Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


2 Comments

Hiking: Selah Cliffs Natural Area Preserves

962C3223-FD1F-4779-882B-73DA7F5068F9

We ‘hiked’ the trail at Selah Cliffs Natural Area Preserves on Saturday.

75821E10-345A-4ED7-9A48-3A671A684BA4

Where: Seven miles north of Selah, just south of mile post 3 on SR 821, or as locals know it, the Yakima Canyon Road (slightly northeast of Selah)

Distance: RT about 2.5 miles, if you go all the way to the cattle guard and fence that signals the Military Firing Center boundaries

Discovery Pass Required: Yes, though many parked beyond the nature preserve lot on the old canyon road

Tips: No toilet facilities and not much shade; Bring binoculars, bug spray, water, and hat

58676B8B-008C-42B2-B11B-01907EC23FBF

This is a local, easy hike with the hardest parts being concern for ticks, rattlesnakes, and heat. The views of the Selah Cliffs are gorgeous. As per signed instructions, we didn’t traipse off the path, which means we also didn’t see the basalt daisies for which the area is known. Judging by the trails leading up to the basalt cliffs, I’m sure some disregard rules. OR they could be game trails. Yes, I’ll go with that.

4BE52323-E87E-4B96-98F0-702A584D7721

The hike/walk leads along a gravelled path for most of the distance. Towards the far end (headed east), hikers must go through a barbed-wire gate. After that, the gravel disappears and more clambering is required. During the entire hike east, we watched the Fred G. Redmon bridge loom ever larger and closer. Soon enough, we stood beneath the massive structure and listened to vehicles boom overhead. It was fascinating to look, listen, and call aloud. If you stand in just the right spot, your voice will echo back. I tried recording the echo, but there was too much interference.

ACBFE457-3A77-4445-B846-F794AA3EE5D9

We saw and heard a waterfall, but couldn’t get through the underbrush to get close. Plentiful birds, spiders, insects, lizards, and evidence of other wildlife kept us searching and entertained. The scenery was gorgeous, the basalt columns beautiful, and amazingly, the traffic overhead was negligible.

Two thumbs up!

A9B57193-E5D9-449D-8630-CC35FC39E98F

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Glacier Lake Trail: Hiking Tips Discoveries

IMG_1789

Glacier Lake

Mosquitoes. There will be MOSQUITOES. And dirt. Sometimes horse and deer flies. Plan accordingly. Wear bug repellent (we are still out on this – both of us want something more organic and less toxic). We were hit hard when we got out of the car. After a quick rethink, we jumped back in the car, put on boots, covered up, and got back out to spray. Still managed to get 3 bites.

IMG_1808

Lovely shaded hiking trail

Long hair. If you have this, wear it down – hot or not! Mosquitoes loved the back of my neck, despite my hat and shirt. So I let my hair down and spread it through the sweat which glued it in place. Immediate relief!

Hats. Wear them. I wore my tightly woven sun protection hat with a wide brim. Shade and bug protection.

IMG_1785

Beautiful old guy

Long pants. Wish we had them. Still have a few scrapes from branches growing over the path. I’m sure this isn’t the only trail with opportunities for clambering over rocks and tree roots.

Water. Our hike wasn’t too long but was strenuous and the sweat flowed freely. We had 2 bottles each, which was enough for the short hike. Had we stayed longer at the lake, we would’ve needed more.

IMG_1741

The trail heading into the forest towards Glacier Lake

Snacks. Of course. Good stuff to chomp on is part of the fun of hiking! Nuts, whole grain crackers, jerky, trail mix, protein bars…I always underestimate how much my honey needs to eat. Me? I could outlast several weeks of restricted calories, but his high metabolism requires regular and high calorie fuel.

IMG_1774

Our first gaze of the lake – standing on the huge boulders

Maps. We had general directions from a flyer found at the Ranger station and we still managed to park in the wrong spot. It seems it was the correct location though, when I researched AFTER our hike, due to previous road washouts. Hint: The flyer suggested elevation gains, time estimations, distances, and trail popularity. Some of this was NOT true. For instance, family friendly. We did not find this trail to be safe for younger hikers. This was agreed upon by another family (with elementary children and an elderly chap). Maybe they should define family friendly. Take information like this with a grain of salt.

Snow. While we did not encounter snow, the lake was very full and there were no places to get close to the water unless one was IN the water or on floating logs. Take into account the previous winter. We had record snowfall. That means lakes will be full to overflowing. Snow may still be on the trails. Mud will be present.

IMG_1765

Wildflowers serenaded us with beauty

Do not give up! We passed few other hikers, so the Glacier Lake hike was perfect for solitude (I missed wearing a bear bell, though, and we constantly scanned for evidence and escape routes – many shredded snags convinced us that big claws had enjoyed plentiful grubs and bugs). Once we arrived at Glacier Lake, huge (bigger-than-my-car sized) boulders blocked the path. We made two different attempts to get over them to the water, but my legs were too short. In defeat, we headed back. Only a short while later we met a young family (baby in backpack, so backpacking with child in tow counts as family friendly). They discovered a trail to the lake edge and two rough camping spots. They filled us in and we headed back to the lake. Don’t be afraid to ask and share info with other hikers.

IMG_1747

Lovely stream we heard for a long time before the trail led us beside it; I wanted to take it home with me.

Glacier Lake Hint: When you get to the boulders, you will instinctively want to go straight through them to the water. Don’t. There are many false trails over the rocks. Instead, look LEFT and you will see the trail continuing around the edge of the boulders. LOL. It’s obvious once you know.

IMG_1804

Fairy lanterns

Hiking is our respite from crowds, technology, and stress. We learn something new on every hike. We can’t wait to get back out on the trails!

IMG_1743

Check out this granny hat!

Would you like your adventure now or should we have our tea first?

~ J.M. Barrie

 


9 Comments

Snow Cream

dsc_0461

Today is it, folks. At least for the Yakima Valley. Maybe.

Time to get out there and grab a bowl full of clean fresh snow before the rains hit tomorrow. Let’s make snow cream!

Snow Cream

  1. Fill a cereal bowl with clean snow. If you are doing this with kids, give them each a bowl to fill.
  2. To each bowl add about: 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. sugar, and enough 1/2 & 1/2 or milk to desired consistency. Mix with a spoon. This is very light sugar, as I don’t care for syrupy sweet stuff, but you can add more sugar if you want. This would also be great with fresh fruit.
  3. Eat, enjoy, repeat.

My mom used to make snow cream for us when I was a kid. I think she used to add eggs. But I’m not a big fan of raw eggs, and I was a kid. I could be way off base. Either way, no eggs.

Brain freeze!

dsc_0459


Leave a comment

The Curious Nature Guide

The Curious Nature Guide, Explore the Natural Wonders All Around You

Written and illustrated by Clare Walker Leslie

(Storey Publishing, 2015)

I first noticed the cover of this book while on vacation with some girlfriends in Coupeville, Washington. Hidden amidst a crowded display of books, toys, and souvenirs, the cover popped out and caught my attention. I wanted that book. But I resisted.

Fast forward to post-Christmas gift card shopping. As I perused my local Indie bookstore, Inklings, guess which book again popped out and grabbed my attention? Yes. The same book. And it was on a display of favs and book suggestions by staff.

I did not resist.

The Curious Nature Guide is a beautifully illustrated guide book written for children, teens, families, and others who love exploring the outdoors. I fell in love with this colorful edition.

I enjoyed this book so much, I used it as a reward. At the end of the day I would carefully read each page and inhale every photo, drawing, and illustration. Reading this book was almost as good as being outside.

While vocabulary will be difficult for young readers, they will love hearing it read aloud. The Curious Nature Guide contains nature information, suggestions of things to look for and do, maps, charts, plant labels, and more.

NO. It is not overwhelmingly encyclopedic.

The Curious Nature Guide is a nature journal filled with inspiration of both the exploring type and the creative sort. I want to go out and investigate the outdoors AND sit down with my art supplies and recreate what I find AND grab the camera to capture my nature.

Two thumbs up for The Curious Nature Guide, Explore the Nature Wonders All Around You.

Happy exploring!

I’d love to hear what nature exploring you like to do.