July 31, 2012.
We crossed the Wahkiacus Bridge and pulled right into the Yakima Fisheries Station and tied up. I started looking for Mike, but I found Shane (Reed’s friend) Shane looked around for Mike but he was not around. I told Shane my story and he thought it would be OK for us to rest there. So I led her and the cart down to where the old Wahkiacus Park used to be and unhitched her under the shade of a large oak tree.
It was hot so I tied her under some cotton wood trees where there was plenty of grass. I brought her water because there was not real good access for her to drink directly out of the river. She drank less than a gallon and that let me know I was not shorting her on water. I was keeping her well hydrated! She had one kind of weepy eye where she might have scratched it in the night or maybe it was the change in feeds, as we moved along?
I purposely tied her where we could not see each other easily, because she really “works” me; Acting fussy when ever she wants something, never giving me much rest! I could just make out her face through the leaves and I swear she stared over at me for almost two hours with kind of a curious look on her. I finely caved in and went over and talked to her and scratched her and then she started eating! I sensed a brief moment of horse affection there!
I soaked a quart of oats for her then had some lunch; hard boiled eggs with salt, pepperoni, beef jerky, left over oatmeal with cattail pollen with date sugar then I had an orange!
I relaxed in the shade then washed and dried then readjusted all her booties so they could be put on as loosely as possible so all I would have to do is drop the backs down to let out any build up of dust or grit without having to take the whole boot off. (Although I don’t think I had a problem like on Wahkiacus Heights Road, for the rest of my travels)
It was hot down here in the canyon, but plenty of shade, and always a pleasure to be so near the river, running almost a green color from the melting glaciers on Mt Adams and the Goat Rocks! I took a bath in the river, not so far from someone fly fishing, dressed in a full suit of clothing? Perhaps all the clothing was for bug protection, I am not sure?
On the trail to the river I couldn’t help but notice an excessive use of toilet paper scattered around so I felt compelled to clean it up so I sharpened a stick and put all this in a bag and walked over to the Swale Canyon trail head, thinking there would be some garbage barrels there but no, guess I will have to figure something else out?
I scouted around there for what might be a better campsite but decided to stay where we were. So far I felt welcome. I fed Taboona her oats then hauled her some water. She drank about two gallons, clearly thirsty!
Something about this area that makes me wants to get moving on. I noticed this feeling the last time I camped here, like this area is very intence very contested, maybe because of the Rails to Trails or simple because it is one of the few places on the river where there is another way out of the Canyon? but I resisted, we need the rest. I do know there is a Gated Community just up Horse Shoe Bend Road, that Mike told me anyone there would probably turn me into the Sheriff!?
I took Taboona for a walk out into the open grass land in front of the Fisheries Office. She first ate dry grass seed heads then some chicory then she chomped down on some horse tail grass (the strait type) then she found the canary grass and seemed to like that the best. I tied her to a stout limb of an apple tree and rested under the tree for a while to see how she would do, tied up. She seemed OK, so I picked some green apples for her and went back to my camp. There seem to be a half a dozen deer that are also making there home here taking advantage of the thick brush and grass!
Reed and Molly drove up to visit me after they had worked all day so I cooked up some canned deer meat that I had been saving for the occasion. Reed said he was not too hungry as he had just caught three steelhead in the White Salmon! We had some canned fruit and chocolate that Molly brought. I talked about my walk about: scouting a way to do what I was doing now! I enjoyed seeing them together. After our sweet visit we said our good-byes and they drove back to their world.