Friday, August 12, 2011


While at the farm, I ride my mountain bike five to ten miles every other day. Usually Nellie accompanies me and keeps up quite nicely – or perhaps I should say that I keep up quite nicely. Sometimes she trots right by me. If we go fairly early while it’s still cool, we both fare better.
Tuesday (Aug. 9), we went to the end of Miller Road, about five miles from the farmhouse. Mike gave us a head start, and then he joined us for part of our ride. That pushed us a bit, I think, and the ride / trot tired both of us. 

Wednesday, I decided to ride again, even though I wasn’t up for it. Nellie looked excited as I mounted my bike, but initially she didn’t follow. “But we went yesterday,” she seemed to say, as I looked back over my shoulder to where she stood. “Aren’t you coming?” I called just as my bike gathered momentum. Soon she was with me, even ahead of me. I have to push my bike up Plank’s Pitch, so Nellie has plenty of time to poke around on the flat while she waits on me.

But traveling on down Miller Road, I noticed Nellie was lagging a bit, and I didn’t feel energetic either. When I came to the spot where I can see the reservoir, I decided to park my bike and search again for a better vista of Dworshak Dam and the reservoir. 

At this clearing an old road begins to skirt around the brow of the hill just below a field.  Perhaps it was once the approach to a home site. Yes, I know -- even though no one lives there now, the land actually belongs to someone – one of our neighbors – and I didn’t have permission to be there. However, I was on foot with my dog and I believed I might be forgiven this transgression. Surely everyone deserves to understand the lay of the land. 

It felt as though we were trudging on and on, but it really wasn’t so far. We passed some sort of vine on the uphill side that reminded me of grapes, and that strengthened my opinion that this had once been someone’s home. Watching through the trees for the reservoir, I finally spied it. Yes! There it was – the reservoir and the dam, just visible through the heavy vegetation. I snapped a couple of pictures and a feeling of satisfaction washed over me because I had found this spot.

I then decided to walk on a little farther. Just a little farther, I said to myself. And I came to a place where the road was overgrown with bushes. I lifted and passed through them – and found myself in pie cherry heaven. I mean – the angels sang the big soprano chord – “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” What beauties those cherries were, hanging lush and ripe on the branches. There were two trees – one on either side of the overgrown road. 

Now the conflictive issues washed over me. It was no longer just a question of having trespassed to take a few pictures. Now I knew the assets of the place and the temptation, however momentary, to want what isn’t mine. It’s a shame, I think, that this wonderful treasure is just being ignored – and it is a shame! -- but it’s none of my business.  So, Nellie and I turned around and walked back out of this old place. After all, I have my own heaven right where I am. I don’t need to trespass. KW


Hallie said...

It would sure be easy to justify picking fruit off an abandoned tree--but, maybe it's not really abandoned.

Exercise is a real trick. There are days when my body says, "Nope, this will be a rest day." Runner's World used to talk about "trash miles". Trash miles happen when you don't really feel well enough to get a good workout and you end up not making any progress. Some days are just better for stretching and light weights...or picking cherries!

Kathy said...

What if it's not really abandoned -- that's what I wondered, too. I think I'll casually mention my find to a neighbor and see what he says.

"Trash days" -- that's just not the way my coach thinks.

Leah said...

Aaah. The explorer's dilemma. The cherries just waiting to be picked. The land abandoned. We're waiting to hear if you can find the owner and if you go back and get those happy cherries.

My cowboy uncle, born in 1910, raised horses in Colorado, Arizona & New Mexico. His properties skirted land owned by the BLM. He had very negative feelings about BLM restrictions and thought that open land shouldn't be in the tight grip of the BLM. He's riding his Appaloosa in cowboy heaven now, but hearing his views gave me a different perspective of open land in the west.

Kathy, your "abandoned land" is surely owned by someone, right?

Why is the blog "squished" today?