Sunday, July 29, 2012

Winner Creek Gorge, Baby!

 Ya'll know how excited I am for berry picking to start this summer. In my excitement, I've blabbed on and on to my friends about it, enthusiastically inviting them to come meet us at a local blueberry festival...and do some picking.  (We did it last year! We know where the berries are! Come with!!!) And then the realization dawned on me that perhaps the locations we've earmarked for future visits may not bear the same amount of bounty we've experienced in the past. What if I lead our new friends to barren bushes???? *Gasp!* How embarrassing would that be?

Solution? Scout the area out first! Aaaand, so...without further consideration of the busy Air Show weekend, I smiled sweetly and batted my short Asian eyelashes at my ever-loving hubbylicious until he agreed to take me out there to make sure that I won't look stupid pointing at nothing but leaves, "But I swear this had so many berries last year!"

Oh, and I also wanted to see if the internet forums quietly discussing other berry spots held true.  Psssst, guess what? They do! Salmonberries here! Salmonberries there! Salmonberries everywhere!!! They weren't ripe yet, though. But in two to three weeks time, it'll be a whole different story...and I'll be the heroine of that tale, lugging a five-gallon container full of them home, ready to make some preserves. Susie freakin' homemaker, folks...yep, that's me.

 Miss Sophie spotted the ONLY ripe salmonberry in the area.

After leaving our super secret  salmonberry location (really, it's not secret at all since it's easily accessible, so much so that I fear others will beat me to the punch and pick them all before I get a chance to return), we headed over to the other end of the Winner Creek Trail to check out the progress of the blues.

There were many many young green huckleberries. Two-three weeks, I tell ya. Just in time for that festival.

We did find this ONE bush hiding behind other foliage, sport in' some nice plump ones, falling into our palms with just a slight nudge.

We wandered further and further down the trail, examining more bushes, finding more surprises (trailing raspberries! salmonberries!), until we came upon this sign.

This, my dear friends, is the same hand tram listed on Fam Och's summer to-do list...the thought of which gives me this funny just-bit-into-frozen-solid-ice-cream feeling in my teeth because it makes me THAT nervous. 

At first, we kept going towards it just to see it. One thing led to another and I found myself standing on the platform, watching my boys pull themselves across a gorge hundreds of feet deep.

 Other images and videos of this can be viewed through the FB account.

This hand tram is a metal cage with a max weight capacity of 400 lbs, that traverses the width of the gorge via a hand pulley system, Winner Creek roaring below. The swinging door has two separate locks just in case you were wondering.

Anyway, the sisters (even cautious Sophia) asked if us girls could give it a try as well. So we did. (Really, how could I say no when I'm the one who keeps foot stomping about how important it is to try new things even if it scares us a little?)
It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.  If you are in the local area, put this in your bucket list NOW.

Then on the drive back, we spotted more of these on the side of the road:

What a fabulous way to end the weekend!

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