Looping Through the Denman (Southwest Oregon) 06-Apr-2022

The last time we visited the Ken Denman Wildlife Area near White City, Oregon, was the day after Christmas 2021. A Great Winter Storm was upon us then and it was snowing – heavily. We had a magical walk in the snow for a couple of hours, got nicely chilled, then headed home for warming libations. Many saw this big snow dump in December as the start of a much needed snowy and wet winter. But, alas, it was not to be, as the following months were among the driest on record. So the drought persists and the coming summer is looking to be increasingly crispy. 😰

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A Stroll in the Snow (Denman Wildlife Area) 26-Dec-2021

We did our last hike about a week ago in anticipation of big winter storms. For once we got the timing right as shortly thereafter mighty snows blanketed our surrounding mountains, with some snow even reaching the valley floor! This weather extravaganza, mixed with the usual holiday diversions, kept us limited to snowy walks around the neighborhood.

So we had a very comfy, at home, non-traveling Christmas. 😁 Sofie (our cat) and the tree coexisted, with no damage to either. The traditional dinner was deliciously excessive (for us at least). We’re facing caloric offsets in the form of rice cakes in the week ahead. 😒 But we had a White Christmas, for the first time in 33 years! So, done and done! But no, wait, it’s still snowing and snowing and seemingly will be doing so for the next few days. Looks like we ordered the deluxe White Christmas package by mistake! And it’s too late to return it! 😲

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A Clear Day at Denman (Southwest Oregon) 20-Sep-2021

We got 0.75 inches (19 mm) of rain here over the last two days! Just like the forecast promised! Miracles! Less than an inch might not sound like much, but after you’ve gone months and months with practically none, it’s a lot! Enough to squelch the wildfires and wash away the smoke. The fronts that brought this rain had moved on by Sunday afternoon, so today dawned cold, clear, and bright. 😎

The LovedOne had something this afternoon and we’re busy tomorrow but it just seemed wrong – so wrong! – to not go outside and breathe a lot. So we carved out some time this morning for a brisk walk around the Military Slough Unit of the nearby Ken Denman Wildlife Area. The rain had washed the dust off the trees there just in time for the Fall color display to start. 😄

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Doing the Denman (White City, Oregon) 08-Jun-2021

Oregon’s transition from Spring into summer has always been a little chaotic – the old joke being that summer doesn’t start here until Fourth of July. But, with some extra weather weirdness due to the atmosphere’s ever rising CO2 content, we had 100+°F (37+°C) temperatures in late May (several records were broken), then temperatures plunged toward 60°F (15°C), then it was thunderstorms, downpours (a month’s rain in a day!), and a spritz of snow higher up – all in the space of a few days. The rain was most welcome but had little impact on our continuing severe drought. Makes you wonder about the climate. 🤔

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Denman Wildlife Area (Southwest Oregon) 17-Mar-2021

This pandemic is starting to feel like a prolonged marshmallow test. The one where you put a tasty marshmallow in front of a small child and if they don’t eat it right away, they’ve intuitively master delayed gratification and, by doing so, will assuredly go on to success and fame. I passed the test only because I don’t like marshmallows all that much (at least not without graham crackers and chocolate which, fortunately, were not part of the test). I didn’t eat the marshmallow but am still waiting for success and fame. And waiting… 🙄 As usual, people just aren’t as simple as sugary treats and recent research is calling nonsense on evaluating children this way. But, the basic premise, that sometimes you have to wait for the good stuff, still holds. And so we wait – for our turn in the vaccine line, for further easing of local restrictions, for the opportunity to travel again.

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Denman on the Rogue (White City, Oregon) 27-Dec-2020

Christmas was a muted affair this year. It rained almost the whole day and the next, which made sheltering in-place just that much easier. Presents were low key too – as what we crave most these days is not (more) stuff but more experiences. We’ll just have to be patient with that.

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Denman Wildlife Area (Oregon) 02-Mar-2019

This weekend The LovedOne was fully consumed with the library’s quarterly book sale (run by volunteers, all of it’s proceeds go to help the county library). But I needed to continue rehabbing my back with a lengthier – but not too lengthy – hike. My recent foray into spinal trauma had abruptly ended my two year infatuation with shoulder strap-only, loosely structured daypacks. 😥 So I had a new daypack – one with a properly lengthy torso, good load transfer, and a hip belt – to get comfortable with. 🙂

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Denman Wildlife Area (Oregon) 24-Nov-2018

Much needed rain and snow arrived (aptly) on Thanksgiving. A welcome relief from the drought and a dry, way-too-smokey summer. It felt great to breathe particulate-free air again. And to see crisp blue sky. Then we got a break in the weather. While The LovedOne was doing her usual Saturday shift at the library, I went for a short stroll at the nearby Ken Denman Wildlife Area. This is one of those places we’ve driven by a lot – on the way to the Upper and Lower Table Rocks – but never stopped to visit.

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