Spring-time near Cottonwood, Idaho

Camas Prairie Idaho in spring

Camas Prairie Idaho in spring

Yesterday was the perfect Spring evening as Dennis & I drove home to Grangeville from a long day at Dog Bark Park.   Midway through our 15 mile commute is a stretch of old apple trees growing along what is now a vacated railroad line. 

I’ve always admired these hardy scraggly trees & have picked their small fruit on occassion.  It is my hunch that the trees were probably accidentally established long ago by railroad workers or passengers discarding the cores of apples brought with them on the train.  And it is also my hunch that some of these trees have survived these many years simply because the adjoining land has not been altered for just as many years. 

And it is my hope the trees will live out their natural lives for many many more decades to come.  I enjoy thinking about the lives of those early day train travelers between Grangeville & Lewiston Idaho.  The trip took most of a day, while now by car the same distance can be travelled in just over an hour!  Much of the today’s scenery is the same as when the passenger train ran, with large grain fields rimmed by forested mountains & miles without seeing many or any houses. 

Sunset looking towards Grangeville, Idaho

Sunset looking towards Grangeville, Idaho

The abandoned railbed, with tracks & ties removed between Grangeville & Cottonwood, makes a nice corridor for mountain biking, ATV riding or walking.  During harvest season (mid-August into Sept) some sections of the railbed are used by grain trucks hauling wheat or canola to the storage elevators at Fenn, Idaho.

Stay tuned for more tree photos & report next fall about the 2009 apple crop!

Dog Bark Park is a Staycation Destination

Staycations,  a vacation taken in your own community or region, are popular this year.  One thing about travel is certain;  Americans like to vacation.  We’ll give up other things in our family budget before giving up a few days or weeks away from home. 

This year many families are choosing staycations for economic reasons while others are taking staycations on purpose.

We’re wanting to explore around the corner from our own backyards.  We want to feel connected to our communities & understand again, or for the first time,  what makes where we live truly special.

Staycations save money, reduce stress by eliminating the complications of long-distance vacations, and they can be tremendous fun.  We can enjoy the adventure of discovering unknown places & experiences right around the corner from where we live.   Staycations include staying in a motel, campground or bed & breakfast just like a regular vacation.  Instead of spending hours driving or flying, the days can be spent exploring  the backroads, museums, shops, parks, etc your family has always said they’d like to do someday.  There’s time to try  new or different restaurants.  Time to watch the sun go down over a river, time to take in a play at that community theatre.  Time & budget to find the perfect staycation souvenir

Dog Bark Park was featured as a Staycation Destination last week on KLEW TV.    Here’s the short video clip.  http://www.klewtv.com/news/local/45139042.html

We’d love to hear about your own staycation vacations. 

KLEW TV Staycation Destination

KLEW TV Staycation Destination

Last Stay & Learn Package of ’09 Season

Spend Friday night May 29 in the World’s Biggest Beagle.  Next day take a healthful class at the beautiful nearby Monastery of St. Gertrude.  Limited enrollment.

Oils, Herbs & Salves – Sat. 5/30/09
Explore the relationships between oils, herbs and salves during this hands-on-class set in beautiful surroundings. Learn about these gifts of nature which enhance health and healing. Take a tour of the herb garden, make your own salves and enjoy the aroma of essential oils and herbs. Dress for weather.

Location: Monastery of St. Gertrude Old Kitchen (3 miles from Dog Bark Park)
Time: 9:00am-2:30pm.…………..….Class Fee including lunch & materials: $40
Sister Carlotta Fontes OSB is a Master Herbalist and tender of the Monastery gardens. She makes salves, soaps, and balms among other healing items.
Sister Agnes Reichlin OSB is an RN and has taken herb and essential oil classes. She uses oils and herbs in many healing environments.

For Reservations/more information:  208 962-3647  Dog Bark Park.