Saturday, May 3, 2008

Seeking the Sun

I'm discovering the joys of my first Pac NW spring. Trees have been flowering since early March with no signs of stopping. Our cherry blossoms are almost gone, but the apple tree is showing bright pink buds that are getting ready to burst at any moment. The tulip farm down the street is revealing a stunning show of colors (and I must say that it is a far more pleasant experience to jog over a few blocks to see tulips than it was in Iowa to drive 2 hours to Pella to see a marginally-better color display.) The rhodies everywhere are blooming, and I'm planning solo trip up to a nearby botanical garden to see them.

Despite the color show the sky remains gray more often than not, and so last weekend Z and I headed east of the Cascades to bask in the warm sun and try a little desert hiking. I recently returned from Los Angeles and had a wonderful day tromping around Joshua Tree--my first desert experience--and wanted to see how our Eastern Washington landscape compared. We (eventually, after hours of driving, taking wrong turns, and driving our poor car over some terrible gravel roads) found a lovely spot near a quiet bend in the Columbia River. It was warm, dusty, dry, but with enough of a cool breeze to remind us this still wasn't Southern California. The ground isn't red rocky but brown and sandy, and there weren't nearly as many blooming shrubs as I had hoped. But we both agreed it was a lovely afternoon, well-worth the drive over the still-snowy Cascades. We ended the day with a lingering drive towards the sunset and dinner at one of our favorite Washington restaurants, Santiago's in the "Old-Western" town of Yakima.

No comments: