May 20, 2008

Quincy Wildlife Area

Quincy Wildlife Area in, that's right, Quincy, WA. It was hot. Hotter than should be allowed. Almost 100. The hike out wasn't so bad. The hike back had us a bit concerned. It's not that long of a hike but there is zero shade and zero places to sit and rest. Because of the heat, we worked extra hard to do a simple level hike. I suggest doing this hike earlier than the third week in May or wait until September-October. Or begin your hike as early in the day as possible. We started at 10 a.m. but that was too late.

So, heat aside, the place is beautiful. I wish I were able to get more shots. But, truly, the heat and the sun made things difficult. There was little stopping on the way back for anything. The air was full of the scent of sage. I was tempted to take some to make smudge sticks - but didn't. Columnar basalt towers eight hundred or so feet high. Birds are everywhere in those cliffs, especially barn swallows. Raptors too. I have finally heard a real live meadowlark, S's favorite bird. Along the way we would stop to listen and could tell that one was very close but we couldn't ever spot one. We could hear its song loud an clear. Its song would echo off the rock wall. I wonder if they know the difference between an echo and another Meadowlark answering?

At the end of the hike are beautiful lakes and waterfalls. You can camp around the lakes and lots of people were already set up. Still, a campsite in that kind of heat with no shade...not my idea of a good time. Still, we saw and heard and smelled good things. And if you are yearning for the Southwest, which S surely is, this is a good substitute. Next time we will plan more accordingly.

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