Check back in next time and I will let you know.
Sadly, there is no such thing as paradise. Three spring-seeking friends and I sat on a new beach near the Snake River (new because the high water flows have created new beaches and cleared out prickly vegetation on others) and basked in the sixty degree sun. The only lingering threat was the possible PI that was awaiting in a few days. I had rinsed my hand in the ice-cold Snake and used an antiseptic wipe from my first aid kit, but still. Unless you are susceptible to PI, you are immune also to the deep-seated fear that arises when you realize you may be contaminated.
There's no such thing as Paradise, but this place comes pretty close. I've hiked this trail (and written about it) many times before, but it's one of those that never gets old. It's where you go when the flat white of the landscape fails to inspire. It's where you go when you need a shot of spring.
|Someone wrote their initials on the sand, but now I wonder if the T stands for "tick". We only found two though. Not terrible.|
|Can you see the bighorn sheep? Not a great picture, but exciting to see the herd.|
A ton of people were camped near the trailhead, but most were sitting around in lawn chairs, not even attempting to walk very far. You can tell spring fever has hit. Sadly for them, we have one more month of snow and sometimes two. Or three! Even if you love winter, sometimes you just want to see green. Back when I used to work at the forest, we used to fight over who got to drive an hour of bad road to clean the stinky outhouse down here. The call for spring is powerful around these parts.
One of my friends has lived here for forty years. On the narrow, exposed road driving out, she knew everyone driving in. She knew where the "hippie camp" had been in the 1970s. She knew where all the old trails went. This is a kind of history of place I won't ever have, and while I don't regret my rootless years, I admire the dedication to sticking it out somewhere.
We arrive back in the snow at the end of the day. The skiing will be good, and there's no need to hurry the seasons. The canyon waits; it's always there when we need it.