Friday, December 28, 2007

Early Morning Adventure

I woke before the sun. Lunch was made, day pack prepped, and the gas tank full. All that remained was loading up the dogs and grabbing my mp3 player for the drive. Too much time has passed since I visited my dear friend nature. Today was set to be a day for adventure.

The drive north along highway 55 was quite pleasant. The trees and mountain tops were dusted with snow creating beautiful scenery and nice roads. Turning off the main highway onto the forest road was a bit different story. Pavement was hidden by snow pack covering patches of ice. Still, there was not as much snow as I had anticipated for this time of year. My husband and I arrived at our first destination, Trail Creek hot springs. Amazingly the parking lot was vacant. As usual the trail down was treacherous. I managed to make it all the way to the bottom of the trail before slipping on an insignificant spot of ice. This made for some great comic relief for my other half. I did not find this to be so humorous. After snapping off a few pictures we decided to continue on the days journey.

Earlier this summer my favorite place to camp and hot spring endured raging wild fires. I was anxious to see the extent of damage caused. Would my spring even still be soakable? I had heard a couple of rumors that it had survived, but I couldn't wait to see for myself. To put it mildly, I was awestruck as we entered the burn area. Ponderosa pines, birch, shrubbery, almost everything charred to a crisp. Entire mountain side stood vacant of any objects save for a few random standing bits of burnt tree. I could actually see the river in spots that I didn't even know it ran through! As devastating as the fire impact was, something saddened me even greater. Turning onto north I saw real estate signs. We were shocked! How is it that in the midst of national forest there can be land for sale?

The road continued on in its same manner, slick and snowy, and offering up breathtaking views. Destruction can be so beautiful. Arriving at the hot spring I was relived to find it in a pocket of protection, although someone had tampered with the source spout causing the pool to be a few degrees cooler than usual. This was remedied by an eight foot piece of PVC pipe that redirected the water more directly into the pool.

While my body soaked up the healing waters, my eyes soaked in the magnificence of the day. The sky threatened ever so slightly to release more snow. Unsee birds chirped, almost welcoming us to their home. Ice chunks gathered among rocks along the river, reflecting the brief moments of sun light that fought its way through the clouds. Time had passed without my knowing again my soul felt revitalized, and the unwanted journey back to the city was approaching. What will spring bring to this battered land? I can not wait to discover it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Animal Love

Recently I was talking with a friend about The Animal Rescue site. They have a program where their sponsors will donate to care for the animals, and all we have to do is click. It is completely free to visitors except for a few moments of your time.

The Animal Rescue Site focuses the power of the Internet on a specific need — providing food for some of the 27 million unwanted animals given to shelters in the U.S. every year. Over 10 million animals are put to death every year in the U.S. alone because they are abandoned and unwanted.
Each click on the purple "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Animal Rescue Site provides food and care for a rescued animal living in a shelter or sanctuary. Funding for food and care is paid by site sponsors and distributed to animals in need at the
Fund for Animals' renowned animal sanctuaries (including Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in California), pet shelters supported by the Petfinder Foundation, North Shore Animal League, and other worthy animal care facilities supported by the foundation.

This is a fantastic program. Let's get spread the word, and take a few moments to make a difference.