Vol. 14, No. 3



New President Describes HPCC Progress
Cupid Has Struck High Prairie!
Power’s Out! Are You Ready?
Water, Water Everywhere, But????!!!!
Farming The Dry Side
Revenge Of The Red Tractor
Klickitat County Fair!
Caught By The Bagpipe Bug
High Prairie Directory
A Vacation To Remember!
New Fire Chief Is Official
Not Out Of Fire Season Yet
Make A Difference
Recipe: Peach Crisp With Almond-Oat Topping
Treasures Of Music #3


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New President Describes HPCC Progress

Mike Richards

High Prairie is home to some of the most motivated and dedicated residents in Klickitat County. Since I became President of the High Prairie Community Council on July 1, I have received only the most complimentary feedback of our residents and Community Council from some of the most notable people in the county. That is very high praise, and I take it as a compliment to our entire community.

I now know that I have big shoes to fill and big expectations to maintain. Neil Shuster, the outgoing president, set the bar high for the future and it will take significant effort to provide a worthy encore. Thankfully for me, the remaining board members are ready to continue providing their services and talents to provide a sense of continuity into the future.

I would like to provide a brief overview of the vision for the future of the Council and the community center:

      • We have high hopes for the community center itself. The Council is working very hard on the budget for the 2014–15 fiscal year so that we make the most of the resources from this year’s Firehouse Sale.
      • We are in the process of making plans for improvements of the grounds for next year’s Firehouse Sale. Rocky Schultz suggested several improvements that will help maximize the use of the grounds and facilities available. The most noticeable change will be when the ground on the west side of the community center is leveled. We hope to accomplish this largely with volunteer efforts and donated materials.
      • In addition, we want to add rigging necessary to hang temporary awnings over this area to provide seating for customers of the food court in the coming years.
      • Repair of the locking mechanism on the storage container was also identified as a high priority.
      • We will also be looking into making repairs to the ramp to the lower parking area that behaved like a giant sponge in May of this year, causing issues with parking.
      • The Council also made provisions to correct the facility electrical system to eliminate the problem with circuit breakers activating for no reason.

As far as the Council goes, the dedicated individuals on the Board of Directors have big plans for the coming year. One notable addition is the new HPCC website which is intended to act as a clearinghouse for all information related to the Council or the community center. On it you will find past agendas and minutes from previous meetings as recorded by our secretary, Barbara Parrish. Additionally, you will find a calendar of reserved dates for the community center and links to the current bylaws. We are also planning to record all meetings and special presentations for future reference by residents or those who are unable to attend our regular meetings. Please visit the site at www.highprairiecommunitycouncil.wordpress.com and feel free to provide feedback you may have.

As with any public group, having as much information available to all residents is key to keeping all members involved and enthusiastic about the community and its direction. Personally, I seek to facilitate the will of the majority of our community, while preserving the right of everyone to have their opinions heard in a fair, open forum. I truly believe that we have the community resources to set the standard to which other community councils across the county aspire. I am open to your feedback to improve the effectiveness of the Council, and look forward to serving as your Community Council President!

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Cupid Has Struck High Prairie!

Two favorite HP guys have popped the big question and wedding bells may soon be ringing…congrats to James Amery and Angie, and to Bill Downing and Jill!


Power’s Out! Are You Ready?

Debbie McDonald

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16 – As of this writing our electricity has been off for 16 hours. I knew there was a scheduled power outage for maintenance.  The notice said off at 11:00 p.m. and on by 7:00 a.m. I knew to be prepared for a longer outage, things happen. I was tired when I got home from work last night. I didn’t think to fill up jugs of water. I didn’t think to put breakfast and lunch items in a cooler with ice, just in case. I was busy all day and didn’t remember to fully charge my cell phone while at work as I usually do.

So I might be kicking myself if I hadn’t already been prepared for emergency situations. We have a butane stove with extra fuel as well as a propane bbq to cook on. We have gallons of stored water, enough for us and all our animals. There are jars and jars of canned food on shelves in the garage. The cell phone is being charged from a computer battery to give me enough juice to call the sheriff or fire department or impatiently call the utility company for an update. I don’t need to open a refrigerator or freezer for anything, enabling me to minimize the damage to refrigerated and frozen foods. I hope I won’t need to throw out a lot of food but I can wait out the situation. I have wanted to install solar panels. We’ve talked about buying a generator. That would make us even more self-sufficient but we need more information.

How about you? Are you prepared for an emergency, even a short power outage? How many days could you comfortably stay at home during an emergency through any type of weather? What kind of alternative information do you need? Do you have canned food or would a store of dehydrated food benefit your family? What are some creative ways to store water?

Klickitat PUD has a web page with great suggestions on preparing for outages, at http://www.klickitatpud.com/news/outageNotices/OutagePrepared.aspx. Another excellent online resource is the American Red Cross website — http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/power-outage.

You will also find a lot of information from like-minded DIY’ers at the Northwest Homesteading Fair—Saturday, September 20th in Lyle, right next to the highway. There’ll be a raft of workshops and booths with information on “Solar 101,” preserving food, keeping bees and chickens, composting, blacksmithing and lots more. I’ll see you there and we’ll get answers and ideas together.

Here We Go Again!

This just in:

There is a planned outage on Monday, September 22, 2014 starting at 10:00 a.m. and lasting until 4:00 p.m.

This will affect all customers in High Prairie including the Centerville Hwy, Schilling Rd, Hartland Rd, Struck Rd, Oda Knight Rd, High Prairie Rd, Rowland Rd, surrounding areas. The main reason for this outage is that Klickitat PUD will be making repairs to the power lines.


Photo: Klickitat PUD

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Water, Water Everywhere, But????!!!!

Audrey Bentz

Many of us emigrated here from the West side of the mountains, where water availability seemed to have no limit. Not so.

Again this summer, there are reports of wells: some with reduced gallons per minute, some having to be deepened to regain water source. This may not be your experience, and it isn’t ours; but we are concerned for our whole community. We must all realize that our usage may affect the water availability for our neighbor. Therefore, here are some ideas for community practice.

For a start, we tell our guests when they arrive that they are urged to respect the water situation by not letting water run without being used, by taking short showers, etc.

Most water conservation practices are commonplace and already in practice by most of us, such as

      • monitored drip systems only for gardens,
      • containers to hold “catchment” water in the winter/spring for watering gardens,
      • front loading washing machines that use less water,
      • dishwashers that also restrict water use, etc.

But perhaps we need to try some more labor intensive ways that, together, could impact the water shortage for everyone.

When taking a shower, hold a pail under the faucet until the correct temperature is reached, and then set it aside for plants or lawn use. And keep the showers short!

Keep a container by the kitchen faucet and, again, save the running water until the desired temperature is reached.

When cooking vegetables, eggs or pasta in water, don’t put the water down the drain. When it cools, put it in a pail for yard use.

When emptying a hot tub, collect at least some of the water in pails to use for irrigation — we have seen no plant damage from the chemicals.

Hot water circulation pump — ours is plumbed in right above our water heater and programmed with a timer to have hot water circulated to showers and sinks only at peak times of the day.

Use a pail of soapy water with a light hose rinse to clean your car. or just use a car wash in The Dalles!

This is a continuing concern, and we’d love to hear from you if you have other practices that you feel are effective in water saving. Email tips to our editor or to me (morningsongacres@gmail.com).

Otherwise, check out http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/?view=list for lots of ideas on how to conserve water inside and outside, at home or office. There’s even a special section for kids.

Editor’s note: Those of us working on The High Prairian consider this such an critical subject that we devoted much of the April and July 2013 issues to the question. It’s worth going back and reading in the April 2013 issue about the structure of High Prairie’s groundwater supply, the Fire District’s use of water, and low-water gardening suggestions. In the July 2013 issue, read about water-wise gardening principles and the results of the High Prairian’s April water survey. Find both past issues www.highprairie.us :

April — http://www.highprairie.us/high-prairian/vol-13-no-1/

July — http://www.highprairie.us/high-prairian/vol-13-no-2/

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Farming The Dry Side

Gwen Berry

Though I’ve been a gardener all my life, my tour of Amery Farms in June showed me I had lots to learn about farming. I came away a little smarter, and with a better appreciation of the knowledge, experience, equipment, and work it takes to successfully run a farming operation.

I’ve known the term “dryland farming” since I was a kid, but never really knew what it meant in practice. Dryland farming techniques have been employed as far back as agriculture goes, before the luxury of plentiful irrigation allowed water-thirsty crops to grow in otherwise arid places. With irrigation now being restricted by drought, affected farmers are starting to return to dryland farming. So how do farmers grow crops without irrigation?

It turns out the plants get all their water from moisture in the soil itself. Modern dryland farmers use every possible strategy to capture and conserve moisture in the soil. Amery Farms uses multiple approaches. James Amery drove me out to fields being held in summer fallow. A fallowed field is left unplanted and weeds are removed, which allows soil moisture to build up. The Amerys also leave stubble in some of their fields after harvest. The stubble shades and stabilizes the soil (while reducing wind erosion) and helps collect snow. Contour plowing helps slow runoff so more water can soak into the soil.

Other beneficial plowing practices keep the deeper layers of soil protected from the drying effects of sun and wind. At the time of my tour, the fallow fields were being deep-plowed. Plowing deep, with wide spaces between the tines, breaks up the soil without turning it or exposing the deeper layers. The fields are plowed a second time, but at less depth and with smaller tines closer together. The last step is to re-seal the surface of the soil by dragging a harrow over the fields, smoothing the surface to minimize moisture loss.

It’s essential to capture and conserve soil moisture, but the farmer also has to use it effectively. This means planting the right varieties, at the best time, and at the right depth, so the plants can make optimum use of the moisture in the soil. On the Amerys’ farm, canola is usually planted in July, and wheat in August, using an adjustable seed drill to plant at the proper depth. Using the accumulated soil moisture, seeds sprout and the plants begin to grow. They grow slowly through the winter, then take off in spring, growing quickly until it’s time for harvest.

My research says that the third leg of dryland farming is “control of input costs.” The farmer monitors how the crop is doing. If it looks like the crop is headed for a low yield because of low moisture levels (as in drought years) the farmer needs to pull back on his investment of things like fertilizer and weed control. Conversely, if the plants are doing well, it’s time to pull out the stops to encourage a bumper crop!

photo: Washington State University

photo: Washington State University

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Revenge Of The Red Tractor

Ted McKercher

Several years ago I wrote a story about reviving a Wheel Horse lawn and garden tractor and the stupid mistakes I made while attempting to accomplish the task. This is the tractor’s side of the story:

Red-TractorUh, I feel some movement. I kind of remember being shoved into this corner of the shop a couple of years ago. Now I’m being moved.

My memory isn’t as good as it once was, but prior to this I think I was in a storage facility for two years. Oh yeah, I must have been in a semi-coma for 15 years, as a vague recollection of being kept under an inverted pickup bed liner with a can on my exhaust pipe is coming back.

I do remember my glory days with my engine running against the governor and my mower clipping grass on the yard or soccer fields or tilling up soil for a garden plot or hauling rocks in my trailer. I was pretty in those days with my bright red paint, oil running through my crankcase and breathing unleaded fuel into my innards. Now my oil is several years old. My fuel has dried up, leaving a crusty varnish-like material behind. My pretty red has turned to a rusty brown.

What’s this old man doing now? He’s turning my engine over by hand! Ooh, I’m so stiff! Well at least I haven’t seized.

He’s removing my spark plug and squirting oil into my cylinder. Feels good!

My sinuses are cleared with some starting fluid. Hmmmm, that could be addictive.

Now my engine is being cranked with help from a jumper battery. Wow, feels kinda good.

I’ll give the old man a teaser by running for a couple of seconds. I can tell he’s excited.

It’s been a few days and now he’s cleaned my fuel pump and carburetor, changed my fuel lines, gave me some fresh gas and changed my oil. I even have a new battery.

He’s cranking me again. I’m running! I’m running! With pumped up old tires, I’m being backed out of the shop.

He’s sitting on that flat spot between the rear fenders where a seat once was. I hope it’s uncomfortable. After all, he let my seat rot away while I was disabled.

While the old man is running me down the driveway I think I’ll show him to respect me more than he has. I’ll drop my mower lever down under my belly and let it dig into the ground. Surprised him! We stopped so suddenly I felt his stomach hit the steering wheel. Hee! Hee! That stomach has grown some in the last 15 or 20 years. With my drive wheels churning in the gravel he finally figures out what happened.

Looks like we will continue down the driveway with my transmission in third gear and my throttle wide open. I think he’s forgotten how fast my clutch engages.

You should have seen the look on his face when he tumbled off my back into the gravel——PRICELESS!!!

I’m free! I’m free to enjoy this moment while I can ‘cause he’s running after me. I’ll make a left turn off the driveway so he thinks I’m headed for the trees. He fell for it! For fun, I’ll make another left turn to throw him off.

Didn’t work so well. Now I’m in some sticky, gooey High Prairie mud.

Just off to my right I see my old partners the mower, tiller and trailer stacked up like so much scrap iron. Hey guys, I see he didn’t treat you any better than he treated me.

Ouch! I should have watched where I was going. I ran into an ugly old Ford Bronco.

Time to check the damage. I’m still running. My wheels are turning and my air cleaner is bruised and I’m stuck and splattered with that wonderful mud.

I did get to see my old buddies. Maybe we can get together and continue this adventure. We’ll see.

EPILOGUE: The old buddies the mower and trailer went to the scrap heap. The red tractor and his last friend the tiller went to the High Prairie Fire House sale where they were adopted by someone who intended to treat them as they should be.

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Klickitat County Fair!

Audrey Bentz/Gwen Berry

QPerryWe noticed in the September 4th White Salmon Enterprise a picture of our High Prairie teenager, Quinn Perry at the Klickitat County Fair. He was holding his GRAND CHAMPION TURKEY! Another picture, in the August 27th Goldendale Sentinel, caught Quinn, Riley, and Xander Perry in action at the Fair’s just-for-fun sheep dressing contest. The Perry family has put a lot of time and care into their 4-H livestock projects, and their attention to detail paid off at the Fair. In addition to the Grand Champion Turkey, Quinn also won Intermediate Grand Champion Showman in Poultry Class. Riley took both Senior Class Champion and Judges Choice for her record book, as well as Class Champion Market Goat. Xander earned Grand Champion Showman-—Meat Goat Junior Division. Congratulations to all of them!

Although our information about Fair winners is a little sparse this year, we did hear that Terri Chabbert won 12 blue ribbons, 1 red, and 1 white. Wow! Nice work!

Congratulations to any other High Prairians who entered the Fair. Let us know the details and we can share your successes as well!

(click image to view enlargement)

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Caught By The Bagpipe Bug

Mike Richards

Mike-with-BagpipeHave you ever been to a parade or perhaps one of the organized Highland festivals in the region and heard the enchanting sound of the Great Highland Bagpipe dancing in the air? Who among us has not been moved by the primal sound of the drones and enthralling melodies that are played on this instrument which has been passed down from antiquity?

What some people mistakenly believe to have been invented in Scotland in the Middle Ages is, in reality, just the latest in the evolution of an entire line of instruments dating back to ancient times, possibly as early as 1000 BC, from a land as far away as the Middle East. It is rumored that instead of a fiddle, Nero actually played a set of bagpipes while Rome burned.

Every summer since I was around the age of ten or eleven, my parents would take me to the Portland Highland Games, which at that time were held at David Douglas High School, whose mascot is a sword-wielding, kilted bagpiper sprinting into battle. (I have yet to see anyone actually try that!) The Portland Highland Games is now, as it was then, a full-service pageant like those that used to draw clans from around Scotland in competition. As it has been for many centuries, they have Highland dancing, sword dancing, the caber toss, and stone and hammer throws.

But for me, the biggest attraction has always been the pipe bands. Especially the massed bands in the festival finale, when all of the pipers in competition gather to play Scottish favorites. There’s just something about 200 uniformed pipers playing in unison. The sound is overwhelming in its intensity, and it will move even the most stoic of people.

It didn’t take much time to convince my parents to start me down the road to learning this ancient tradition. After a short time, I had my first practice chanter (the nine-note instrument on which the melody is played) and was set up with private lessons from a Canadian native named Jeff Brewer who lived in the Vancouver area. Jeff was Pipe Major in Portland’s Clan Macleay Pipe Band, still billed as the oldest active pipe band in the Northwest.

Several months after practicing melodies on the chanter, my parents bought my first set of used pipes made by R.G. Hardie, a Scottish Highland pipe manufacturer, in operation since 1950. This was a different world altogether! Now, instead of playing an instrument more akin to a clarinet, I had to concern myself not only with the chanter, but three drones, a reservoir of air, and four reeds all playing at the same time! (It’s more of an act of management than of just casually playing an instrument…)

Once you have the reeds broken in, and the three drones precisely tuned to match the ‘low A’ note on the chanter, your next job is to start up the drones, and keep the air pressure within the bag steady enough to prevent an unprofessional wavering sound from degrading your performance. This is accomplished only over a long period of time and, once mastered, is better described as an organic skill based on intuition than it is a conscious effort.

As you can imagine, mastering the Highland Pipes is a lifelong pursuit; but it is a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor. I am pleased to be sharing it with communities across all of Klickitat County, including parades in Trout Lake, Goldendale and Bingen, and at the recent Relay for Life in Goldendale.

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High Prairie Directory

Cindy Henchell

directory-1About a year ago I announced my intention to update the 2011 community directory and asked people to submit or update listings. Listings trickled in over the next few months but I just had not gotten it together until now. I have overhauled the format to make it easier to print and assemble. The new version will be available by October 15. Many people responded to the original announcement and I still have what was submitted.

It’s time to put out a call to update your listing or add your information, as needed, by September 25 to be included. Listing in the directory is voluntary and, if you choose to join in, the amount of information that you list is up to you. The directory is not available to the general public and it will only be sent to the people who are listed in the directory. The listings are not intended to advertise businesses. The directory listings typically include:

      • Name(s) of household members
      • Physical address on High Prairie
      • Mailing address, if different
      • Phone numbers (landline and mobile)
      • Email address
      • Hobbies or special interests

There is also a (reasonably current) road map showing the County roads and some of the private roads.

You may add/change your information by completing the form on the website (http://www.highprairie.us/general-information/community-directory/) or by sending the information by email to editor@highprairie.us or by snail-mail to HP Directory c/o 950 High Prairie Road, Lyle. If you are already listed in the 2011 Directory and your information is current, there is no need to send it again.

When the directory is completed those who submitted information will be notified. If you provided an email address (even if you don’t wish to have it published) you will get an email with a PDF version of the directory. Print several and keep one in your home and others in your vehicles. No worries if you don’t have email. We will gladly send one to you in the mail.

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A Vacation To Remember!

Philip Haner

On July 4th, 2014, we loaded our bags into our truck and Tim Darland drove us to the Portland airport. Our flight to the Dutch island of Bonaire in the southern Caribbean left PDX at 11:59 pm. During our wait, we saw the amazing display of fireworks all across the metro area including the Fort Vancouver display, one of the largest in the West. This seemed a great start to our 4-week vacation of diving, snorkeling, sightseeing, and relaxing in the Caribbean.

The flight from Portland to Houston and then to Bonaire took almost 16 hours. We departed the plane at about 7:30pm on July 5 and were met by “Shady” Steve our rental car provider. Up until that point we had only emailed about the rental pickup and to be honest, I wasn’t sure it would work out as well as it did with no signed contract or paperwork at all. Renting the pickup from Steve, the owner of a boat rental business and friends with the owners of our rental house, saved us quite a bit over the cost of national rental companies. Except for having no air conditioning, the pickup truck worked flawlessly. The rental house is owned by a family in Lyle. It is a comfortable, beautiful home in a nice neighborhood, overlooking the city of Kralendijk and the Caribbean Sea.

The first week of our vacation it was just the four of us staying in the rental house. We spent our time reacquainting ourselves with the island from our last trip in 2012 and began our diving. Both Riley and I are certified “open water” divers and Greer is a great snorkeler. Gregory was signed up for a 3-day dive certification course with Dive Friends Bonaire (the dive shop we used in 2012 and were happy to use again for this trip). Gregory passed the course with flying colors and is now certified! Bonaire is ranked as one of the best shore diving areas in the world. The coral reefs are close to shore and there are around 100 dive sites marked with yellow rocks all around the 20-mile-long by 6-mile-wide island. This makes choosing a dive site easy and convenient. The first week was only marred by Greer getting an outer ear infection (divers ear). Vinegar and rubbing alcohol mixture in the ear for a few days cured the earache, but rum and coconut drinks were used to alleviate the pain. For some reason, those drinks continued throughout the vacation for the adults, even without the earache.

The second week of our vacation was shared with two friends from Central and Southern Idaho. Jody was a snorkeler and Arnie was a new diver who had never gone diving in the ocean. We spent our time travelling around the island seeing the sights, snorkeling, and diving. We also participated in a dive cleanup with over 100 volunteer divers. We picked up lots of garbage, had a great dive under the city dock (unavailable to diving normally – and spectacular!), ate dinner with all the volunteers, and were included in the YouTube video about it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICecbvsGcwQ). What a great way to have fun and help clean up the reef. During this week, Gregory was having trouble with his teeth giving him a lot of pain while diving. We replaced his new snorkel mouthpiece and that made it better, but he was still unable to dive very often without pain. This pain kept him from diving as much as we had hoped. Greer also fell out of the hammock and was bruised from her elbow to wrist, which took a couple of weeks to heal and required gin and tonics to help control the pain.

Our third and fourth week were shared with a longtime friend of Greer’s (Bigi) who lives in Los Angeles and her two children (Kia 20 years old and Ian 24), all divers. Again, the week was spent sightseeing, snorkeling, and lots of diving. We came home after one great dive and found we had been robbed! Two laptop computers, an ipad, a small tablet, an iphone, and my computer bag containing our four passports were taken. Someone had come in through a screened window that was left open to help cool the house. We immediately called the police, talked to neighbors, and activated the tracking on the iphone. Tracking showed the iphone was in a house a couple of miles away. The police finally arrived to take our statement (they got lost locating our house) and when we showed them the tracking they were pleased. Bigi and I went to the Police Station to file an official report. While there, the police raided the house the phone was tracked to. The phone was recovered and someone was arrested but nothing else was found. We missed our computers, but we were more worried that we no longer had our passports to fly back to the United States and go through customs in Houston. We called the nearest US Consulate on Curacao, the next island to the West. We were told that either we all needed to fly to Curacao with our proof of citizenship (which we did not have) and get emergency passports for a total of about $2000, or ask the airline to see if we could fly to Houston and hope the US Customs would allow us back into the US. Because we were not sure our proof of citizenship would make it to us in time (and we didn’t want to spend the extra money) we chose the second option. The airline told us we could board the plane with our police report and picture ID (drivers’ licenses and dive certifications with pictures). After the initial anger of being robbed, we all were glad no one was home when it happened and none of us were hurt. Two days later we were called in to identify and bring back the small tablet and computer bag (still without the passports). We are still missing the two laptops and the ipad and may never get them back.

During the fourth week, we all continued diving, sightseeing, and snorkeling. Gregory was still having occasional tooth issues related to diving, so chose not to dive or snorkel very much. However, the rest of us were either diving or snorkeling one or two times each day and seeing lots of great coral, amazing fish, rays, octopus, turtles, and Greer even saw a nurse shark! We did several night dives to see the different animals that come out at night. On July 30, Riley, Gregory, and I along with Bigi and her two kids were all going on a night dive at the Salt Pier. This is a great dive around a salt loading pier with lots of fish. Unfortunately, I stepped into a hole while walking into the water. I fell down with an immediate sharp pain in my knee, yelling out “My knee is broken!” or something similar. While the waves washed me back and forth flushing me with sand, Riley, Gregory, and Ian helped straighten my leg, get the dive gear off, and eventually get me back up the beach and into the back of the truck. Other divers in the area called 911. After a ride in the ambulance, x-rays, an ultrasound, and a full leg cast taking 3 hours in the emergency room (Gregory and Greer stayed with me, the others finished a great night dive), we were ready to leave. The hospital did not take our medical insurance, so we had to pay the whole hospital bill before we could go home. We were nervous about coming up with the whole amount, but the total cost was $530 (take heed, US medicine). Fortunately, we only had three days before flying home and the doctor said I could wait to have my torn patellar tendon surgically repaired once we got home. Needless to say, more coconut and rum drinks were required!

The day before we flew home we met “Shady” Steve to pay for the rental truck (in cash) and arrange to get it back to him. We realized he wasn’t shady at all and was actually a really nice guy that we would definitely rent from again. On August 3 we arrived at the airport plenty early to make sure we could get on the plane without our passports. It took over an hour for the agents to approve us to fly back to Houston, but thankfully they did. We had purchased Diving Insurance prior to our trip and it paid for an upgraded seat so my full leg cast would fit. It still wasn’t comfortable, but at least there was room (and free drinks)! We arrived in Houston where a wheelchair and driver was waiting and took us to the front of the customs line. There we showed the customs agent our police report and our picture ID, explaining our passports had been stolen and apologizing for the police report being in Dutch. He laughed, pointed to his name badge (Van_something) and had no trouble reading the Dutch police report. He explained he was from Curacao, the Dutch island next to Bonaire. Lucky for us! He said our documents were OK, but we did have to go through secondary inspection. We were taken to a room near the main customs area and waited about 45 minutes while they checked to make sure we were who we said we were. After that, they let us go and we were officially inside the USA!

Our flight back to Portland via Denver was fairly uneventful. The Diving Insurance arranged for 2 additional seats to allow for plenty of room for my leg, however, the airline could not put them all together! That didn’t work too well, but a very nice person offered her first class seat for the flight to Denver and a seat with extra leg room was made available for the flight to Portland. What a relief to arrive at Portland and see Tim Darland, who had agreed to drive our truck in to pick us up at about 11 pm. His wife Sue was also there, though, which made me wonder since not all six of us would fit in our truck. Then we got the news that our truck had died and Tim and Sue had had to drive both their cars to pick us all up. What Great Friends! Apparently our dog had chased a squirrel under our truck and chewed up a bunch of wires, making it undriveable. Our other neighbor fixed most of the wires, but of the 28 wires 5 had the same colors, so it had to go to the dealer to finish getting fixed.

Knee surgery was finally done on August 12th. By November or December it should be completely healed with a good prognosis for a full recovery. For the next month or two my knee will be in a brace and cannot bend, continuing our adventure. This vacation has turned out to be the most memorable ever spent by our family. We saw some of the most amazing sea animals and beauty that we have ever seen, we spent wonderful times with family and great friends, and we had some wonderful (and some not so wonderful) experiences. This trip also reminds us that while the experiences were amazing and truly memorable, it is most important that we are all safe and back home with our family and friends.

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Jake Jakobosky

New Fire Chief Is Official

Interrim-Fire-Chief-Tim-DarlandThe High Prairie Fire Commissioners have selected a new District 14 Fire Chief after opening up the “non-compensation” position to all applicants. Co-Captain and Acting Interim Chief Tim Darland is now officially in charge of the department.

The position carries considerable responsibility. Tim will perform a variety of technical, administrative, and supervisory work in planning, organizing, directing and implementing fire suppression and emergency medical services to prevent or minimize the loss of life and property by fire and emergency medical conditions.  Examples of such duties will be to organize all training for firefighters and EMS personnel; coordinate automatic aid with Lyle Fire District; coordinate mutual aid agreements with surrounding Districts, counties and Department of Natural Resources; submit required paperwork; ensure equipment is maintained and operational; control the expenditure of departmental appropriations and many other “fun” functions.

Actually, one of Tim’s most important roles will be directing activities at the scene of emergencies such as fires, accidents and medical responses. As an Emergency Medical Responder, he is an especially valuable person to High Prairie and Lyle. Please welcome Tim to his new position serving our community!

Not Out Of Fire Season Yet

As I’m writing this, we’re slipping into another long, hot spell with bone-dry east winds. It won’t last—autumn is making itself felt—but even though temperatures cool down, everything stays dry until we get our winter precipitation. The District has already had as many emergency runs year-to-date as it did all last year. We urge everyone to please be especially careful with all sources of ignition. Our dry Gorge winds can rapidly fan a spark into a major fire. As an example, the Monastery Fire on Highway 97 started on September 7, 2012.

Make A Difference

High Prairie Fire District currently consists of ten seasoned volunteers with four new recruits joining within the past year. While the community appreciates the dedication of these 14 people, we all need to understand that not all of these volunteers are available at any given time due to the demands of work, family duties, illness or injury, vacations, and many other commitments. That’s why the District continues to search for new recruits. And that includes women – Lyle has several of them! If you don’t care to fight fires, Emergency Medical Responders are always in short supply. Your Fire District will provide all the necessary training and equipment you will need in either capacity.

We urge all community members, including Lyle area folks, to seriously consider joining their local fire department. Recruits from the Schilling Road area will especially be needed to staff High Prairie’s future new fire hall there.

Please consider making a commitment to be there for your community before a crisis arises. Sign up with a dedicated and well-trained team of great folks who are also your neighbors. Stop in and visit the team on maintenance or drill nights at 7 p.m. on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Tuesdays of each month—701 Struck Road. Call 365-0025 for more information.

NOTE:  Come watch your Fire Commissioners in action – 3rd Tuesday of each month in the Community Center.

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Recipe: Peach Crisp With Almond-Oat Topping

Submitted by Gwen Berry

It’s harvest time and we have room to include a delicious recipe for some of those peaches.



About 2 lbs of peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp instant tapioca (or 2 tsp cornstarch)

Crumble Topping:

3/4 C quick cooking oats, or rolled oats ground finer in food processor
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C almond flour
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or up to 1/2 tsp, to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (or up to 1/2 tsp, to taste)
1/4 C butter or margarine


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the filling:

In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, toss the peaches and lemon juice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and toss to coat.

Make the topping:

Mix the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter or margarine.


Spread the fruit filling into the pan.  Cover the peaches evenly with topping.


Bake the crisp at 350 degrees for 40–50 minutes, or until the top is a lovely golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

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Treasures Of Music #3

John & Pat Parr

Hi, music lovers of High Prairie & Lyle! By now your curiosity has taken over and you are finding new songs tailor-made just for yourself! This time, in addition to connecting you to the old sounds and artists via YouTube, we also want to encourage you to go and enjoy music in person.

Music appreciation is very high in Europe, which has been a major destination point for American musicians. Some of the artists I’ve introduced in this series have stayed for years before returning!

There’s lots of opportunity for enjoying music here in the Pacific Northwest. Don’t miss some great music in our own backyard at the Northwest Homesteading Fair in Lyle on September 20, where five groups/artists will take the stage for performances throughout the day. Go to http://nwhomesteadingfair.wordpress.com/news/ to see all the activities being planned.

Also, enjoy the concerts at Craig Wilson’s White Salmon Guitar Promotions. For information, email Craig at cwilson@whitesalmonguitar.com.

A comment here: There is no Social Security safety net for most street musicians. They absolutely love a handshake and sincere approval of their music. Often times this is the only reward they get. We have found that many are pure diamonds waiting an applause!!!

And now for the music. Let’s take the show out on a limb here:

1. POKEY LAFARGE – an unusual group from the Midwest. Songs:

“Bag of Bones” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv9ZyEKC40I] and

“Josephine” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR2yK2_tv50]

2. PROFESSOR SCRATCHY – A little-known street musician. Songs:

“Jonestown Blues” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy2m2EZVAac] and

“Bad Luck Blues” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV_yfLCgxH0]

3. Let’s go back to the 1920’s again, with GUS CANNON’S Jug Band Music (real jug). Songs:

“Heart Breakin Blues” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3I_EuigSK4],

“Minglewood Blues” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxR8myBIDds], and

“Poor Boy Long Ways From Home” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtjJLGc1JUE]

4. Hey, Folks – we’re all over the road tonight, Let’s try this one for size, a rare piano boogie woogie in the middle of a London train station! Songs:

“Henri’s Boogie” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE02JHvCEUM] and

“Henri’s Boogie Part 2” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dh7mgyfm7g]

5. Let’s showcase some fancy guitar – BOB BROZEMAN with “Around the World” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlILYxpIhTw] and ROY ROGERS’ 12-string slide guitar song, “Walkin Blues” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW08Rc802MQ]

6. And on the softer side, PADDY REILLY (Irish ya think?) doing “Carrickfergus” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0S9bIOK790&list=RDM0S9bIOK790#t=82] and AMBER COLLINS with “New East Virginia Blues” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3po855qqobg&list=RD3po855qqobg#t=33]

Don-Reno-&-Red-Smiley7. And finally, two American classics, DON RENO and RED SMILEY. Songs:

“Double Banjo Blues” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBqxmxLTA3A] and

“Greenback Dollar” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5kVE-i2aGg]

Enjoy the ride again!

[Editor’s note: If you missed the first two “Treasures of Music” articles you can find them online at http://www.highprairie.us/high-prairian/vol-14-no-1/ and http://www.highprairie.us/high-prairian/vol-14-no-2/.]

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