Friday, March 21, 2014

The WAIT is over, Spring has Sprung!

Have you been watching and w a i t i n g for Spring.


It is official.....
     winter is done.

Spring has finally arrived.

I gave the yard the once over to see what might be popping through the soil to bloom.... pickins are still pretty slim.  All that I could find was a few crocus.

and these windflowers. 

Tulips are poking out of the ground but it will be a while yet before they are blooming.

To celebrate the arrival of Spring, I went for a hike I read about this last week.   It was an area that I am familiar with as my maternal grandparents lived near the northern start of the bluff.  Some of my earliest memories of my Grandmother are of us picking wild flowers on the steep hillside in the Spring.  And of the protective ole lady trying to chase us off of the 'private' property.  (Houses may own their lot but do not own the bluff area.... more about that later)

This little bungalow is where my Grandparents, Mom and Auntie lived.

   I started my trek at a small park near where my Grandparents lived.

It is called the Bluff Trails. It sits on the west boundary bluff of  Spokane over Hangman Valley.

The Bluff is a border which remains from water erosion  from Hangman Creek which  carved out  a valley with the steep bluffs.  Spring thaw still muddies the waters with sand from the bluffs as it rushes down stream.

The trails were uniquely built by volunteers who walked this area over decades, creating a trail system that track up, down and across the sandy bluff.  The city ignored the trails and the trail system grew and is maintained by the people who use the trails.

A link to an article regarding the trails,

A New House being built along the bluff.

Homeowners attempt to block access to the trails by building fences across the trails.

Hikers make new trails, often on less stable ground.

I am reminded of a Native American view of land ownership. 

"What is this you call property? It cannot be the earth, for the land is our mother, nourishing all her children, beasts, birds, fish and all men. The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs only to him?" -Massasoit

Oh I know, that people want to preserve their view and protect their  possessions.   But free, green spaces are needed by everyone.  Blocking access does not solve the problem.  On up the trail is the Spokane Country club and an exclusive housing development protected by big iron gates and fences.  The trails continue farther down the bluff but easy access is denied to most folks.

Houses continue to be built along the edge of the sandy bluff and locals continue to regard the buildings as folly that will one day result in a free ride to the bottom of the gully.  "Oh the price of a great view. 

Near the country club area a pull out along High Drive provides a wonderful view.

The city has provided a bench hidden from view with a little walk....

Unfortunately, the crazies have found it too!


  "Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." --Ancient Indian Proverb

At many places the hillside trails are too steep for me to climb so I have to be content for all the views and places I can explore..... and I was rewarded with my first wildflowers of the spring..... Buttercups! 
 There will be more explosions of color shortly........

Spring is finally here................I'M BACK!!


  1. Great post. Yes Spring has sprung, now if the wind would quit blowing. But I still sit out on my porch and sneeze and rub my itchy eyes. LOL

    The Native Americans are wise people to bad no one listens.

  2. Is the trail on public land. Too bad folks feel they have to block access! That went on for years along the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish east of Seattle. A trail was eventually built after 10+ years of wrangling with homeowners along the way (none of whom owned the actual land involved). It is now a wonderful asset and all the terrible things those along the trail foretold have simply not happened! Happy Spring, Spokane!

  3. Mostly it is public lands. I have seen evidence where the trails butt up to private property or possibly cross a small corner. The fence shown in one of the pictures is such a corner. The owner would be wise to build his fence allowing the fence on stable ground rather than take a chance of erosion that might affect his property too (in my humble opinion). I don't mind that this is still a wild place and I felt completely safe on the trail as is. Happy Spring to you too!!

  4. I enjoyed all the information and photos - I'll bet this kind of thing goes on all the time (homeowners trying to block people near their homes.). I'm glad you got out for a good Spring Walk!! More flowers to come... :)