As most of you know Walking Tours one through six were outstanding.
At each site attendees gained closer connections to our Interior Plateau landscape, its geology, native plants, indigenous peoples, and history: Antoine Peak, Nine Mile to Seven Mile, Audubon Lakes, Saltese Uplands, Deep Creek and Hangman/Latah Creek were visited in these hikes.
Tour #7 included a large group of us who traveled thirteen miles west of Davenport on Highway 2 in order to walk with Jack among the earliest plants springing forth – plants of such sustenance and importance to tribal people – wildflowers that not only fed the eye with their beauty, also feeding the body following a long season of quiet beneath the scrubby soils of the shrub-steppe. Even the soil, shallow and rocky, yet productive, revealed its own storied connectivity to the Ice Age floods, as we hiked among its hummocks and shallows.
Was that a long-billed curlew flying overhead? We were watching for it since it had been reported in a not far-off vernal pond. The red-tails were soaring overhead hunting for newly emerged small mammals. The only reminder that we were still in the twenty-first century was the sight of multiple contrails lining the sky along the flight path of planes heading to Geiger Field; an area west of Spokane that once looked much like the landscape we were admiring at BLM’s Telford Recreation Area.
The number “7” represents perfection in some cultures. I’d say we always experience perfection with every hike Jack leads. The education, the camaraderie, the beauty of land and sky, the leadership, and the outdoor adventure: PERFECTION!
Where will Jack lead us in 2020? The location hasn’t been announced yet. One thing is for sure, though – and you can count on it: the next hike will be perfectly wonderful.