Notes from Windward: #67
Alison describes a biking adventure
Two days ago I took yet another beautiful back road which started about five miles outside of Lyle along the gorgeous Gorge. I have been taking the grand biking tour of Klickitat county these past few days. The road that I took climbed considerably higher than the highway road bordering the Gorge, this made for a spectacular view from the heights. From the road I could see the steep drop into the the gorge valley and the multi colored kites of the parasailers soaring above the water.
A large bird (eagle)? swooped flew above me during my first ascent up the road. Had there been much traffic, I would have hesitated to take the route for the road was fairly narrow and I had to bike fairly close to the road's edge and fairly often I'd take a glance over the edge of the drop into the gorge and each look sent my nerves a jangling and my heart a skipping; an exhilarating and terrifying sensation. Though my body still tenses when I look over the edge, my breathing has eased, which I take as a sign of improvement and familiarity. This internship has afforded me time opportunity and the challenge to push my limits, both mental and physical.
A sweet bonus to the ride: the route is spotted with clusters of blackberry shrubs full of fat kerneled black berries. I stopped at each patch I saw to pick a few berries for taste and sustenance; a delicious light weight snack with which we later made a variation on blackberry cheesecake (yikes!).
During the weekly drives through Klickitat country, through the hills and farmland I'd come into moments of self awareness and realize my jaw would be dropped and my eyes spread wide open. The terrain varies so greatly in the forty minute drive to Goldendale and each of the distinct terrains are breathtaking.
The drive begins with a four mile descent into the Klikckitat river valley, a view which overlooks the tan and green colored hills across the river. The drive continues through the valley along side the Klickitat for a few miles before we regain elevation and we ride on the edge of hills overlooking other hills for miles into the distance. Out of the hills the terrain flattens out and wheat and alfalfa fields spread for miles in either direction.
The advantage to having the combination of these different terrains and climates too, is that this convergence zone allows for a greater variety of crops to be planted and a richer diet off the land, which can be provided locally. Additionally, the region is an ideal recreational center during the summer months. It offers miles and miles of biking paths, water sports, and summer skiing on Mt. Hood, all which can be done in the course of an extended day. How is that for micro diversity?
Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67