Fields Spring State Park is four miles south of Anatone, Washington (pop. 38). The Park’s vistas, pleasant walking trails, and clean rest rooms ensure our return visits at least once a year.
Red vine maple, an attractive accent along the trail. . .
Fields Spring vista
Craig Mountain Panorama
A fallen fence provides scenic entropy.
My husband and I took a Valentine’s Day walk only about 15 minutes from home, but five hundred feet lower than our home altitude is like a whole different world.
Even without leaves, the trees add beauty and contour to the riparian grassland beneath the towering basalt outcropping.
Reed canary grass
Prickly pear cactus
These lichens narrate three distinct micro-climates.
Asotin County ranks 27th in population among Washington’s 39 counties; our county also ranks sixth smallest in area. Friday, I found out how little our littleness means to our Governor.
Governor Inslee has appointed an exceptional number of judges—more in his first two years in office than any Washington governor in history has appointed—since his election in 2012. As the Governor observed, “Boomers simply are ready to retire.” Judge Acey, now Judge William Acey, Ret., served his County first as prosecutor, then as District Court Judge, before presiding over the Superior Court. Our county has just one Superior Court department. His service spanned 31 years. He’s a retirement-ready Boomer in the best possible way.
Our Governor has attended the installations of every single one of his judicial appointees. His interest in our little county impressed me. We’re just over the bridge from Idaho, only about 40 minutes to the Oregon border, and nowhere near Olympia. The Governor practiced law for a while in Yakima, so he’s no stranger to the quality of Eastern Washington. He didn’t seem like a stranger at all, and it was my first time in the presence of a governor.
I decided I wanted to dress up for the occasion—business homespun is still my preferred style for court, as it was before I retired as an attorney. Nearly all the attorneys in attendance wore their Fridays. The Governor was ready for anything in his blue jacket and jeans, no tie.
His insight as to our county’s quality smoothed the lingering prejudice I held against the “west side liberals.” It was a very happy occasion; my husband, an attorney, works with great people; we all love where we are, confident that everyone makes it all work together, willing to call ancient tribal partisanship passé.
Left to right: Asotin County Auditor Darla McKay swears in Scott D. Gallina as Judge, Asotin County Superior Court, before Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Judge William Acey, Ret.
After taking up a paintbrush for a bit on Friday to help Vic and our friend Rosemary prime the kitchen for painting, the exhaustion of the past week’s efforts caught up. Saturday morning, Vic proposed an escape day. In fact, he insisted. Road trip therapy, and that was that.
We had been eager to see the Grand Ronde River Valley, so we packed a lunch and headed south, through Asotin, and southwest from there through the hills. We went as far as Troy, Oregon along the Grand Ronde. We took a different route home along Montgomery Ridge Road, and went south to where the Grand Ronde flows into the Snake River. Along the way, we stopped to see some Nez Perce petroglyphs, which are honestly not awfully high art. The country through the canyon is absolutely breathtaking. And I discovered that the Grand Ronde River has a lovely voice.
Unhappily, either my camera or my computer dumbed, and failed to load all the pictures in the camera. More unhappily, I did not realize this at the time that I clicked the box to erase images from the camera as they downloaded to the computer. Hence you cannot see the picture of my heroic husband standing on a rock next to the Snake River; nor can you see the photo of the myriad of cars, trucks, and campers parked at Hellers Bar along the Snake River, the hundreds of owners of which presumably were out getting away from it all.
Mechanical failure notwithstanding, I discovered that my own energy cells are just like a cell phone battery. If I wait until they are fully discharged to recharge them, they retain their charge longer. At least I hope they will: I felt completely relaxed and somewhat revived by the beauty of the rivers and the canyon country. Monday, I might even be ready to help apply a coat of Slender Reed to our kitchen walls. It’s the first from the right.