Umtanum Creek Canyon
While I was road tripping over to the east of the mountains, I took a little ramble up into the desert country near Yakima, WA. I generally stay in the greener portions of the state, and only rarely venture east. Mostly when I get desperate for some guaranteed sunshine. With that being the case, I've never before experienced a desert springtime bloom, and I've gotta say I didn't know what I was missing. So glad I happened to glance out my window on the Yakima Canyon Highway and catch a glimpse of that suspension bridge. It was enough to peak my curiosity and get me to turn around and pull over.
The warm sage brush smelled amazing! Sort of like sweet pine needles. And I was amazed to see so many wildflowers. I always think of the desert as such a dull, brown place, but it was bursting with colors on this day. And the flowers were attracting the bugs, which in turn meant there were all sorts of birds. It was like a whole new world right in my state!
Because I got a late start, I didn't complete the trail. But I knew I'd made it to my destination when I crested a ridge and beheld a sweeping view of my favorite mountains, the Stuart range. Back before I had kids, I was fortunate to summit Mt. Stuart with some friends. It was there that I realized that I hate heights and exposed places, and would rather stick to the greener spots. It's a beautiful, rugged little range.
At that point I decided to call it a day and head back to the car before I got any hotter or more sunburned. Like I said, desert hiking is not (yet) my forte. But I think I am getting better at paying attention to the signals from the universe. Totally worth it.