FURTHER AFIELD: Venturing Out Again

After over a year of refraining from overnight travel* we made a brief foray with friends to the other side of the mountains, what I like to call The Dry Side. The western and eastern halves of Washington State are separated by a formidable barrier: the North Cascade Mountain Range, a vast, wild, land of evergreen forests and rocky summits. When prevailing winds roll across the Pacific Ocean and onto land, the Cascades exert a powerful effect on the weather. Clouds mass and stall on the western side of the mountains, releasing rain and snow in a process that creates lush, temperate rainforests and gives Seattle its Emerald City nickname. After dumping all that moisture on one side of the mountains, the other side gets very little, a phenomenon called the rain shadow effect. For Washingtonians, that means all you have to do is travel over a pass to the other side of the mountains and you’re in a different world.

Our friends proposed that we meet in Vantage, a small town situated roughly in the middle of the state. After leaving home at a reasonable hour we drove south, then east on the interstate. We cleared snowy Snoqualmie Pass by 11 am and drifted down the other side of the Cascades, losing 2,000 feet of elevation as forests of Lodgepole pine yielded to open, rolling, foothills as far as we could see. Finally, we reached the mighty Columbia River, where we turned north and then back west for a few miles to meet our friends. Our rendezvous spot was at the base of a series of wide, grassy hills, the site of a network of interpretive trails for Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. You heard me right – ginkgo – and no, ginkgo trees haven’t grown here for millions of years, but petrified ginkgo logs were discovered near Vantage by chance, almost 100 years ago.

2. Gentle hills, gentle colors.

3. Looking across the Columbia River at a spare landscape of rock, grass, sage, and water.

4. Petrified wood

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6. Muted desert colors in the leaf litter.

It was something very American – highway construction – that led to the discovery of the rare, petrified wood pieces now on display at Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. A local college professor recognized a rock someone was carrying for what it was when crews began moving earth for a new highway in the late 1920s. Professor Beck rounded up a group of students to get to work and see what else was hiding under the dry hills. The mix of petrified trees they found was strange – Douglas fir (still abundant in many parts of Washington), magnolia, and ginkgoes shared space with species from a variety of habitats. Long ago, water from floods or lava from volcanic eruptions probably transported trees from different places to this spot, and over time, mud buried the trees and kept them from disintegrating. When lava from a major volcanic fissure crept across the area and quickly cooled, basalt was formed, causing the submerged wood to slowly morph into mineral and rock.

One of us, a keen lichenologist, pointed out extensive communities of lichens growing on the petrified wood. Who would have thought that stone could host all that life? But look closely and a whole new biological world opens up in front of your eyes. It was the same thing on the hillside where we hiked – what looked like a sere expanse of dry grass from afar yielded a bountiful crop of wildflowers in shades of gold, purple, pink, and white. All you have to do is walk slowly and examine your surroundings, which is exactly what we did. And frankly, we walked very slowly.

The ecosystem is called sagebrush-steppe and indeed, sage was everywhere, lending a soft, gray-green cast to the landscape. Only 8 or 9 inches of rain falls in the region annually, so plants have adapted to the aridity with low, mounding shapes, fuzzy leaves, pale colors, summer dormancy, and other tricks. The soil is coated with something called a cryptogamic crust, a slow-growing, delicate layer of lichens, mosses, algae, and cyanobacteria that stabilizes and protects the soil. These biological soil crusts are very susceptible to disturbance by grazing animals, invasive grasses, and human traffic of all kinds. We tried to stay on the trail but temptations to gently step off for photographs were hard to resist. Spring is when the rains come and the flowers sprang up like gems in the rough, each one presenting pure color to the dome of blue above. The liquid, warbling song of Meadowlarks drifting over the hills was a treat for our ears. Squeezing a few leaves of sage between my fingers and inhaling the pungent scent, I remembered desert trips from the past. The Dry Side was yielding a feast of sensations.

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7. Investigating plants and rocks.

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9. Petroglyphs that would have been lost underwater when the Columbia River was dammed were moved a mile downriver to reside at the interpretive center. The display sparked a conversation among us about the universality of symbols.
10. Spring green in the form of little “paws” on Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata).

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The next day we crossed the river to hike at Ancient Lakes, a landscape of towering basalt cliffs, canyons, and mesas scoured out by Ice Age floods that left basins of water behind like scattered pearls dropped from a broken necklace. This complex environment has more interesting features than we had time to investigate that day; our eyes, ears, and noses were well stimulated.

We met at a civilized hour (three of us camped and two didn’t – guess which two didn’t!), crossed the Columbia River and headed to the Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area, part of a million acres of land managed by Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. We were still in sagebrush-steppe habitat, a hot-in-summer, cold-in-winter land of poor soil that was once occupied seasonally by Native Americans. Much of the surrounding land is now irrigated for wheat, potatoes, apples, wine grapes, livestock, and other crops. Thankfully, the unusual landscape at Quincy Lakes is relatively intact and available to anyone who has the time and wherewithal to look.

Speaking of looking, the first thing that caught our eyes when we stopped at a parking area was four White pelicans soaring high overhead in the cloud-paled sky. As we watched them circle round and fly off to another lake I thought about the squadron of White pelicans that spends five months each year on Padilla Bay, just minutes from home. They still seem exotic to me and hopefully, they always will. After looking around a bit we decided to continue on to a place down the road that two of us remembered from previous trips. By the time we settled on the right spot to explore, it was lunchtime. We perched on rocks overlooking a spectacular array of waterfalls, wetlands, ponds, and distant mesas as we ate hard-boiled eggs, sandwiches, and snacks. The ticks, rattlesnakes, and unrelenting sun of warmer months were absent. We set off down a trail across a dramatic tableau of canyons, cliffs, and ridges, and soon lost ourselves in wildflower and lichen discoveries. One of the best surprises for me was finding tiny Shooting stars (see the photo below) hidden in the grass beside the trail. I associate this plant with wetter conditions close to home. I was amazed to see it in this harsh environment but when I thought about it, the place where I’ve seen Shooting stars before is rocky with thin soil and dry summers, like Quincy Lakes. Still, it was a sheer wonder to see this beautiful little flower wafting in the dry desert breezes.

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11.
12. The results of volcanic eruptions that occurred millions of years ago delight the eyes today.

13. Sage is everywhere, dead and alive.

14.

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16. I jumped with excitement when I saw little frog’s eggs in a shallow stream, like perfect, pink pearls, and so vulnerable. Sights like this make my day.

17. Power-lines on the horizon are a reminder that civilization isn’t far away.
18. This year’s blossoms rise from last year’s faded, crinkled leaves. Like #8 above, this is a Balsamroot, probably Arrow-leaf.
19. Down was easier than up.
20. Hats, walking sticks, sturdy boots, water, and curiosity….we’re prepared.

21. The last scene was the kind that makes you promise yourself that you’ll return.

We had to turn around for the long trip home sooner than we wanted to that day. We had filled our souls with the unaccustomed sensations of The Dry Side: Meadowlarks, Magpies, Balsamroot, sage, and burnt orange vistas, both gentle and rough. Maybe best of all was the pleasure of stretching one’s mind out over wide expanses of open space in the company of good friends. Here’s to more venturing out!

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*It had been well over a year since we traveled: the last trip we took before the pandemic stopped us in our tracks was to Vancouver, Canada, in November 2019. That year we took three other trips: a three-week foray through northern Europe in April, a road trip in eastern Washington in May, and another road trip through Oregon and northern California in September. The year before that (2018) we flew to Las Vegas to see Death Valley in January, took an Oregon/California road trip in April, and spent a week in Los Angeles in October – in addition to moving house in July! In 2017 we traveled to New York, central Oregon, and southwest Arizona and made numerous day trips around the state. We took the freedom to go where we wanted when we wanted for granted.

The pandemic changed everything. The enforced absence of travel, the radical limitations of our social lives, and the general tone of the world had a profound effect on me throughout 2020, more than I realized until we ventured out for a brief jaunt over the mountains. Suddenly the reality of 2020 was set in relief against the possibilities of seeing other places, being with friends, and feeling the freedom of the open road. The hectic pace of travel we maintained previously had ground to a halt in 2020. We entertained thoughts about a possible trip now and then but in the end, we decided to be safe and stay put for fifteen, long, quiet, months. I became so accustomed to life at home and its circumscribed rituals (most of which I appreciate) that I found myself missing my own bed, my routines, and my home after being away for only two days! Missing home is definitely NOT my typical response to travel.

But we’re getting back on the horse and already planning a trip to Boston and New York next month. After that? It’s hard to tell, isn’t it? We don’t know what the next year will bring.

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76 comments

  1. Unless it seems a very wild and rocky region, it must be great to hike there. Lovely landscapes and nature captures you send us ! Also thank for sharing the story. Have an nice day. Greetz, Rudi

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    • Hiking is good in that area as long as you avoid the hot summer months. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the photos and the story, Rudi, thanks for letting me know, and have a great day.

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  2. Regarding the universality of symbols, I have my doubts. Plenty of forms that we find in ancient petroglyphs, pictographs, hieroglyphics, and the like, remain inscrutable. In our own time, take the familiar โž” symbol. We know it’s supposed to be an arrow, and we know what direction arrows move. With the orientation of this “arrow,” that would be to the right. But a being from a different solar system who showed up here might think the symbol represents light rays emerging from a point source, and so the movement would be leftward.

    Also, think about those “instructional” inserts you get with various devices. “Universal” diagrams in them purport to show how to assemble or use the device, but they often baffle me because there are multiple ways to interpret the diagrams, as is inherently the case when you reduce a three-dimensional reality to a two-dimensional image. A picture isn’t always worth a thousand words, and sometimes a few sentences can do wonders in cutting through ambiguity.

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    • I think a case can be made for or against the universality of symbols – your illustration about the arrow is fun. Keep an open, skeptical mind, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
      I agree that some instructions are way too short on words. Ugh, we all suffer to some degree with that phenomenon. Sorry I haven’t been getting to your blog (or many others lately). Wildflower season has begun and I’m out almost every day, as you can imagine!

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  3. Lynn, here some remarks to the pics.

    2 reminds me of the landscape in Fuerteventura. My wife is very fond of such colours. I have a red-green blindnes which in a wy diminishes the possibiluity to see the full extent.

    3 the subtle switch of the colours..

    4 Marvelous that piece of wood. Colours on burned wood led me 2017 to my kind of photograpy.

    5 Very rich patterns. Iโ€˜m often nearly toooo excited when finding such rextures.

    6 A nice view on something commonly known

    7 My wife doesnโ€˜t always like to go with me. She wants to walk in a sportive way.

    8 the blue flower they call here โ€žKรผchenschelleโ€œ.

    9 The Petroglyphs are amazing

    10 That grren is amazing!

    11 out of a western movie?! ๐Ÿ™‚

    12 very clear

    13 I think this kind of picture belongs to your most loved ones. Very rich.

    14 Beautiful subtle green

    15 I like those very tiny flowers. The Dodecatheon looks interesting

    16 is great, those eggs. Life! In a small form and vulnerable, yes.

    17 There is seemingly no place on earth without contributions from mankind.

    18 Like this Balsamroot , inside the grey

    19 20 leavingโ€ฆ

    21 A hope to return…but Life is exciting wherever you go.

    Thanks for the pics, Lynn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a delight to read your comments. My “significant other” also has red/green colorblindness and I am often struck by how differently we see the world – but then sometimes we see it the same way, too. I think there should be more consideration given to people with colorblindness when things like signs are designed. I’m very lucky that Joe is willing to walk at my pace but most days I go on walks myself, with my camera, and he runs or walks fast, for exercise. Then once a week or so we walk together. ๐Ÿ™‚ You mentioned that one photo looks like it came from a Western movie – there are cowboys and cattle in this area, too – it’s the Wild West. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I like what you said about the frog’s eggs and you’re right, the little Shooting star flower is really amazing. Thanks again for spending time here, Gerhard.

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  4. What an interesting (and beautiful) post. Thank you.

    I just wanted to say that years ago when I lived in Houston, I went on a ~6000 mile road trip that went north through Utah and up to Montana, then we headed west through the state of Washington before coming down the west coast, through OR, CA, then over to Phx to visit family and the long trek back to Houston. The biggest surprise on that trip (which was through many places Iโ€™d been to before but in a localized way and usually via air flight) was how different the east of Washington state was from west, as you stated in your opening. I wasnโ€™t aware. I guess most people (or myself at least) think of the bit of the state in the west as somehow representative of the whole. Boy was I wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much – it’s good to know that some people read the text and understand what I’m trying to say! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I grew up on the east coast and didn’t move out here until 2012. I wasn’t aware of how different the other side of the mountains, is, either. Thanks again for commenting, I appreciate it.

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  5. Wow, such a wonderful accounting of your adventure. And give me a place with petrified wood any day – and very cool it was of ginkgo trees.
    I have a feeling we all will be examining the changes to our preferences , some temporary or some lasting resulting from the pandemic. While I do feel stir crazy at times, I donโ€™t have any particular urge to travel much yet.

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    • Apparently, the geologists were very excited to find ginkgo trees among the petrified logs. It’s been a favorite tree of mine since I lived in NYC, long ago. There are hundreds of them on city streets and the leaf shapes have always captivated me. But that day, it was more about the textures of wood/stone and lichen. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure you’re right about the questions that have risen and will continue to rise as a result of this experience. Let’s hope more good than bad comes out of it, for us personally and for the world. Thanks for being here, Mark.

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      • My late husband drove a truck long haul. He would call me from various places and describe it, usually beginning with, “You wouldn’t like it.” When I would question him as to why, he would say simply, “No trees.” He knew me well. But, every landscape has purpose and beauty.

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        • There is a stark, spare, and sometimes very harsh beauty to the desert that I enjoy, but I would have a hard time living there, for exactly that reason. And the prospect of walking anyplace without trees always seems daunting to me – I want to know that I can take shelter somewhere along the way. So I hear you!

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    • I read that GB is opening up and I hope it turns out to be a good thing for you. Is there an English breakfast in your future?
      Yes, it’s big, especially out here. That being said, it’s only a three-hour drive from home to that area, and what a different world it is, thanks to the power of weather! It was nice to walk in a different landscape for a few days.
      I’m sorry I haven’t been visiting blogs much at all lately – the wildflowers have my attention these days. I’ll be back soon! Thanks for being here, Adrian.

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      • Well we will see what the opening up brings. I’m getting my 2nd Pfizer jab on Saturday – and then 3 weeks for that to fully take effect. My wife is about 2 weeks behind me vaccinewise. Breakfasts may be a possibility but I’m going to be taking things very carefully. Stay safe! ๐Ÿ™‚

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        • We’ve eaten in a restaurant once in the last 15 months, I think, so yes, we’re careful, too. I’m glad to hear that you both will be fully vaccinated before too long. Meanwhile, spring is upon us, and it’s a grand thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Wonderful!!!

    And as for #9, prehistoric hunter is obviously asking sun-halo llama if he has seen his missing badminton shuttlecock.

    โœจ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ•‰๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ•Šโ˜ฏ๐Ÿ‰โœจ

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  7. A landscape of muted subtlety, nicely captured. And what a nice surprise to spy the frog eggs. I had the opportunity to travel over the Cascades many years ago and it’s such a stark contrast west to east once you are in the rain shadow. Thanks for sharing your trip.

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  8. What a great first escape, Lynn. We’ve driven along the Columbia River on a couple of road trips but you’ve opened my eyes to the gems that are in this area. And your research on the dry and wet sides, the petrified forests and the plant life is a pleasure to read. Your photo essay tells a great story- love your beautiful petrified wood close-ups, those volcanic formations, the frog eggs :), and seeing the intrepid and prepared hikers enjoying their freedom. And what a great finish you made with your last glorious landscape shot. Enjoy your upcoming trips! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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    • It was brief but intense. ๐Ÿ™‚ The Columbia closer to Oregon is quite different and I’m sure it’s different again up in the northeastern part of Washington. There is so much to see in the West! It’s good of you to wade through all the text, Jane, I know this is a long post. We packed a lot into two half-days. Plans are moving ahead for the east coast trip. We haven’t been there in almost four years and I expect there’ll be changes, between the pandemic and general growth. Hope you’re having a good time with the little ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. This excellent walk after so many months close to home will certainly be well marked in memory and in the senses, taking into account all the surprises that nature has always offered us.
    I believe that this pandemic left us some โ€œrootsโ€, be it a greater connection with the house and details that are ours (as Lynn refers at the end), or the need to relearn how to plan โ€œwithout fearโ€ and naturally with what we did before. Even if nothing happens afterwards.
    Personally, I believe that only after being vaccinated will I feel that spontaneity and โ€œneed for new thingsโ€ as before. Mainly away from home!
    As always, beautiful photos, details and interesting information. It must have been a good walk!

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    • I hope you’re able to get vaccinated soon, Dulce. Everyone in our group of five people is well past their second shot. It was a good feeling, being able to forget about the pandemic for a while and go back to normal (at least when we were outside). I love seeing desert environments but I wouldn’t want to live full-time in one, so it’s nice to be able to travel to the desert by car in just a few hours.
      The effects of 2020 will reveal themselves gradually, right? Some things are clear now, some things will not be obvious until later. But it certainly has changed the world! Thank you, as always, for your thoughtful comment. I hope I’ll have more time to visit your blog soon! Have a good week. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  10. It’s amazing how different western Washington is from eastern Washington, isn’t it? (Oregon’s that way too.) I’ve spent relatively little time on the dry side of either state. Perhaps that’s my loss.

    Despite the big vistas, I think my favorite shot is the abstract of the petrified wood. (#5)

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    • Yes, Oregon on the “other side” is amazing – well, obviously it’s amazing on the coast as well. We did a road trip through the “Big Empty” a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Now is a good time, before it gets too hot, or maybe in the fall.
      Thanks for commenting, Dave – that wood is fun to look at!

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  11. It’s already safe and possible to travel inter-state for non-essential reasons? Boy, you have so leap-frogged us, in your pace & scale of vaccination and its impact. I’m still assuming no non-essential inter-provincial travel until at least fall, and more likely next spring… Be safe, and have a wonderful time.

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    • We didn’t leave the state but we will next month, and I do feel that it’s safe, at least for us, with our second shots having been given long ago. The five of us are all well past the second shot. We didn’t eat indoors, though we could have. The east coast trip is another thing but we feel that it’s safe enough and there’s a family member who we need/want to visit. I think I’ve mentioned to you that I listen to CBC Vancouver on my radio a lot and have heard about the struggles BC is having. It will get better – let’s just hope it’s soon! Sorry I’m behind on your posts – the wildflowers are keeping me out more than usual. Be well!

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    • I’m glad to hear that, Louis – it sure is a contrast to where you live, right? It’s nice to have a big change of scenery, especially after last year. I hope you’re well and enjoying Spring. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. For me coming from a country where the landscape is quite similar (with some variations of course), it’s always been amazing to just drive across the Cascade and arrive from the “wet” west coast to the dry inland landscape, more desert like and dry. A landscape beautiful in a different way. You captured its beauty excellent in these photos, Lynn.

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    • Yes, easy access to the desert is one of the benefits of living here. It’s easier from Seattle because you can just take 90 east and you’re there. Up here the route across the mountains won’t be open until later in May after they get the snow off the road. It’s challenging to work in such a different environment but I love spending time over there and in the southwest deserts, too. Thanks for stopping by, Otto, I hope all’s well with you.

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  13. It looks like a wonderful first adventure Lynn. Some of the landscape looks similar to some of our high desert areas. We have something like #18 called Mule’s Ears, because of the leaf. It also has a daisy-like blossom. It grows on our property and blankets some of the ranch land. How cool to be able to see the frog’s eggs so clearly … another sign of spring! #14 is a beautiful pattern and texture shot bordering on the abstract. I am drawn to that kind of thing! #4 – #6 are a smaller set within the set … they all go together and I like how you did that! I always like to take my time looking at your posts … there is a lot to absorb … and I find myself scrolling back to look again before commenting. Excellent work!

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    • I had to look up your flower. It’s very pretty and quite similar – it must be great to see those cheerful blooms around your place! There are lots of different yellow composite flowers in the West and they can be very hard to identify. I guess it’s a form that works well in the desert environment.
      I struggled with #14. You’re right, I wanted that “bordering-on-the-abstract look but I couldn’t frame it as well as I would have liked. It’s one of those images that you figure you could do better if you lived there or had more time. I’m sure you understand. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m glad you liked the way #4 – 6 work together. It’s a lot to absorb, for sure. Naturally, another struggle I deal with is the edit. I like to tell a story and offer an immersive experience so I almost always come down on the side of a little more, rather than a lot less. Thanks for the good words, Denise, have a great week. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  14. Good to venture out be outside ๐ŸŒžโ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿค“and I also appreciate your selection and the patterns of fractures and lichens on petrified wood…such beauty ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’š sending you joy hedy ๐Ÿ’ซ

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  15. Wonderful post, Lynn. I especially appreciate the expansive landscapes 1,2,3,11,19,21. If I had a bucket list, this part of Washington would be on it. I think the area around Vantage is at the western edge of the channeled scablands, a region of ancient mega-flooding after the collapses of multiple ice dams that created glacial Lake Missoula in Montana. It’s an amazing story. The ice age flooding you refer to in your text probably refers to it.

    Safe travels, Lynn..

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    • Thank you for the good words and wishes, Mic. Yes, the Missoula floods sure left their mark over there. I was surprised to read that you knew so much about it. I thought about including some information about the floods but it seemed too complicated to get across, though you just showed me how easy it could be. There are wonderful rock formations in central Oregon, too. Maybe one day you and your wife will venture out on a long road trip. For now, the short trips seem right. And we think our trip back east will work out OK, too. We’re careful, we’ve been fully vaccinated for a long time now and we steer clear of crowds.

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  16. What a nourishing trip this was! That final photo says it all for me.
    We got away for 4 days to Whistler with 3 friends in our “bubble” last summer and it put into sharp relief for us how much life has changed, and we are probably among the least affected by the pandemic. I long to travel again but know I cannot so put it out of mind pretty much and focus on the present – which all in all is pretty good.
    Alison

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    • I remember your trip to Whistler, don’t I? It’s great to be able to travel with friends – who would have thought things would get to the point where that became a luxury? And now BC has 5 more weeks of “circuit breaker” restrictions to deal with. But I know you’re dealing with the situation as best you can. You have each other, you have creative projects, and you’re in a great city. Have a good week!

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  17. Love, love, love the fractures and lichens. This added to my yearning to visit a desert scene again… one of these days. We’ll be “fully vaccinated in about 3 weeks”. Maybe then?

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    • Our lichenologist friend finds amazing things, Gunta – it’s a whole world but it’s a tough one to comprehend sometimes. So I just focus on appreciating the aesthetics of it all! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, I think a road trip should be safe for you guys once you’re fully vaccinated. We were lucky up here to get first & second shots in Jan. & Feb. I hope the rest of the country gets vaccinated fast…I’m glad we have someone in the WH who can put the energy behind it that’s required. Have a good week, Gunta – a little rain coming your way in a few days maybe? I hope so.

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  18. The first adventure in 2021, yeah ๐Ÿ™‚ Wow, you have been out and saw such exciting things. I think you have to look very close in this kind of scenery, unless you love it on first sight. Well you looked close and I love the lichens and patterns in # 4 and 5! Beautiful! I also love all the pictures with flowers that do survive in these surroundings. The colors of flowers in deserts are especially strong and colorful. What a nice contrast. #10 is a very nice impression of early life in spring. Even in deserts there is a sign of fresh green, one doesn’t expect. The petroglyphs are interesting, but universal? I am still guessing what the last symbol is meaning ๐Ÿ™‚ After you returned home your area must have looked like the garden Eden, after these impressions here! – Missing home after 2 days, yes, we got really strange in all these months ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope we can change quickly to “normal” when this is “over”, whenever it is. Have a nice week!

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    • Normal, whatever that is, is going to happen gradually, I think…at least for me. It’s a different world now, maybe as different from before as the desert is from a rainforest. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There IS fresh green in the desert but the color tends to be subdued and I think it only comes after it rains. Seasonal cycles are totally different there. It was good to travel again. Now we have lots of planning for this next trip, to Boston and NY. The days are very busy, with appointments, planning, and getting outside. Another post, with more flowers, is coming soon….thank you for your thoughts, Almuth, it’s always fun to read your comments. Enjoy the rest of the week! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  19. There is so much to see in this country, and the world, and I appreciate you sharing the places you go, whether local to you or further afield. We’ve also gone literally nowhere farther than a few miles but are planning to visit Maine at the end of this coming summer. It hasn’t been that difficult since we generally don’t travel anyway but not being able to made us miss it more. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I’m happy to hear you’re going up to Maine, finally! On some levels, no, it hasn’t been difficult. Adjsutments were made. But I do miss traveling.Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a thoughtful comment. In another reply I told you that we’ll be in your area in a few weeks – we’ll see Joe’s brother, who had a stroke and is now living at a Jesuit communtiy in Weston, an old friend of mine who’ll drive down from Saco, my brother who’ll drive down from northern VT, my other brother from Westhcester Co., NY, a niece who lives in the Boston suburbs, and more. Yikes! And that will be all in one day….wish us luck!

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      • Yeah, I had no issues with adjusting to he cautions. I generally don’t do a lot of things that involve contact with other people anyway. I was out of work for two months although collecting unemployment during that time. And we were encouraged to go out and get exercise, away from others, so I was doing photography most days and working in the yard. It was a big change for Mary Beth but she is quite adaptable and is now a Zoom veteran. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Wow, that is a lot of visiting. On the other post I mentioned trying to get to you for a few minutes but it doesn’t sound like you have a few minutes so next time you come this way. I’m sorry to hear of Joe’s brother having a stroke.I hope it wasn’t too severe.

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        • Thanks, Steve…like I said, late morning might work on one of those days, as long as we could meet near our hotel or the residence where Joe’s brother is living. His sense of humor seems intact but he really struggles with speech, which has to be hard for an academic. I suspect reading comprehension is harder, too, but I’m not sure. But there may be silver linings, who knows, and people continue to recover, albeit slowly, for a longer time than was prevciously thought.

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  20. Great road movie, Lynn, which I almost missed in the wide deserts of www!
    I felt stunned by the similarity between no.11 and 12, which becomes clearer in the totally linear photo viewer than in the normal reading view.
    I always enjoy your walking/travelling impressions, your historical and scientific information no less.
    Here I especially followed your thoughts about pandemic and travelling. Indeed, many things we took for granted! Good to see and value them anew. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The wide, www deserts…. ๐Ÿ™‚ The other side of the mountains is so diffferent from where we live. It was easier to get over there from where we lived before – the road that goes over the mountians up here is closed for half of the year, due to snow. It should open later this month so maybe we’ll go east again during the summer, but it gets hot over there. I appreciate that you mention the ideas in the post and not just the visuals. We really did get used to a whole other way of existing in 2020, didn’t we? And it will take a long time to crawl out of it. Hopefully, we’ll bring some of the good parts with us when we exit the pandemic times. Thank you for being here. Hugs to you.

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