Klickitat Trail; Poetry to the Rescue (18-14)

Swale Canyon, Klickitat Trail, WA     4/8/2018         (Hike #14)

Chasing east out of the rain, we started from the Harms Road trailhead north of Lyle, WA, and walked 8 miles round trip on this nearly flat former rail bed.  We began on a high grassy plateau, then slowly dropped between rim rock cliffs.


Bright yellow parsley lined the trail and slopes, and other spring flowers were blooming locally.


yellow parsley with gold stars


grass widows


a duck


Oregon grape


Columbia desert parsley


shooting stars and saxifrage


message written with old nails


Dutchman breeches


yellow parsley, red shrub


golden currant

We saw large marmots on the cliffs across the river


marmot in the center


the marmot across the river

and a couple of smaller ones near the trail.


A waterfall and some rocky pools marked our turnaround point, about 4 miles in.




rock pools



The trail continues, but we turned around here.

This was a great trail for a long walk with friends on an overcast windy day.


My first post-surgery 8 mile day, a good omen for the upcoming trip to Cornwall.

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 10.17.08 PM

GPS track – Swale Canyon trail


I have been playing with leftover Smithsonian reproduction fabrics, including a feathered star and a lot of four patches that I pieced before I was inspired to use the collection for the Jane Austen quilt.


I have been filling in cross stitches on Elgol.

I need to choose a knitting project for upcoming travel – probably socks.



Crabapple blooming

Other Adventures:

Another trip through the MRI this week – the neurosurgeon was able to show me the small void in my brain where the tumor had been. I am grateful for a good outcome and still contemplating additional medication going forward.

Poetry to the rescue!

I silently recite verses memorized long ago to take my mind off of the enclosed space and noise inside the MRI.

Lochinvar rides by my side, then I walk along the beach with the Walrus and the Carpenter as the clanging alternates between jack hammer and diesel engine.

I compose bad haiku to describe the experience-

dissociation/I pretend all is normal/while the machine clangs


poetry verses/distract from the jack hammers/of the MRI

Time passes. I wonder how Emily completed mental tasks while inside an MRI machine and participating in a scientific study.

Then Alexander Hamilton drops in from a forgotten spot in the middle of the Caribbean to keep me company.

I don’t mind the journey so much with my poetry companions, but I also think I need to learn some new verses before the next trip in six months.

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