The book reminded me that we know everything we need to know if we just sit and listen to our heart and intuition.


Part travelogue (and I did research Astoria and the Columbia River after reading the book), and part lessons in life, “Messages from the River” reminded me of the value of finding your place and being your true self. That will lead to happiness and contentment in spite of the changes that occur. The book is organized with chapters such as “Mooring,” “Diversity,” and “Hidden Gifts,” and with each topic Dr. Bakke explores how the river has taught her lessons, for example, on identifying the things that no longer serve you; nurturing your gifts; the fog of indecision; taking risks; and the messages in dreams.


Her love of place, Astoria and the Columbia River, is evident from her crisp and descriptive writing style, so compelling that it makes you want to add the destination to your travel bucket list. I read the book in one sitting, but it is worth going back and using each chapter for reflection and growth.

– Barbara W. Eklund


The author makes you feel that you are there. Her passion for the river definitely comes through and her messages to the reader will cause you to look at life on the water, whether you make your living there or are just visiting for a day, on a whole new level.

– Lloyd Keniston


Written so clearly. Her words paint pictures I can visualize. So many great ideas to springboard from and apply to my own life. Highly recommend.

– Amber Jones