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.

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

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yellow parsley with gold stars

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grass widows

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a duck

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Oregon grape

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Columbia desert parsley

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shooting stars and saxifrage

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message written with old nails

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Dutchman breeches

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yellow parsley, red shrub

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golden currant

We saw large marmots on the cliffs across the river

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marmot in the center

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the marmot across the river

and a couple of smaller ones near the trail.

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

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waterfall

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rock pools

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The trail continues, but we turned around here.

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

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

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GPS track – Swale Canyon trail

Crafting:

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.

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I have been filling in cross stitches on Elgol.

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

Garden:

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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

or

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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