An Outback Hike

Rock Cave

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Out for a lovely hike with my neighbors, Bill and Grant. They were taking their German Shorthair dogs, Katy and Ray. Of course, I also had a dog, and for this walk was taking Osix, who’s rarely on a leash.

Our goal was to reach the local outback. It’s an area under the power lines, rather au natural, and most often deserted. The powerlines practically are in our backyards and a great place to feel away from the city. Its rocky and dirt road stretches a couple of miles, a fine walking route with pets. On it, I’ve walked with my donkey, with my dwarf goats, and ridden in a cart being pulled by my horse. In a recent outing, my mini-Aussie, Louie, was out with me there.

Shortly after starting out, we bumped into neighbors, Laura and Tom. They were leaving for an outing but paused for hellos and a quick catch up.

We continued our stroll through the neighborhood to reach a gravel road that stretches to the outback area. The powerline area has a network of active irrigation canals, welcome respites for animals. This photo that resembles something by an Old Master was taken recently near the “outback” by Bill.

Our outing was planned so that I could show Bill and Grant how to reach the powerlines outback. Several times I had tried to explain where to find the entrance, but the directions are difficult. The entrance I like is a little tricky. One must walk, just a bit, on a driveway belonging to a homeowner who posts unfriendly signs, to “keep out”. Well, many locals anyway take that entrance.

We three and our dogs did have to tread that forbidden bit of driveway, and voila! We reached the powerlines. I’ve no idea why I missed taking photos of those German Shorthairs submerged in a canal. Even my Osix allowed herself to wade, cool her tootsies and do some drinking.

We walked on the roadway which heads west, maybe for a mile, until the powerline road ends. While Bill focused on their dogs (one never before having been off-leash), Grant’s quick eye captured the various wildflowers and managed to spot a cave that I’ve passed dozens of times without noticing.

Way over from where we walked were the rocky remains of eons-ago volcanic upheavals. A wall of lava rocks stretching maybe for one hundred feet were upended in a most unusual manner. Its lava tubes are set parallel instead of vertical to the ground.

Lava tubes with Katy & Osix

We climbed and explored all over those rocks before working our way back to the main trail.

After reaching the trail’s end we turned toward home, and as we neared, Bill checked his phone and announced that we’d covered about four and a half miles. My joints seemed to remember every step, but for Osix and me, there would be more work ahead. That afternoon was the time to hitch up my horse trailer which still was winterized. It’s warm enough to be loading a horse or horses to go riding.

Dear Friends: Knowing better this interesting neighborhood is a self-isolation bonus. Diana

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