One place I haven’t visited in a long while is Salmon Creek Greenway, part of Salmon Crteek Regional Park in Vancouver, WA. (Near that area is popular Klineline Pond for swimming and softball fields.) It is only an hour from my home and I’ve missed it. Until I enjoy it once more, these wintry pictures help bring it closer. The paved trail is only 3 miles, but the greenway is comprised of 368 acres of varied landscape: wetlands, bottomlands, forest, and its namesake, Salmon Creek. Surpsingly, it is within an urban area, yett many mammals and birds (including migrating waterfowl) utilize this diverse environment. These include deer, coyotes, beavers and rabbits, racoons and opossums. And, of course, frogs, harmless snakes and assorted others.
I enjoy being outdoors in frosty weather. The chilly season’s mostly monochrome views are peaceful–more so when not raining. And as sunlight brightened then shifted, it was water that caught my eye again and again.
This Washington State recreation area, Salmon Creek Regional Park, is a place we return to at least once a season. Being only a 30-45 minute drive from our Portland suburb, it is an easy day trip. With over 375 acres of bottomlands, wetlands and forested hills, it also has a lovely greenway with three miles of mostly paved walkways. It is peaceful although well-utilized by many visitors. (We felt safe here, though people didn’t wear masks much, which our state of Oregon has mandated–and most people wear them outdoors, too, if there are groups of people or not enough room on narrower pathways to keep 6 ft. distanced.)
We start at Klineland Pond at the edge of lush acreage–one of the few in this area with many fun features for families–and then move on to more of nature’s delights. Families and groups of friends were having a great time out there. The scents of grilled food was enticing!
Moving on, we made frequent stops creek-side–to enjoy the beauty and to stay cooler. It was closing in on 90 degrees Fahrenheit with no clouds.
As you can see, there were stretches with few to no people. Just sunshine, too-dry grasses and bushes. Trees set away from the water looked parched. This is fire season–fires are now often breaking out in the Pacific NW and California; one can imagine how fast this would burn–a sobering fact. It was very dusty and the air fairly crackled with dryness.
So, back to the creek and shadier areas. My water was getting low in my bottle–I need a bigger size I can carry comfortably. A visit to REI (outdoor gear) is due.
As I was snapping away, a family edged out from brush to wade with their grateful dog. I was feeling a bit envious–next time, I’ll come ready to take a dip, perhaps!
Back on the walkway, we headed for our car, waving to youthful skateboarders gliding along and stopping briefly by a women’s softball game–with a few folks watching. I felt for those athletes–but good for them!
After a last look about, the afternoon came to a pleasing end: off to find Marc a vanilla sweet cream cold brew and for me, an iced Passion Tango herbal tea. Heavenly day.
He took the whole day off, declared it
expendable and he, a king (I, a queen),
time freed of bite, gone slack with ease.
We took roads beyond the bridges where
sins long past, weighted days and lean nights
dissolved inside blossoming light.
This is the way we want it to be,
hands dangling in shear of wind,
two hearts plumped with laughter,
a small mastery of life reinstated
on the marshy trail, that welcoming wood.
Since the sun graced us with no precipitation in sight, we got our gear/snacks and my husband and I headed out on a day trip in Washington. We wanted to explore Salmon Creek Park. It’s a favorite spot of ours for a brisk or leisurely walk. Ordinarily we can continue 6-8 miles and we were up for the challenge. This time the creek was–not surprisingly–swollen and had overflowed its banks over winter. Earth was spongy and muddy, trails flooded in places. These are wetlands but knots of trees like it here, too. We had to forego dense forested acreage we love, as there was no dry way into it. Along the creek were signs of beavers having been hard at work, wood chips in nearly neat groupings. Some areas looked wane yet undaunted, but greenery is reasserting itself. Stones, birds, mossy sticks, roustabout water and aquamarine sky–all called to us. The early spring peepers’ songs were like bells jingling, bullfrogs like bass viols with excellent rhythm. Everywhere were people (and dogs) gathering and playing on and off the paths. It won’t be long before the weather will be finer, the rain more sporadic. Flowers and more leaves will burst in profusion. Spring will reign again.
…and when the world is howling,
we leave, seeking hearts of stones,
filigree of leaf and web
and water’s life saving–
we go in search of one other
amid mastery of earth
and oh we gather such finds in
God’s shady hollows and wild light
An imperturbable demeanor comes from perfect patience. Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune and misfortune at their own private pace like a clock during a thunderstorm.—Robert Louis Stevenson
You must be logged in to post a comment.