A hunting party
Sometimes has a greater chance
Of flushing love and God
Out into the open
Than a warrior
All alone.
Hafiz

June 17th 2012 Before I started this leg of my journey to the more easterly parts of the county, I bought a different new/used pair of shoes, still a kind of “tennis shoe” made in China ,called “cross treckkers”,but way more comfortable. They cost 8 dollars.
Suzan Holmes accompanied me on the first day of my journey; cross country from Ekone Ranch to the Horse Heaven Hills.
We walked out past Ekone’s “green” cemetery and from there we could see the pretty canyon on the other side. The one we wanted to explore. We walked south for a ways along the rim of Rock Creek Canyon enjoying the views; north, east and south. We paused at the trail head, on old logging road that goes down in. I always recall the time back in the 70’s when I packed a horse loaded with blankets and tarps and put on a sweat lodge ceremony for Ray Mitchell Jennifer and Ray’s brother Rodney. (Ray was the founder of Ekone Ranch.)
We took our time hiking down through Rock Creek Canyon filling our water jugs and hiked up the other side, enjoying the spring flowers and the sunshine. When we got to the big pines that grow near the mouth of this draw before it drops off steep into Rock Creek we found a healthy flow of water. So we explored around and found some patches of camas, some brodea and some cat’s eye lilies. Then we followed the draw up and saw some of the largest tiger lilies I have ever seen. We continued up the draw looking for our evening campsite. We found some hawthorn trees with lots of berries on them and one of the largest service berry bush, turned tree that I have ever seen. We chose our camp not far from a grove of large cotton wood trees.
It was too windy for a fire and too dry so we set up our tarps and got ready for the night, sipping whisky, telling stories and exchanging thoughts about camping gear. We didn’t know we had camped so close to Box Canyon Road until a 4 wheeler drove by and apparently drove to the locked gate then turned around and drove back. We had a good rest there and in the morning it was calm so I built a fire with the dead twigs from a large rose bush. The wisps of smoke from this fire were very aromatic,
A delight to the senses. We enjoyed this sprightly little fire that helped us make tea and breakfast.
We soaked our fire and stirred it completely out then went our separate ways. Suzan went back to Ekone I kept a walking in a general NNE direction, toward the horse heaven hills, my ultimate goal. After forty years I finally make the time to explore this remote, beautiful area of Klickitat County!

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