Grandma Ina called them “dull days,” these winter days where the sun doesn’t shine. We don’t get a lot of sun this time of year in the Inland Empire of the Pacific Northwest. And it’s winter – so it's dull in other ways.
Monday was Martin Luther King Day, a gray day and a somber holiday. Mike’s activity for that day fell through, so we decided to go geocaching. A new seven-fold multi-cache was available which has as its theme the various dog-friendly parks in and around our community, so we loaded Bess and Nell in the pick-up and headed out to the first one on Warner Avenue.
We discovered the cache wasn’t in the park per se but on the other side of the draw from where we stood. Bess had already squeezed under the fence and was gleefully hunting while Nellie poked around with us.
“It’s right over there,” said Mike, pointing to the other side of the draw. “I’m going to just hike over there from here.”
“You go right ahead,” I responded. “I’ll go back to the pick-up.” Somehow when we left the house I was distracted and didn’t grab my hat and gloves. I was cold. And besides, I knew that the hike would be difficult, that this approach was not what the cache owner had intended, and that it was likely impossible.
Once Mike was on the other side of the fence with Bess, Nellie wanted to go, too. Mike instructed me to help her by holding down the barbed wire, but before I could, she leaped over on her own. The little group headed on down into the draw while I stayed up top. I hadn’t gone far when they re-joined me. It was impossible to get through the brush in the bottom, Mike said, but they had seen lots of pheasants. The pheasants seem to be everywhere but where you can hunt them.
Long story short, Mike decided to approach the cache by means of a rigorous hike from another direction. Bess sque-e-e-ezed through the fence and Nellie hopped over with agility. I went to the pick-up. They were gone about 45 minutes, I think, and I took comfort knowing that everyone (except me) would be well-exercised today.
I was ready to go home when Mike and the dogs arrived back at the pick-up, but since the next “leg” of the cache was in our old neighborhood off Broadview Drive and on our way home, we decided to stop there and pick up the next co-ordinates, which indicated Hells Gate State Park. After lunch back at the house, Mike went for those on his motorcycle.
As it happened, the next cache was right in our own neighborhood, so Mike took Bess and Nellie, always eager for a hike with “fun guy,” and headed into the hills across the road from our house. He came back with the “cords” for the next leg which will take them to Chief Timothy Park when Mike has time.
I took this last picture from the home of a friend yesterday, showing the Lewis-Clark community and the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. KW