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Our trail climbed steeply, and the payoff was incredible views of the Columbia River Gorge.

Our trail climbed steeply, and the payoff was incredible views of the Columbia River Gorge.

DSC_0035I joined a Meetup Portland group recently.  I actually just heard about Meetup on the radio, and it turns out there are groups all over the country – tons of them! For stamp collectors and entrepreneurs and knitters and singles over 60 and gamers and history buffs. If you’re looking for a group to join, check this out and see if you find anything you like: http://www.meetup.com. Ok, cheesy advertisement over. (They didn’t even pay me!)

Anyhow, the group that looked the best to me was PNW Women’s Outdoor Group, Hiking in the Pacific Northwest. I made a great choice! The leader is a person brimming with positive energy, the women were all enthusiastic about being on the trail. The group offers at least three events a week – so there is no possible way I could do all of it, but I love the idea that there is always something going on, and I can sign up for what works in my crazy busy schedule.

A lovely trailhead sign for the Cherry Orchard Trail.

A lovely trailhead sign for the Cherry Orchard Trail.

We hiked through trees at the beginning, but soon climbed up and out onto the exposed mountainside.

We hiked through trees at the beginning, but soon climbed up and out onto the exposed mountainside.

I went on my first hike on an incredible and unseasonably spectacular sunny day in the Gorge. We all gathered at a meeting place just 5 minutes from my house (it couldn’t get any more convenient) and piled into vehicles together. That was nice because I was able to get to know a few of the women before we hiked.

One great thing about this group is that I will be introduced to new trails in the Columbia River Gorge that I haven’t had a chance to hike yet. In this case, I had hiked the Coyote Wall trail near Lyle, Washington, so I knew the landscape. When the announcement came out that we would be hiking the Cherry Orchard Trail that also begins near Lyle, I knew ahead of time that I would like it.

One person in our group was very knowledgeable about the wildflowers and was able to name everything we spotted.

One person in our group was very knowledgeable about the wildflowers and was able to name everything we spotted.

I was surprised at how many wildflowers were bursting to life so early in the season.

I was surprised at how many wildflowers were bursting to life so early in the season.

Our winter sun doesn’t rise very high in the sky yet, and it was a chilly chilly morning. What a boon, then, to be hiking on the Washington side. The cliffs with all the waterfalls you’ve seen in my posts are on the Oregon side, and that side stays shady much of the day all year round. On this morning we hiked the other side of the river, and soaked up the sunshine till we were toasty warm and smiling.

It was a nice short trail – only two miles – and the views hit us right away and made the little discomforts all worth it. Getting up at 6am on a weekend, bundling up in freezing morning temps, going alone into a group of strangers for a day…an inexpensive price for being out in this beautiful world with beautiful women.

Even in the leafless brown winter, this landscape is compelling.

Even in the leafless brown winter, this landscape is compelling.

Looking down onto the Columbia River.

Looking down onto the Columbia River.

That's me, holding my Tilly hat to make sure it didn't blow into the next state!

That’s me, holding my Tilly hat to make sure it didn’t blow into the next state!

I was feeling a little artistic with this one.

I was feeling a little artistic with this one.

Looking east from where we picnicked at the top of the trail.

Looking east from where we picnicked at the top of the trail.

And looking west, back toward Portland, from our lunch stop.

And looking west, back toward Portland, from our lunch stop.

Something about this landscape is stunning to me. On the surface, it is desolate and dry and colourless. Still, I find it spectacular.

Something about this landscape is stunning to me. On the surface, it is desolate and dry and colourless. Still, I find it spectacular.

This is me, photographing one of the ancient Cherry trees for which the trail takes its name. Thanks to the group leader S for the photo!

This is me, photographing one of the ancient Cherry trees from which the trail takes its name. Thanks to the group leader S for the photo!

A butterfly examines my glasses while I splash in a creek.

A comma butterfly examines my glasses while I splash in a creek.

My destination at the end of the trail was 18 miles from the trail head, so I spent most of my vacation hiking. Lucky for me, when I have a camera in my hand, there is never a dull moment. My journey began in my last post. Day two I woke beside the North Fork of the Trinity River, and continued my trek. I was deep in the forest at this point and had no panoramic views. Instead I got personal with the world beside the trail.

One thing I love about heading in to the higher elevations during the summer is that as one climbs, the season goes back in time. In other words, I walked into Spring in the mountains, when it was the middle of Summer in the valleys. The farther I walked, the more I was surrounded by wildflowers and insects very excited about the wildflowers.

I also found bushes loaded with berries – ripe near the beginning of the trail, but still green or not yet formed at the end of the trail. What a plethora of berries this time out. Gooseberries, thimbleberries, dewberries, and Oregon grape (didn’t eat those!) all tempting me along the trail.

Fat and succulent gooseberries, looking so much like a pie-to-be.

Fat and succulent gooseberries, looking so much like a pie-to-be.

With my experience in backpacking, I could safely estimate that my pack weighed close to 6.8 thousand pounds, so I was looking for excuses to stop walking. I found that wildflowers provide a legitimate reason to stop. I also incorporated some good stretching and balance exercises, when I’d crouch down for a better angle or place one toe on a rock, or lean down a slope, or climb up a slope…. because all of these activities are required for photography. 🙂 Every movement is more of a challenge when you’re loaded down with weight.

thimbleberry

thimbleberry

dewberries

dewberries

The heat continued, day after day, and all during the nights. It was too hot to eat, and thus prevented me from relieving the weight from my pack as I intended. Typically, all the hard work of a hike makes me ravenous, but not this time. I removed every factory-sealed airtight container of food and cached it along the trail under a pile of rocks {it was still there when I came back out, and I carried it all home with me!}.

butterfly

Arizona sister

moth

I couldn’t identify this one, can you?

Certainly I ate when I could, and I gobbled the berries. Gotta keep the energy up! I’ve mentioned my taste for good food on the trail, and that is part of the reason why I had so much weight. I refuse to bring freeze-dried packets of food products. I had oranges, broccoli, and onions, and an avacado. Peets coffee, hard boiled eggs, and homemade cookies for breakfasts. Curry, soup, pasta and rice for meals. And wine for my evenings.

Nine miles from the trailhead I came across the Jorstad Cabin. The place takes one back in time, to look at it. Click here for more photos and some information behind Willard Ormand Jorstad’s cabin. He built it by hand in the 1930s and apparently lived here till the 1980s mining for gold. He also constructed a huge stone oven on the property, that now has a large campfire pit in front of it and is obviously used often by hikers when campfires are legal in this wilderness.

Cabin built by Willard Ormand Jorstad out of Douglas Fir.

Cabin built by Willard Ormand Jorstad out of Douglas Fir.

I can't tell you how deeply this image pulls at my heart. The canning jars and rusted pots out in a ramshackle shed because the house is too small, are a mirror of my childhood in north Idaho with my mom.

I can’t tell you how deeply this image pulls at my heart. The canning jars and rusted pots out in a ramshackle shed because the house is too small, are a mirror of my childhood in north Idaho with my mom.

This handsome buck in velvet enjoys some grass at Pfeiffer Flat behind the cabin. In the West we call this a 2-point. I learned in the East he is called a 4-point.

This handsome buck in velvet enjoys some grass at Pfeiffer Flat behind the cabin. In the West we call him a 2-point. In the East he is called a 4-point.

This area used to be filled with gold miners. Their work is clearly evident in piles of tailings and overburden as tall as me and 100 yards long, left behind from years of placer mining. The workers created a network of steep, narrow channels to divert creeks and thus do the work of separating the gold. These channels remain gashed into the mountain beside the trail. I assume the miners used sluice boxes, which are long trays with small ridges or mesh across the bottom. As the rushing water carries rocks and minerals through the box, the heaviest particles drop out – ideally the gold – and get caught in the riffles. As I hiked, I saw that rusted pipes and rare pieces of machinery still lay strewn about beneath the brambles.

That’s all I did that day: walked and thought and looked at stuff. Oh, and I played in the water a LOT! Carrying a 6.8 thousand-pound pack when it’s Hotter than Hades and dozens of creek crossings with delicious clear pools filled with Brook Trout has only one possible conclusion: swimming.

Many creeks and photographs later, I found a shady spot beside an unnamed creek that dropped into Grizzly Creek, and set up camp for my second night. Many hours earlier and first thing that morning, two young guys who were scouting deer in preparation for hunting season came by as I drank my morning coffee. I had not seen another human being the rest of the day.

goldenrod in the sun

goldenrod in the sun

tiger lily

tiger lily

 

 

 

 

 

 

A skink sunbathes on my overturned water shoes.

A skink sunbathes on my overturned water shoes.

Spectacular view of Mt. Adams from our tent, which you see on the left.

Spectacular view of Mt. Adams from our tent, which you see on the right.

Arno and I have been dating two years and never once had been backpacking together. Until last weekend.

Lupine and Bear Grass

Lupine and Bear Grass

He’s crazy about the outdoors. Hiking, cycling, rock climbing, cross country skiing– you get the picture. I am crazy about camping and backpacking. We’ve been saying to each other, “One of these days…” for too long. In May we planned our summer calendar (yes, we have to coordinate calendars! It was not superfluous because –>), only to find we had only two available weekends from May through September when we would both be uncommitted. As it was, I made the weekend available by canceling plans to go to Eugene for the Cherokee celebration of culture, highlighted by a visit from our Chief John Baker, out from the Nation. I swear, my life is just so dang full…

We pulled out maps, nearly salivating at all the possibilities. Arno and I have this tendency to look for places we’ve never visited before. We want to do things for the first time together. Is that sappy? Yes, I think it is. He suggested Mt. St. Helens, but I told him I feel a little disloyal going there because I’ve already promised a Seattle friend I’ll do St. Helens with him someday. East of Mt. St. Helens is the Goat Rocks Wilderness. The guidebooks say it’s really popular, which typically we try to avoid. We did some Internet searches and it seemed rather pretty. We found a perfect length loop (which is hard to find), that had a side trail connecting to the PCT and perhaps the opportunity to scale a peak. Done deal!

Aaaaand a pretty cool view of the blown top of Mt. St. Helens above our tent, too.

Aaaaand a pretty cool view of the blown top of Mt. St. Helens above our tent, too.

North on I-5 and east on Hwy 12 takes you out to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Take a right turn onto a Forest Service road, drive a very long time to a very -very- large parking area for a trailhead. The largest parking site at a trailhead I can remember is the Canyon Creek Lakes Trailhead in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Snowgrass Flats Trailhead may have it beat. I estimated around 50 vehicles parked when we eeked out a spot on the side of the road. At least this one doesn’t have the same bear problem. And if that’s not enough parking, Berry Patch Trailhead is right next to it, best suited for stock animal parking. Well, not the animals; their trailers.

We got a very late start. It was a compromise due to aforementioned busy schedule: I did nothing Thursday night except wind down and try to disconnect from the work week. Friday morning we slept in and then had a home cooked breakfast. Ahhhh…. THEN we got ready to go backpacking. So, we arrived at the trailhead around 3:30pm. Yikes! We were worried there would be no campsites available.

The pack was heavy. I am not conditioned. But the mountains!  This was the opposite of my High Lake hike in June, which had no views. This was amazing!! Pack weight sitting awkwardly?  Shoulders pulled back, feet hurt, damned biting flies eating you alive? – whatever. Just LOOK at that! And that!

The Money Shot. This is TOO DIE FOR. Taken a few steps away from our tent. I can't even say enough about this wilderness area, because no words can even, possibly... Just... LOOK at this.

The Money Shot. This is TO DIE FOR. Taken a few steps away from our tent. I can’t even say enough about this wilderness area, because no words can even, possibly… Just… LOOK at this.

Me in a field of lupine. Tired and delighted.

Me in a field of lupine. Tired and delighted.

Bird in a stunted tree near our camp

Bird in a stunted tree near our camp

The views opened up almost as soon as we began. We started the hike at 4650′ so perhaps that helped us get us up to treeline sooner. It’s so alpine here that treeline is where 35-year-old pine trees are 10 feet high, because their roots can only go as far as the ground thaws, or as far as the topsoil goes down until it’s only rock.

There were fields of wildflowers in every direction. The colours were stunning. The perfume of all those lupine in bloom was purely intoxicating. I can hardly do it justice, the sweetest honeyed blue smells wafting every time the wind picked up.

Five miles in, we came to what we guessed (correctly, it turned out) was the actual Snowgrass Flats area. We passed the Lily Flats Trail, because we didn’t recognize the name and wanted to go to Goat Lake. We continued directly ahead, as we had been heading. Another mile in, and I was close to wiped out. It was evening, and there were campsites.

Surprisingly, with the jam-packed trailhead, and people everywhere on the trail, there were many many campsites to be had. Lots of nice fire pits and cleared and level spots with views. The one we selected ended up at 6400 feet. We had traveled about six miles and climbed 1700 feet. (Compare that to High Lake, when I climbed 2000 feet in 3.75 miles.)

Sunset on the mountains. Old Snowy is on the left.

Sunset on the mountains. Old Snowy is on the left.

Arno and I split camp tasks really well. We’re both used to doing everything ourselves (single parent mode), so it’s a joy to launch into any task, knowing your work is half done already – by the other person! He began sauteing onion and garlic for his bacon carbonara, and I began putting up the fabulous new tent he just purchased. The zipper failed on my old tent, so he loaned me one of his for my last hike. I subsequently griped about how heavy it was. So he purchased a tent for backpacking, and this one is spacious and weighs hardly anything! (Big Agnes Copper Spur, for those of you who want to know.)

Arno and me in the mountains

Arno and me in the mountains

Overnight we were BLASTED with thunderstorms. From the photos you see the weather was lovely during the day. In the evening, clouds gathered, but it was still warm, and relatively calm, dry, and nice. I had become familiar with the NOAA site forecast for the weekend (I was a forecaster for the National Weather Service for 11 years, and just can’t use any other weather website.). We both knew that thunderstorms were forecast and we had the rain flap up. But nothing prepared us for KA-BLAM! Just like in Batman comics. POW! The lightning glare burnt through our closed eyelids, the thunder cracked, wind gusts yanked at the guy lines, and rain simply gushed from the heavens. For. Hours. And. Hours. And…. we stayed dry. And when everything settled the heck down, we slept in late.

{click here for Part II}

I hadn't set the tent up yet, but that's my camp, just above the water.

I hadn’t set the tent up yet, but that’s my camp, just above the water.

{as always, please click an image for the original size version}

If you were here, you would have to shake my hand and clap me on the back. I crammed a bunch of gear into my old pack and hauled that baby into the mountains yesterday. For the first time in 8 years.

columbine

columbine

I used to head out several times a summer. Since then, I’ve moved twice and don’t know the area, switched from summer parent to most-of-the-year parent, I’ve been sent on long-distance and long-term work trips the last two summers, and otherwise have found ways to fill my weekends so full that an overnight in the mountains just didn’t seem feasible.

This weekend I made it back home: to the woods.

My destination was High Lake, in the Mt. Hood National Forest (you recall the name of my favourite volcano). I chose the trail because it scored high on difficulty and high on solitude. The key idea here being: no people. The harder the hike, the less folks try it.

An example of the size of some of the blowdown over the trail. Egads.

An example of the size of some of the blowdown over the trail. Egads.

I left work early Friday and spent the time preparing my gear. You can’t believe how many dead spider carcasses I cleared from my pack. Dust, cobwebs, you name it. Arno had been kind enough to re-seal my waterproof Raichle boots while we watched Kinky Boots on Netflix a couple weeks ago. (It’s a great movie, you should rent it, then go see the Broadway show.) I found everything I wanted to have with me:  headlamp, compass, first aid kit, whisper lite stove, water filter, down sleeping bag rated to 0° when I bought it, but 12 years of lost down later, it’s probably only good to 15°.

Rhododendrons surrounded me nearly the entire length of the trail.

Rhododendrons surrounded me nearly the entire length of the trail.

Decadent pink extravagance

Decadent pink extravagance

I had a blast preparing food. With my daughter gone for a while this summer at her dad’s house, I am trying to clear the cabinets of food. I’ll eat pretty much anything, and I don’t require a balanced meal. I challenged myself to find backpacking food without going to the store. I grabbed angel hair pasta and a packet of powdered sauce, and a packet of tuna to add to the pasta for protein. I emptied a can of green chilis into a snack-sized ziplock for spice. (Don’t need the snack bags so much, now that Miss T is out of school).

For lunch I brought a tortilla to make a wrap, and coiled it into a cone and tucked it along the back of the pack to keep it in one piece.  For the filling, I cut a wedge of cream cheese and put that into a snack bag and added lots of dark meat from a leftover slow cooked chicken. I caramelized onions and garlic and put that in the bag. As I returned stuff to the fridge, I spotted a half-empty jar of sun dried tomatoes, and added some of those. Then double-bagged the snack baggie to prevent leaks. I hard boiled and peeled a couple eggs for a protein breakfast, and added home made oatmeal, walnut, and cranberry cookies. Then I mixed a little trail mix, with some of the amazing dried fruit and nuts I recently purchased from Nuts.com. (yes, an endorsement!)

Exposed rock beside the trail. You can see the trail, bottom right.

Exposed rock beside the trail. You can see the trail, bottom right.

The most important thing to bring on any outing of mine is coffee! So I filled (yet another) snack baggie with Peets Sulawesi Kalosi. For the lowest possible backpacking weight, I can’t go wrong with a plastic cone-shaped funnel and a couple #4 biodegradable filters. I chose the cheapest bottom-of-the-shelf wine I had, and poured it into a Nalgene bottle, since I love a fireside drink after a hard day humpin’ a pack. Why the cheapest? Because, if you are a camper or backpacker you will know, anything you eat or drink in the woods tastes twenty times better than it would in your kitchen.

Sadly, this is what most of the "views" consist of. I could tell there was a view out there somewhere.

Sadly, this is what most of the “views” consist of. I could tell there was a view out there somewhere.

I filled the fuel canister, filled my water bladder, collected some clothing, and packed it all into my pack. Dug my sleeping pad from the coat closet (I’ve been using it for a yoga mat) and strapped that opposite the tent on the outside of the pack. Testing the weight, I struggled to lift the whole contraption off the floor. And then decided to get a good night’s sleep and leave in the morning.

In the morning I hefted the pack again and was dismayed by the weight. I pulled out a few things, including a nalgene bottle, thinking “Now why would I need an extra bottle of water when I have the bladder?” The last thing I did in the morning was brush my teeth, and I took off in high spirits. Only remembering somewhere along the trail that I forgot the wax for my braces, when I began noticing how raw and snagged the inside of my mouth was getting…

Now, when I say I followed the ridgeline, I mean...

Now, when I say I followed the ridgeline, I mean…

The first thing I noticed on the trail was that it was high season for rhododendrons to blossom. They are among the most delightful things a person can find in the Oregon woods. These lush, gorgeous, pink explosions were along the entire trail. They inspired me to begin photographing wildflowers. Check out my set of wildflowers on flickr. I did get many, but not all, of the incredible smorgasbord of flowers.

A mess o' indian paintbrush and larkspur

Dazzling mix of Indian paintbrush and larkspur

What a beautiful cairn

What a beautiful cairn

Thank goodness for the flowers because the trail did not offer views I am accustomed to in the mountains. I remained below treeline and beneath canopies. The views, I could tell, were out there. Just not available to me. It was frustrating to see the glistening snow on a nearby volcano, with a view not even clear enough to identify which volcano.

I had Thrift Shop playing in my head all dang weekend. I kid you not. There’s this bird who, in a cranky elderly lady bronchitis voice, goes “whatwhat what what. whatwhat what what.” And, obviously, my brain filled in the rest of the song. “I’m gonna pop some tags, only got $20 in my pocket…” Crazy song to be hearing in my head in the woods.

There were many ginormous anthills seething with trillions of ants!

There were many ginormous anthills seething with trillions of ants! I had to walk right through them. shuddder.

I climbed steeply at first, then followed the ridgelines for a long time. My ascent continued steadily up, rising 2000 feet after 3 ½ miles. Then a quick drop of 300 feet to the lake. Dare I be snobbish on my first trip out? The person who wrote the guide must be catering to city people. It was not a difficult trail. I will earnestly agree that I stopped for breath. A lot. But it was a nice gradual up, up, up, up. No skill required other than fortitude.

The trail down to the lake still had a little snow

The trail down to the lake still had a little snow

There were many brushy areas where the trail was obscured by the gentle fingers of wild roses and gooseberries. Their little green claws brushed the bugs off, scoured down the first couple layers of epidermis, and gave me a pretty close shave as well. So that was all good.

Oh, and tons of scrambling over logs across the trail. That’s the downside to getting an early start on the hiking season: trails haven’t been cleared yet. I grabbed and flung branches when I wasn’t gasping for breath. But those logs. There must have been six of them chest-high to me. I just mooshed myself and my backpack onto them and toppled over the other side as ungracefully as any 43-year-old would. Passing a young, attractive couple who had stepped aside to allow me to negotiate a large area of downed trees and branches, the woman remarked, “Yes, the pack does change your center of balance, doesn’t it?” I thought, bless you beautiful child for not calling me old.

High Lake, looking up toward Fish Creek Mountain

High Lake, looking up toward Fish Creek Mountain

So yeah. The author nailed it for solitude about as accurately as he described the difficulty. That lake – a beautiful little 2.5 acre lake – was the busiest mountain lake I have ever seen. Is it always like this in Oregon? I have been so spoiled. I got the last available space to set up a tent, and thankfully it was far away from the others. While futzing around camp the rest of the day, I saw a steady stream of visitors bringing their dogs and dropping lines into the lake hoping for one of those gorgeous trout I saw. There were guys alone, guys who brought their buddies, and guys who brought their girlfriends. They were all younger than me. Even the dogs. In dog years.

To get myself in the mood for setting up camp, I went to get a cup of wine and …slapped my forehead. The nalgene bottle had WINE in it. Damn.

The tent beside the water, and also beside an outflow creek that provided a lovely gurgling sound to go to sleep to.

The tent beside the water, and also beside an outflow creek that provided a lovely gurgling sound to go to sleep to.

The "view" of Mt. Jefferson (I think) from my campsite

The “view” of Mt. Jefferson (I think) from my campsite

After I set up my tent and ate my wrap (ooh! It was incredible! Did it sound delish above? Well, it was even better.), I laid down in a sunny spot and didn’t quite doze, but was pretty much devoid of production of any kind. I came to life again to splashes and shouted profanity burst (unbidden, I am certain!) from the mouths of a dad and teenage son who wanted to flush the top layer of hike grime from their bodies, and had jumped into the lake.

Looking south. The larger campsite that held two groups of campers is out of view to the right. My camp site is out of view to the left.

Looking south. The larger campsite that held two groups of campers is directly ahead on the far side of the lake. My camp site is out of view to the left.

granite reflection

granite reflection

My rest had rejuvenated me. My muscles cried, “We feel great; let’s go on an adventure.” I answered supportively, “Great idea! What’s your plan? Hike to the top of nearby Fish Creek Mountain? The lookout? Find a trail around the lake?” “Find a place to go to the bathroom!” the muscles cried. “And after that?” I asked. “We need to take a whiz now! Whiz! Whiz!” So I scrambled through the huckleberries and gooseberries, over the hill, cushioned from any theoretical falls by thick layers of bark and pine needles. Business accomplished, I asked my muscles, “OK! Now for the adventure! Where was it you wanted to go?” And they answered, “Oh, we thought that was the adventure. We’re good now. Thanks.”

So I stayed at the lake.

The forecast had called for rain to arrive sometime in the night, and it was spot on. I had the rain flap on already, but I typically use it in the mountains for heat, even when there is no rain expected. My yoga mat was warm and comfy (and only 4 ounces), my sleeping bag was perfect, and so was the little hike pillow I have, that was a gift from a friend I hiked with once. I bounced out of the tent at 6am and brewed a delicious cup of coffee. I ate breakfast with my second cup of coffee, and said goodbye to the darling little newts in the lake.

cute newt

cute newt

<aside>These Rough Skinned Newts are wonderful. Either they’re blind or have no fear; they didn’t mind my hovering over them. They look like the last stage of water-dwelling creature before that virgin trek onto land: four well-developed limbs and eyes in front. They eat insects, gobbling them out of the water and blowing a little bubble with each gulp. When they meet, they touch

that face!

that face!

each other before moving on. Sometimes it was just one arm out against the body of the other, but I saw a group of three take turns hugging each other (just the two top limbs pressed on the shoulders of the other – a quick press – then off again). Ok, I obviously supposed it could be related to mating, but all of them did it: a quick touch, then move on. Whatever it was, I was happy to imagine it an innerspecies “hello.” </aside>

The trip back to the car took almost as much time as the trip in, because I kept lollygagging. Then I got the idea to take the empty ziplock that had held my pasta, and fill it with the delicate green pine tips of new growth on all the trees I passed. I’ve meant to try to make pine needle jelly my whole life, the way my Pa used to make it, and now I am going to try it.

In no time, the trip was over, and I zoomed back home to see if I could find time to do some laundry, pay bills, catch up on email and maybe do a blog post before it was time to go to bed and get ready for Monday.

One of my many guises

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