It is official.....
winter is done.
Spring has finally arrived.
and these windflowers.
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)
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, http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/may/15/field-of-dream-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.
"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.
"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