Polallie Ridge

Larkspur (Delphinium burkei?)

Half day of trail work today. There have been lots of new challenges lately, so it felt comfortable and calming to go out and do something familiar. Something physical outdoors. I always thought Polallie Ridge was a gutbuster of a trail, relentlessly steep and upward. And I wouldn’t say that I am in very good condition right now. But there’s a difference, with my new chemically-adjusted heart. More ease in my chest, and the ability to set a pace and keep going. It helps to not be packing a chainsaw up the hill. As Senior Trail Analysts, Jon and I have chosen to eschew the weight and take the chance that we aren’t going to find a monster log on the trail. I carried the crew’s favorite five foot crosscut saw. We used it twice on smallish logs, bickering about underbucking like people who have sawed together for eons. Which we have.

It wasn’t raining today. The weather pattern for the past week or more has been wet. At times, deluges of biblical proportion. We enjoyed looking at all the flowers blooming (rain is good for wildflower displays). Polallie Ridge is alternately forested and open, which makes for pleasantly changing scenery as you go up and up and up.

Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

I love blue flowers, so it was wonderful to find the ultramarine blue larkspurs (I can get the genus, but my ability to distinguish species is often fuzzy) and the more purplish camas. Bees were pollinating the blooming huckleberry bushes, and I got a glimpse of a pair of tanagers.

Jon, with repaired tread

Yep. Good to get out. Good to feel my metabolism shifting to a more energetic state. Good to go to the woods with friends and follow the Ten Trail Commandments: Hike, Dig, Saw, Chop, etc.

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