The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Terry Lawhead
The Times 

45.6982° N, 118.0558° W


December 24, 2020

Courtesy Photo

Horseshoe Prairie provides an opportunity for nordic skiing and snowshoeing on a marked groomed and non-groomed trail system. Currently, there are approximately 10 miles (16 kilometers) of marked trail. The area is bordered on the west by the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness. In preparation for the 2020-21 season, the Blues Crew refreshed the blue diamond trail markers and placed new trail direction signs at the intersections A-H. The Tamarack Trail will be groomed regularly this season.

Dec. 16 fresh fallen snow snowshoeing along Umatilla Rim Trail

Rode it back in summer

Getting spectacularly happily lost.

Walked it with Stuart

Carrying a ladder

To nail blue diamonds as high on trunks as we could.

Seeing those diamonds today

Was remembering forgotten favors of friends,

A physical comfort

In our fragile world,

Old maps and their ideas almost unrecognizable.

Looking across a pristine meadow of silent untouched snow,

No steps of anyone having come this way before me,

And seeing deeply into the darkened trees beyond

Spotting a shiny blue diamond

Was an answer to a troubling question I hadn't even asked yet.

We are safe in limited ways, now,

Dependent upon each of us to help with careful trail building.

The trees are ancestors and descendants,

Who can really know who is what anymore

But we do know the snow keeps giving roots reasons to live.

45.6982° N, 118.0558° W


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