Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I am slowly making friends in Ellensburg, Washington.  Don't worry, I haven't forgotten my other friends. We just talk on the phone now more than we used to.  And we FB, and text and send each other pictures.
But I do need fr.  But I do need friends that exist in my own town. And when a fellow English teacher at CWU asked if we wanted to go hiking, I jumped at the chance.  Grey did too. Rather, he almost did. He got sick the day before, with a fever and an aversion to light.  Makes it hard to read.  I made him some warm vegetarian chili, which he used to make frito chili pie (kind of an abomination, if you ask me) and tossed some medicine down his throat.  He took medicine.  That's a sure sign it's not a passing fancy.  If Grey is willing to take medicine, I'm practically ready to call the paramedics.

Anyway, I got up at my usual time.  Did I mention that I'm done teaching at CWU for the quarter? Six thirty in the morning. I have a cat alarm that goes off if you don't feed it and turn the water on for her by 6:45. Made and frosted a couple dozen sugar cookies.  They look terrible- I need a better icing recipe.  Will try a buttercream tomorrow.  They do taste great, so for now I'll just close my eyes and eat them.

Got an entire pot a little coffee in me and cleaned up. Grey slept through the whole thing, right up until 11:30 when I poured a cup and grabbed a few ugly sugar cookies and barged into the bedroom.  Poor guy still wasn't feeling well so I left him to his devices and went to have fun. It was over 40 degrees and the Umtanum Canyon was filled with shadows from a bright day.

We crossed a bridge and made our way up the canyon, talking and telling stories the whole way.
Suspension bridge and the entrance to the Umtanum Canyon

Lisa Norris teaches Creative Writing at CWU and is a wonderful author too.  A good hiker, coffee drinker and teacher of English, lover of books and dogs.  And a great storyteller too.  If I wasn't so busy apparently spilling out my life story, I could listen to her for hours.

Up the canyon, we found what you find in nature: poop.  Lots of poop.  Someone's dog lost it a number of times along the trail and there was poop everywhere. Miles of poop.  Lisa's dog added some of her own to the mix.  Maybe it was a challenge accepted. Welcome to nature.  At least the trail was well marked. There was deer poop too, in places.  And bits of destroyed saplings that a beaver cut down and used to build a dam.

It was about 6 miles, round trip and felt wonderful to get out and stretch my legs.  I will need to invest in some good hiking boots for the next time we go.

Rimrock hundreds of feet tall rimmed the canyon and usually, there are big horn sheep around.  We didn't see any until the drive home, when we spotted a couple dozen on the hillside about 5 miles from our hiking spot.  I just feel bad that Grey missed it.
This time.
We're going again soon! Oh, do I love winter, and stories and friends and getting out of the house.


Babblin' brook

Ignore the squint


  1. That looks so wonderful--there is something about canyons that always makes me feel like an explorer. Great pictures!


    1. Thank you- The ridges around the southern portion of the canyon were part of the Oregon Trail. Wagons crossed the stream I photographed and there is even an old foundation from a house long gone. :)