Huckleberry Picking

Some of the Harris family went huckleberry picking with some friends to a secret place which will remain unnamed. Greta picked and picked.  Then, Greta realized she was the only one picking. Some of the pickers had eaten so many huckleberries they were suffering from huckleberry coma! Paul! And Cash too! She stood up from … Continue reading Huckleberry Picking

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“Camping” in Summer Lake

If this is camping ... I could do it forever. Summer Lake might be in the middle of nowhere, but ... it has more than enough compensations When Greta saw our digs ... she did a little celebration dance.  Yeah, it was pretty tough, camping with the ladies, but we managed. We birded on the … Continue reading “Camping” in Summer Lake

Lake Shastina

The plan was to meet at Lake Shasta for a cousins reunion. But, Lake Shasta had warnings about a toxic bloom, so we detoured to Lake Shastina. Cousin reunions are so much fun because there's catching up to do, lots of laughter, and hanging out is a requirement. We wished all the cousins could have … Continue reading Lake Shastina

Blue Pool

Yep, it's really that blue. That's it -- no filters. The downside is it's a well-known destination. You have to navigate mountain bikers, lines of hikers, dogs, and people taking selfies as they jump into it. Still, it's worth it. The hike is shady most of the time, yet, the arrival yields that sense of … Continue reading Blue Pool

Exploring the Cascades

Bend has its slogans: Living at its best or My life is your vacation. Still, these slogans are only cool if you're actually fulfilling them. Sometimes, I forget to get out into the wild places in my own backyard. The broad strokes of the landscape are formed by volcanic activity, but the finishing touches are made by fire. Ghosts … Continue reading Exploring the Cascades

The Superbloom in Death Valley

We arrived in Death Valley as the famed superbloom subsided. . Still, a few steps off the road, life surprised us everywhere we looked. Seeds lie dormant for years, waiting for the perfect conditions to erupt. Then, they bloom violently. Desert flowers are angelic warriors, prying prisons of rock open and rendering the barren sands fertile. … Continue reading The Superbloom in Death Valley

Birding in Death Valley

It was Elsa's birthday and Elsa wanted to go birding so ... we awoke early breakfastedand searched for birds. There's not a lot of easy-to-see wildlife in Death Valley. We decided to seek out birds where there was water. There was water at the golf course. Elsa's notebook records seeing: Great-tailed Grackle, a Turkey Vulture Roost among … Continue reading Birding in Death Valley

Badwater Basin

This is what I always imagined when I thought of Death Valley -- these salt flats which held the bragging rights for years of being the lowest place in the western hemisphere (until Laguna del Carbon was discovered). Standing there, you can look high up into the cliffs and see the marker for sea level. … Continue reading Badwater Basin

Artist’s Palette in Death Valley

This sweet little five-spot greeted us from the rocks. Isn't it so delicate and sweet among the rocks -- so fresh and new among the billion-year time pieces? Even these leathery desert blooms caused me to stop and admire. Artist's Palette is a wonder. From a distance, a wide range of colors look like the … Continue reading Artist’s Palette in Death Valley

Slot Canyon Hike: Making Room for Memories

There are over 5000 square miles to explore in Death Valley National Park. Rather than trying to cover it all, which meant getting in the car, we opted for a few hikes near our campsite in Texas Springs campground. On one of our hikes, we passed by a creosote bush. We wondered if we would … Continue reading Slot Canyon Hike: Making Room for Memories