May 6-19, 2019

spring on Charley Creek

Time continues to fly by as we alternate between turbulent spring weather and occasional summer-like conditions. I love this time of year with its mix of cool and warm. At our home, everything is green and colorful and we’ve been kept company by the neighborhood deer herd as well as all the migratory birds who have moved back for the season.

The past two weeks have been a continuation of much family time. My mom had neck surgery a few weeks ago on the other side of the state. Surgery was successful and after a few rough days she has been recovering very nicely—a big relief for her daughter! My part-time remote job schedule afforded me the time to accompany her across the state for the surgery and to help her back at home while she was on restrictions. I’ve also been lucky to get to enjoy a couple lunches out with her after follow-up doctor appointments. Then just a couple weeks after her surgery, my dad had hernia surgery and is now well into his recovery from that. It is nice to see my parents fixed up and dad is just 1 working day away from retirement. It is great to see him arriving at this day after so many years of hard work at the local lumber mill. Well done dad!

During this time we’ve also celebrated mother’s day with both our moms, Jason’s middle brother’s 60th birthday, and my dad’s 65th birthday. Yes, May is a busy family month for us! This time feels especially important this year since we plan to be away from the area from September through spring 2019.

Cabin – Sheep Gulch

In between my part-time work, family time, and rain storms, we managed to slip away for a couple of our favorite local hikes. We made the 8 mile loop up Cabin Gulch and back down Sheep Gulch (see last year’s blog post for this hike). It was the earliest we’ve been on this trail and the wildflowers were just beginning, but it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed being back in the Ponderosa pines. While I wouldn’t describe this as a strenuous hike, the 1,400′ elevation gain and a fair number of blow downs to navigate around left us feeling like we’d done something for the day.

Snakes Galore on Charley Creek!

Charley Creek, a tributary of Asotin Creek, is one of our favorite local winter hikes…ok, it’s a favorite because it’s one of just a couple trails that is generally accessible! Charley does have its charms though. There is a pleasant little creek, some nice basalt cliffs, and we generally see bighorn sheep, deer, and sometimes turkey. The trail here is an old ranch road that is now closed to all traffic except fish and wildlife.

Our last trip up Charley had been in early March as we were just starting to thaw out from the area’s snowiest month ever. We had enjoyed a beautiful day and the snow was actually quite lovely.

We returned to Charley on May 18th. This was the first time we’d visited in the spring and it was a real treat to see the canyon so lush and green. Everything was quite beautiful and all the restoration efforts of our state’s fish and wildlife department are quite visible. Tree and shrub plantings along the creek are gaining in size and providing exceptional riparian habitat for the local wildlife.

We enjoyed perfect spring weather conditions over our near 11 mile hike. We saw a couple bighorn up high on the hillside and only encountered two other people. What we did see a lot of was snakes! We’ve been seeing more snakes than usual this year and Charley proved no exception. We saw seven stretched out across the trail sunning themselves. Most notable were two rather large and beautiful bull snakes and another that we’re quite sure was a young rattlesnake. So many sightings did make me sad I only had my iPhone with me. We admired all our slithering friends while giving them a wide berth and respecting their space—this is their home, not ours.

Jason admiring one of the smaller snakes we saw

Preparing for Our Next RV Adventure

It’s been a month since our last RV adventure and we’re itching to get the Greyhawk back out. We’ve spent the last several days preparing her for Memorial Day camp with friends. This will be our first trip towing the Jeep, so once again we’ll be learning and adjusting to another part of our new lifestyle. The weather forecast for the holiday weekend looks like typical May in the Inland Northwest with lots of rain and t-storms predicted. I have a feeling we’re going to be very happy and cozy in the Hawk.

practicing our hook-up

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