Ferocious animals are found along our mailbox route, including Charlie, who barks more in a minute that the minute has seconds.
I took you along for a walk to my mailbox in the last post. We hiked over Cody’s Bear Trail, went looking for a wayward skunk, and found the deer herd that believes it is the true owner of our property. Maybe it is. We then detoured through the Klamath National Forest, rejoined our neighborhood road and arrived at the mailbox.
Today we are completing the trip. We will walk along the Upper Applegate Road, check out the Applegate River, visit with one tiny and two huge dogs, and finish our hike on Ethan’s Hidden Trail. The total walk to and from the mailbox, with detours, is a mile and a half.
But first I have to report on two new developments. One, I found the skunk. He is a magnificent creature, by far the biggest skunk I have ever seen. I’d gone down after dark to collect our garbage can on the main road. And there he was, waddling. In fact he waddled right into our front road culvert. He is one culvert-loving skunk. I am surprised he fit.
Two, I received an award from the Word Press blog Animal Couriers. I love these people. They transport people’s pets all over Europe but also throughout the world. And they do a lot with rescued animals. They’re good folks. Was the award for my great humanity, good looks, fine intelligence and quick wit? No, sigh. It was for my “off the wall” comments on their blog. So there you have it, in case you haven’t noticed before: I am an off the wall type of guy. I like it.
On leaving the mailbox, our counterclockwise journey takes us along Upper Applegate Road. It’s my kind of highway. At night, I can drive the whole 13 miles without meeting another car. Charlie the Dog lives up the road on the right. Our river property is just above the grove of trees.
I quickly leave the road. There is the Applegate River to explore. Besides, if I had been born to walk on roads, I would have been born with wheels.
There is this sign… but I am sure they can’t mean me. Plus I haven’t met the owner to ask for permission in my three years of living here.
I learned a long time ago that beauty surrounds us, if we are willing to see it. This river rock covered in moss is an example.
Another example: grains in wood. I found this long-dead limb just beneath the no-trespassing sign.
And here is the Applegate River. It is running low now because we haven’t had much rain but that doesn’t detract from its beauty.
Recognize this bush? It’s smooth skin is the primary clue. This is manzanita. In the spring it hosts small pink flowers that smell oh so sweet. In the fall it sports bright red berries.
A photo of manzanita flowers I took last spring.
We return to the road, walk past Charlie’s house, and come to this magnificent red cedar that marks our property line.
Before we head up Ethan’s Trail back to our house, we’ll make a quick detour onto the river property we co-own with out neighbors. We have to scramble over granite rocks to get there.
But the journey is worth it.
Walking back from the river I find this lichen…
This small pool of water that was frozen over and offered a fun reflection. The pine needle on the left side provides a perspective on the size of the pool.
I also found this site of a feast. Poor birdie.
We have now arrived at our front road. Our sunroom is hiding behind the oak tree on the left. Ethan’s Hidden Trail starts in the trees on the right. I found the skunk about fifteen feet below where I took this photo.
As I head over for Ethan’s Trail more neighbor dogs come out to greet me. These monsters are Anatolian guard dogs and regard everybody but their master with suspicion. I think Griz is finally starting to like me. I’ve told him what a good boy he is at least a thousand times. He actually wagged his tail.
Omni didn’t. He has that look that says come across the fence so I can eat you. He lost his eye as a puppy and has been irritated about it ever since.
While Cody’s Bear Trail makes its way through White Oaks, Ethan’s Hidden Trail wanders through Madrone, Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs on the opposite side of our canyon.
Blackberries fill the canyon. By August these vines are loaded with fruit that the deer help us harvest, delicately.
When we can see our pump house, we are almost home. An interesting aside… when we bought the property we noted that the ceiling of the pump house was filled with outlets. “What the heck?” we thought. And then the light dawned. We were in rural Oregon. The pump house had been used for growing pot. I tease Peggy that if our retirement funds ever run out, I am going to become a pot farmer. She smiles indulgently.
Finally, when we arrive at the large Madrone that provides our back yard with shade on hot summer days, we are home. The smooth skinned Madrone is related to the Manzanita. Thanks for coming along on the Mailbox walk.
NEXT BLOG: I will return to our pre-Christmas visit to Puerto Vallarta where Peggy and I will visit the small town of San Sebastian located high in the Sierra Madre Mountains.