Up the Panhandle - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

May 11, 2020

Up the Panhandle

After yesterday’s ride to Saint John my wound began seeping again, about to the same extent it did two days earlier.  It looks like biking is aggravating it somehow, so I decide to take another day off the bike and wait to see what the doctors have to say this afternoon.  Rachael hops on the Straggler and heads off to Troy again for another 44 miler, and I sit the morning out catching up on the blog and preparing to break camp.  It’s a pretty simple process this time, because we can leave some of our belongings here.  We don’t have to pack much to plan for a week or two.

In the afternoon I go out for a short walk through the immediate neighborhood.  I head off first to Conservation Park, a slender green apron that wraps the west end of the hill northwest of downtown we’re living on.  It’s a pretty place, quite undeveloped, that looks like a preserved lot from a former farm.  Old fruit trees are scattered here and there, but most of it feels like native prairie.  It’s a pleasant, quiet spot with a decent view west of town.

My favorite moment comes when a California quail zips across the trail ahead of me and flutters off into the distance.  He leaves behind his mate though, hiding in the shadows in the tree right next to me.  I wait patiently for several minutes, listening to the two call back and forth to each other and hoping that she’ll come into a clearing between the branches.  She does, barely and briefly.

The Northern entrance to Conservation Park.
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This park was clearly once managed land, and not that far back from the looks of this small grove of uniformly spaced young maple trees.
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In Conservation Park.
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In Conservation Park.
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In Conservation Park.
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Ha, ha! I see you.
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In Conservation Park.
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In Conservation Park.
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In Conservation Park.
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Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownCool. I’ve never heard of this one. I like this particular instance because of its spiffy neck scarf.
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2 months ago

Leaving Conservation Park, I saunter through the neighborhood on my way back home.  It’s a very pleasant place - attractive older homes with character, well tended yards and gardens, lilacs in bloom everywhere.

I especially liked this rock garden, with its wonderful diversity and dozens of different flowers in bloom. It makes me think of Bruce and Andrea’s home and the incredible variety they’re cultivating there.
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A miniature iris.
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I like the corduroy texture of these leaves.
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Jen GrumbyCorduroy! There's a word I haven't seen recently. And what a perfect descriptor here.
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2 months ago
Andrea BrownThat’s a hosta, one of its many forms, sizes, and colors.
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2 months ago
Bruce LellmanSebright Gardens in Brooks, Oregon has well over a hundred varieties of hostas for sale as well as in their beautiful display gardens. Lots of corduroy there! Well worth a visit to Sebright Gardens, our new favorite gardens and nursery.
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2 months ago
Some phlox, I assume? I’m really pretty ignorant about garden flowers.
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Andrea BrownPhlox, indeed. And yellow alyssum.
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2 months ago
Here’s another one I know but don’t know. Poppies? Anemones?
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Andrea BrownPulsatilla, or Pasque Flower. Pasque because they bloom around Passover.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownOh, yes. Of course. I knew I knew that. Thanks for reminding me. Again.
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2 months ago
Eh?
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Bill ShaneyfeltAgreed!

Garden flowers are hard to search.
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2 months ago
It’s quite a cultured and progressive neighborhood, from the looks of it. They’re not taking The Virus as seriously as they should though. Shouldn’t the LFL’s be locked up?
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Here’s another one, right across the street. Another disease magnet, tempting you to reach in and grab some virus. Reminds me of a Venus fly trap.
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Marvin PaxmanHere's what I would do: Wear gloves, take it home in a paper bag, (clean gloves as soon as it is in paper bag), then put it in the oven at home at 170 degrees for 45 minutes.
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2 months ago
I like this weeping cherry(?) too. I’m not alone either. Three cozy looking stuffed bears are sitting in a chair behind the window enjoying their colorful view.
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Scott AndersonOur host Nancy read this and noted that stuffed bears and other animals are found all over town. There’s an on-line map locating them, so that families can take their children out on walks to find them.
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyWe always are excited to see a new bear in the window here.

I'll have to see if Silverton has a bear map, too.
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2 months ago
A weeping cherry. Am I right?
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In the afternoon I hop in the car and drive over to Moscow, a bit apprehensive about what I’ll learn.  The news is all good though.  The wound looks significantly improved over last week, and the staff are almost giddy at how well it’s progressing.   they point to all the new skin that’s growing in from the outside, as well as new skin from the center growing outward.  They suggest that at this rate I may just need to see them one more time and then just treat it on my own.

We discuss the seepage and its relationship to biking, and they think that it’s probably just friction from the dressing they applied last time.   No worries.  They just use a different one this time that should be less abrasive, and say they see no reason to curtail my activity.

Another interesting note: last week when I was here, the doctor (also a biker) encouraged us to hop in the car and drive up to the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene.  Today when she entered the room her first question was to ask if we’d gone up there yet.  It was satisfying to tell her of our good fortune and that we’re driving up there this evening.

OK. After 6+ weeks, I think we’re finally looking respectable enough to share a look at the damage without scaring anyone or making them feel sick. The original open wound was the size of the outermost circle, and almost a third of a centimeter deep. It’s really not looking much worse than a bad rug burn now.
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Jen GrumbyCan I just say ... Holy Shit!

I'm glad you didn't show us previous photos. And now I'm even more impressed that you've kept riding.

I believe Bruce is thinking he's ahead of you with his red, scaly face.

But I'm not sure now .. "Quién es más macho, Bruce o Scott?"

That wound is gnarly.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyAn easy question. Sr. Lellman es mucho más macho; as, btw, is the burly Singing Cycling Cowboy. Actually, other than the worry factor it’s been very easy to live with. There’s been surprisingly little pain involved. It is annoying that it’s so awkward to bathe, but that’s mostly an annoyance for Rocky. It’s a good time to be social distancing for more than one reason!
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2 months ago

I don’t make it back to Pullman until 4:30.  It’s late enough that we decide to eat in town before driving north, so we head over to a restaurant and eat take-out on the bench in front of the restaurant.  

It’s about an hour and a half drive to the cabin, mostly on US 95.  We arrive in Plummer at about quarter to 7 and head straight to the grocery store for a few essentials - milk, beer, a few easy-fix meals.  We put on our masks before going in, and feel like we’ve entered an alien land.  We’re the only masked bandits in the store, and it feels like no one but ourselves knows there’s a plague on.  We make our choices quickly and get out.  As we’re leaving, the intercom announces that the store is closing in four minutes.  Just in time!

One sub-theme of our drive has been fretting a bit about crossing the border.  Idaho has a 14 day quarantine in effect for out of state visitors, and we’re wondering if our Oregon plates will bust us and we’ll get turned back at the border.  So, it’s not good news when we leave the car and see a police car parked right beside ours, its lights flashing, with another just pulling into the lot.

It’s not about us though, fortunately.  They’re interrogating the driver of the car parked next to us for some reason.  We try to look calm and sober and pull out of the lot as quickly and inconspicuously as we can.

Seven miles later we pull off the highway and into Hayden State Park.  The cabin is in Chatolet, a small vacation cabin development inside the park.  As we approach it I ask Rachael what the address is, and we have a scare when we realize two things: we forgot to write it down, and there’s no cell coverage.  We know the name of the short street it’s on though, and Rachael thinks she recognizes it from the photos our host Nancy shared with us.  I park, and while she walks up the stairs to see if the keys will open the lock I get out the iPad to see if we have any evidence squirreled away.  She comes back saying she hasn’t tried the lock yet but she’s pretty sure this is the place.  I tell her that I’m really sure, because I found the address in an email.

Rachael and I are really like the proverbial cat, squared.  We apparently have 81 lives between us, and keep being saved from our own stupidity and short sightedness by dumb luck.

Eureka! Our home for at least the next week.
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Jen GrumbyFunny .. I was just commenting to Ron yesterday about how lucky you two are. (Well, minus the wound.)
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2 months ago
First things first. After a long drive, it’s nice to break out a beer, sit on the deck and contemplate nature. The GBO is happy to lend a stainless steel hand, as long as I bring him out of the tool bag for his first sight of a new state. Welcome to Idaho!
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Jen GrumbyAnd a fine first sight it is! Well worth the wait, I'd say.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyActually, he deserves a bit better look. Right now, he thinks Idaho looks like a tall, steely pole
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyActually, he deserves a bit better look. Right now, he thinks Idaho looks like a tall, steely pole.
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2 months ago

Off the subject, but I enjoyed this photo of an arctic hare sheltering in place too much to not share it with you.  It’s from a gallery of award winning nature photos from this month’s Atlantic Magazine.  They’re all pretty amazing, but this one obviously fits the moment.

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Bruce LellmanAll the way through the last half of this entry all I could think of was how gross that wound photo was.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanHey, what are you complaining about? This is the highly sanitized version. If I really wanted to gross folks out I would have shown it a month ago.
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2 months ago