Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bird Creek Meadows

August 22, 2009

In 1855, we took control of most of the land in the Oregon Territory, which then included the state of Washington. One of the treaties included a map for Yakama Nation land. Someone "lost" the map for decades, and a phoney survey cut the Yakama Nation out of another 121,000 acres. Decades after they found the map, Richard Nixon returned to the Yakamas 21,000 acres on the east side of Mt. Adams, where lies Bird Creek Meadows.

Over the rivers and through the woods we went today to hike in that gorgeous wilderness area. It includes everything from shady forests, to delicate streams decorated with tiny wildflowers, to the most massive rock in the Cascade Mountains, Mt. Adams. Along the way, we can see 60 or so miles south to Mt. Hood.

Powerful rivers can be found in many places, including where we were today. But one of the things that makes Bird Creek Meadows special are the gentle, fragile streams that could not withstand grazing by cattle..

The diverse hike is one of the highlights of an area full of great trails. More photos from today are here.

Thank you, Yakama Nation, for keeping it mostly pristine and open to us. Thank you, Dr. Sparling, for returning to me my ability to hike.

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