Vol. 16, No. 4



Community Christmas Dinner
Going Away? Call Leslie!
Musical Pair to Delight Audience in Hood River
Community Council News
Peace On Earth, One Moment At A Time
A Fairly Brief Thank-You
Still Loving Jen’s Yoga Class!
Museum Offers HP Thanks & History
Lyle Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program
Amanda’s Hints And Tips: Candied Almonds
A Fun Time And A Slice Of Railroad History
FireLines: Conley’s Become Kiwis
Small Cattle Turning Heads On High Prairie
The Prairie As Seen Through The Eyes Of Photographers




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Community Christmas Dinner

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Barbara Parrish

“Should we continue with the annual Christmas Dinner?” A recent survey sent to the community received a unanimous response of YES to the question. But no one stepped forward to organize the 2016 dinner! HPCC Vice President, Sharon Aleckson, could not let it drop, so she decided to chair the event herself. Now who would do the cooking? She finally realized that “the cook” lived in her home! So Arlen Aleckson took on the challenge of planning and cooking a meal for all of us.

I won’t list the names of the many others who devoted time to making the dinner happen, because I’m afraid of leaving some hard worker off the list; but every one of them deserves a big THANK YOU! Although the dinner itself lasts no more than four hours, here’s an idea of all it takes to pull off this very special event:

  • Two months of planning.
  • Many, many phone calls to find co-chairs for each area, find volunteers for each committee, find kitchen help, arrange for emcee, arrange for Santa and Santa’s helper (and for repair of Santa’s suit), invite singers, arrange for dinner and dessert servers, find donations for dessert auction, have the hall and restrooms cleaned. . .
  •  Create invitation, send invitation via email, mail invitations to those with no computer, send reminder to invitees, keep track of 138 RSVP’s. . .
  • Plan food, shop for food, cook food, including 50 pounds of potatoes which had to be peeled/chopped/cooked/mashed, bake special dinner rolls, cater salad and desserts, make punch and coffee. . .
  • Make and donate desserts for auction, assemble and donate raffle baskets (complete turkey dinner, complete ham dinner, two coffee baskets), gather pictures of other community events, create overhead slide show, donate children’s gift bags, decorate fire truck. . .
  • Bring all decorations from storage container, gather greens for decorating, decorate main area, set up and decorate Christmas tree, decorate Santa’s corner, create centerpiece for each table, shop for linens and special napkins, make and install signage, decorate outside, install outside lighting and inflatable “jazz band”. . .
  • Set up tables and chairs, decorate tables, set places at tables, set up separate tables for raffles and dessert auction, pick up borrowed chairs from various locations, set up food line, set up dessert and drinks table, sweep floor, many willing hands for whatever last-minute tasks need doing. . .
  • Direct the parking, act as emcee and auctioneer, prepare and give blessing, serve meals, serve desserts, deliver to-go meals, clear used plates, deliver Santa on fire truck, Santa spend time with children. . .
  • Remove remaining dishes from tables, serve on kitchen clean-up crew and dishwashing team, clear everything else off tables, stack tables and chairs in closets, take down decorations, return bins of decorations to the container outside, reorganize the storage areas, haul off garbage, sweep and mop floors, launder and return tablecloths. . .
  • Gather money from donation/auction/raffle locations, count money, take money to bank to deposit, gather receipts for expenditures, pay each receipt. . .

WOW!! All this and more to bring you a Christmas Dinner to remember!

THANK-YOU’s are due to everyone who pitched in to help, but also to each of you who came to enjoy the evening. It’s a special time to visit with those neighbors you haven’t seen in a while and to set the tone for a great holiday season. WHAT A WONDERFUL COMMUNITY WE ARE BLESSED TO LIVE IN! Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Going Away? Call Leslie

Audrey Bentz

Some of us have already appreciated the good skills and energy from a new young woman here in High Prairie named Leslie Bartlett. While she is seeking an appropriate job in the Gorge area in her area of expertise, Leslie would be available anytime in the new year to do housesitting, along with animal, plant or lawn care. So for you vacationers needing a handy lady, call Leslie at 612-695-0390 (her cell phone). Or call me for references – Audrey Bentz 365-3600.

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Musical Pair to Delight Audience in Hood River

Harpist Bronn Journey and Soprano Katherine Journey

7:00 p.m. at Hood River Church of the Nazarene
(22nd and Belmont in Hood River)

Admission by donation

Gwen Berry

The acclaimed harp and soprano duo of Bronn and Katherine Journey will bring their unique blend of exquisite music and humorous fun to the Columbia Gorge on December 15 in a performance at the Hood River Church of the Nazarene. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear these sought-after performers, whose popularity stretches across the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the country.

With a classical music background and experience from many years of playing and performing, Bronn and Katherine’s musical skill is impressive. Bronn holds a degree in Harp Performance from the University of Washington in Seattle. Katherine holds an undergraduate degree in Music Education from Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA and a Masters degree in Vocal Performance from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.

Their concerts are anything but formal, though, mixing a wide variety of music with humor and an easy rapport with the audience. Playing everything from symphonic level classical music to Broadway show tunes, from folk and contemporary to the spiritual and sacred, Bronn Journey leads the audience through an exceptional musical experience. Katherine’s beautifully expressive interpretations of the songs she sings delight the audience.

The Journeys’ concerts have been described as“fun” and “very entertaining” as well as “a hauntingly beautiful musical experience” and “nothing short of glorious!” Come and enjoy this enchanting performance on Thursday, December 15, at 7:00 p.m. Admission is by donation. The Hood River Church of the Nazarene is at 22nd and Belmont in Hood River.

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Community Council News

Gwen Berry

The 2016 Community Christmas Dinner was held on Saturday, December 3. Thank you to everyone who helped put together this fun (and delicious) event; and thank you, too, to everyone who came to share the holiday spirit with their friends and neighbors! The Community Center was decked out with beautiful decorations, and the roast beef and mashed potato dinner was a hit! (Let me add that the alternative vegan options were appreciated, too!) The Lyle High and Middle School Singers performed Christmas music. Santa arrived by decorated fire truck. To help pay for the dinner, a raffle was held for four lovely baskets of food and goodies, and a lively auction sent fabulous desserts home with bidders. The main event, of course, was seeing and talking to friends old and new.

With the Christmas Dinner approaching, the HPCC Board stepped up efforts to get a few projects finished. If you were at the dinner you probably noticed the charcoal-colored curtain spanning the north wall of the center. This is a badly-needed acoustic curtain to help tame the echoing sound in the Community Center. The fabric was donated by Chris and Susan Sattem. Several volunteers got together with sewing machines and sergers to create the panels. Before it could be hung, the north wall was painted gold to match the other walls and to coordinate with the color of the curtain. An overhead track system was installed, and the wonderful sound-absorbing curtain was hung. Once again, THANK YOU to the many volunteers who put in hours to make this happen.

Also on the get-it-done-before-the-party list were some essential improvements to the kitchen. In order to solve problems with how to handle washed dishes while they dry, and to improve the storage and organization in the kitchen, the Board approved spending for rolling carts, stacking trays, plus additional cups, glasses, and utensils. There were trips to Rose’s Restaurant Supply in Portland to look at options and prices, then further trips to pick up the approved items. The carts were unpacked and assembled, and another kink in the process was ironed out – the sprayer was  moved from one end of the sinks to the other. It all paid off on Christmas Dinner night, when the new system was put to the test – and passed.

There’s still work to be done in the kitchen. The Board had been looking into getting a new dishwasher, which looked like it would be a major expense. The latest possibility, though, is to install a water temperature booster instead, which would be much less expensive.

Another improvement – volunteers purchased, installed and organized shelving in the mechanical room and in the closest storage closet, then moved supplies from the over-crowded kitchen to the new shelving. That meant the closet usually used for hanging coats became unavailable, so one volunteer built coat hanging bars and installed them in the hallway. Last, but not least, ballasts were replaced in five fluorescent light fixtures, so now all of them work.

Not enough can be said in saluting the dedication of the board members and some volunteers who are always ready to step up and make things happen. Although there’s satisfaction in the accomplishments themselves, it makes a huge difference to know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. Let them know! It’s also a good thing there won’t be any significant activities now until the middle of January, because the board members and volunteers seriously need a break!!! 

The next  HPCC meeting will be Thursday, January 26. Plans are in the works for a series of interesting speakers and streamlined meetings in the next few months. Come and check it out.

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Peace On Earth, One Moment At A Time

David Hunt

I  remember learning the guitar; the clumsy changing of my hands from chord to chord, my fingers burning, pressing firm against rough strings and fingerboard. I must have played each note a thousand times or more before I knew them all by rote.

And how often have I practiced this? How many times have I rehearsed the wish of happiness for someone who has hurt me? Maybe this will be the first.

So I turn my thoughts through these strange cadences, and with all my heart I wish another joy amidst my pain. That tiny drop of pure goodwill—that one drop, milled like oil from my burning heart and spilled into my churning sea of fury—stilled my boiling anger, and I learned, I learn, I am learning, that as sure as these melodies now sing from my fingers, someday, with practice, I will find it easy to forgive you.

Swale Canyon Sunrise. Photo: Peg Caliendo

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A Fairly Brief Thank-You

Suzy Krieg

Recently I was asked to convey a Sincere if Unexpected Thank-You.

Let me set the scene. I was driving up Hartland Road, approaching the cemetery and was slowing to allow a small group of deer to cross the road. As I stopped, I noticed a group of turkeys watching. 

As the lead doe looked back over her shoulder, I distinctly heard her say “We heard you coming and knew it would be safe to cross the road as we recognized the sound of your vehicle. But we know how to disappear when strangers drive through.” 

Since my vehicle was not moving, the turkeys with their poults crossed as well.

She started up the hill, but paused and added, “We appreciate the care local folks take to protect our young ones crossing as they have not learned to be cautious.” 

The deer and turkeys all disappeared into the trees. Since I am not accustomed to being spoken to by deer, I just sat there with my mouth open…

Deer in Hay Stubble. Photo: Peg Caliendo

Fawn Stare-Down. Photo: Peg Caliendo



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Still Loving Jen’s Yoga Class

Audrey Bentz

Do you want a great way to begin 2017 that will benefit you all year?

Yoga is the most heralded exercise by doctors, sports figures, therapists, and even normal people like High Prairians. If you have arthritis, high or low blood pressure, balance problems, muscle fatigue, poor posture, stress or nervous system challenges, migraines, or just pain in general, Yoga will help you in the healing process.

And even if you have perfect health and posture and mental calm and a body that everyone wishes for, you will still find Yoga a valuable hour every week.

No one is too old. Even two 80+ year olds do it—well not everything, but that’s okay too. We are so lucky to have one of the best Yoga teachers living here on High Prairie – Jen Wykstra. She doesn’t charge anything, but we all try to make a weekly donation for her expertise, plus a dollar or so for the use of the community center.

So come join us on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7 pm. If you have a pad, bring it. Some are available. Wear anything that is comfortable. All the men and women (some couples, too) are fun and interesting people and you will feel most welcome when you walk in.

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Museum Offers HP Thanks & History

Iris Robbins, Treasurer,
Lyle Twin Bridges Historical Museum

On behalf of the Lyle Twin Bridges Museum I would like to express our gratitude to all of the High Prairie folks who have supported our Museum this past year by their donations, visiting our museum, our yard sale or our spaghetti dinner in October. We are only able to keep our doors open because of generous and thoughtful people like you. 

The Lyle Twin Bridges Museum is located in the former church at the intersection of Klickitat and 4th Street in Lyle. The historical collection isn’t limited to Lyle, but has items from around the region, including High Prairie. If you haven’t visited the museum, please make it a point to visit. We are open every Saturday, June through September, from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., and this time of year by appointment. https://twinbridgesmuseum.wordpress.com/visit-us/)

Here are two historic newspaper articles that might bring a smile to the current residents of the area. They are from a compilation of newspaper articles relating to the history of our area and titled “The Histories of the Klickitat River Valley,” compiled by Jeffery L. Elmer, Portland, OR, printed in May 2013.

View these articles:
1910 Article — Great Hartland Farming Section
1907 Article — Out in the Country (Lyle)

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Great Hartland Farming Section

The Klickitat County Agriculturist, Goldendale, WA., April 30, 1910, page 8

Harvesting wheat on High Prairie. From “Sketches of Early High Prairie” by Neila Binford Fleming.

This precinct which is 12 miles from the Lyle railroad depot and the Columbia river, 11 miles to The Dalles and 22 miles from Goldendale, the county seat, is essentially an agricultural country, which produces all kinds of grains, grasses and vegetables as well as fruit. The average yield of wheat is 25 bushels to the acre and often 30 or more. Oats and barley and do very well also, and some of the farmers have sown alfalfa which promises to be a success. Several of the old-timers have orchards consisting of apples, peaches, pears and cherries, and notwithstanding the lack of attention a wonderful yield is obtained.

We believe that the time has now arrived when much of this land will be planted in fruits and the experimental stage has now been passed. The land as well as climate is equal, if not superior to Hood River, and the price of land, most of which is cleared and under cultivation, is such that an unusual opportunity is presented to homeseekers or investors. Of recent years prices have advanced, and the end is not yet in sight. Large tracts have just been disposed of, at all the way from $20 to $40 dollars per acre and even at the maximum price it is very cheap indeed. 

This precinct familiarly known as the High Prairie country, contains many farm homes which are handled by intelligent farmers, but some tracts are owned by non-residents, and as a general thing need more and better attention, and as these farms come into the custody of owners who will reside on and care for the land, the response will amply remunerate for the care and attention given it, and anyone in quest of a good home no mistake by purchasing in this district.

There is a post-office, store and many of the homes have telephone communication, and an effort is being made to extend the benefit to every home, and the accomplishment of this most desirable addition to the requisites of civilized life is now in sight. There is a Baptist and Methodist church edifice and occasional preaching, a commodious school house, and the school will soon be in session under the tuition of an able and experienced instructor. 

Water is plentiful and excellent in quality and obtainable in most places at 10 to 25 feet. Formerly this country was covered with bunch grasses of which some yet remains where fenced up, but most of the land is employed in raising grain. 

We have the benefit of a daily mail and an effort will be made to get an R.F.D., and a few more residents would be a decided help in this respect. We need no J.P. our people being all law abiding citizens, and if necessity should arise to transact business our neighboring town of Lyle can furnish the needed accommodation.

Thousands of people in the congested sections of the East are looking for a place where, with their small accumulations, they can acquire homes. Here the balmy breezes of the Chinook winds waft over the land in the winter, dispelling the cold, and the cool mountain breezes in the summer temper the heat. That pure mountain air is permeated with ozone from the evergreen forests, and people who are afflicted with lung and throat trouble find this a haven of rest. The atmosphere is pure and invigorating, the water it is the very best, the land is cheap, easily cultivated and produces well. 

Never has the time been when the importance and the significance of the farmer as a commercial factor in the industrial development of a county been so can cogently realized as now. Large sums of money are being spent in literature people in an endeavor to lure back to the farm the thousands of young man who seek the congested centers of population, expecting to make a livelihood without much work, and finally become discouraged, drop down the scale of usefulness, while if they would only acquire a few acres of mother earth, they could live a life of independence. Here in Hartland we have broad acres of land that needs development; we are not crowded, there is still room for many. There is comfort compared with Eastern conditions, we are exempt from the great extremes of temperatures, torrential rains and great atmospheric disturbances. Come and enjoy our happy lot.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer

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Out in the Country

The Klickitat County Agriculturist, Goldendale, WA., August 24, 1907, page 16

Lyle Expects To Be Important Center

Terminus of Columbia River and Northern Railroad, Lyle, ca. 1905 Courtesy “So This Is Klickitat”

The town of Lyle, for many years the terminal of the Columbia River & Northern railroad, is a pluming itself in the hope of soon being a junction point and high hopes are entertained that the coming of the North Bank railroad, the grade for which has been completed past that place and the track for which is being laid along the Columbia at the rate of about two miles per day, above their will make that the important point. The little railroad which for years has connected the wheat sections of Goldendale and the surrounding country with the Columbia River at that point was formerly operated by an independent company, but it is now, according to popular report, been secured by the Northern Pacific interests and will be operated as a part of the Hill system. The town site of Lyle is owned by the railroad company with the exception of about four or five lots, the property of individual holders. Efforts made within the past year to secure lots have uniformly failed, as the railroad people declined to sell. Some time ago a man appeared there representing some capitalists who desired to establish a newspaper and bank in Lyle. They attempted to secure lots on which to attract business buildings but could not get what they wanted. The people of that place argue that the actions of the railroad people prove that when the North Bank road is completed that place will become one of the important points on the line and that the town will be made one of the pets of the big corporation. With a branch of the new road into the heart of one of the best wheat sections and Washington, that around the thriving town of Goldendale, with a fine site for a town, located on the Columbia River, the place offers an ideal location for a good-sized city and with the support of the railroad people should become one of the best business points on the new line of road. Fine fruit lands surround the townsite and it is expected that soon after the trains run into the place on the North Bank road these lands will be eagerly sought by home seekers and orchardists.

© Jeffrey L. Elmer

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Lyle Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program

Empowering the Younger Generation to Become Agents of Change in their Communities

Rene Weiler

There is a Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program (JYSEP) right here in Lyle/High Prairie. Meetings are every Sunday from 3 – 4:30 at the home of Rene and Bill Weiler. There is no charge for participation and anyone 11 – 15 years of age is invited to join. The Lyle group was started three years ago, and there are others following the same curriculum in other parts of the gorge.

This program, developed by the Baha’i Faith around the world, is an outgrowth of the Baha’i commitment to social transformation and community development. In children and youth they see “altruism, an acute sense of justice, eagerness to learn about the universe, and a desire to contribute to the construction of a better world.” They believe that children and youth have the potential to change the world, and the JYSEP was developed to help them reach that potential. 

The program’s aims are to foster their powers of expression (learning to communicate effectively through language skills and the arts); spiritual perception (awareness of the world around us and our place in it); and moral structure (developing the skills to analyze circumstances and make honorable moral decisions for the betterment of all).

The term “spiritual empowerment” in the program’s name points to the innate spiritual capacities of every human being, qualities such as kindness, justice, generosity, discipline, truthfulness, compassion. So it does not matter at all what religion or church you belong to. In fact, even though the JYSEP is Baha’i-inspired, only two of the group’s participants are from Baha’i families. There is no religious instruction, but spiritual capacities are heightened and developed through service, prayer, the arts, consultation.

This dynamic program can usher middle-schoolers through a unique and important stage of life in an environment that is positive, supportive and builds bonds of trust and friendship. The components of the program are the arts, recreation, study, and service projects within our own community. A lot of emphasis is also placed on leadership and participants teaching their skills to the rest of the group. 

For example, on a recent Sunday one participant taught the group how to do knot tying. The following week one of the youth taught cupcake making and decorating. An example of a service project that the group has undertaken is organizing an annual game night for the entire Lyle community, held at the Lyle Activity Center. Another service project the youth devised was making and selling apple pies to enable them to put together a big care package for some needy friends. They are encouraged to generate their own ideas for service and to brainstorm the means to accomplish them. This is a powerful experience for middle-schoolers.

Contact Rene Weiler if you know a youth who would like to join, or if you would like more information. Also, there is a wonderful training program if you are 17 or over and interested in learning about the special qualities of 11 – 15 year olds and how to facilitate a JYSEP in your own neighborhood. 

Call 365-3972 or email theland@gorge.net for more information.

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Amanda’s Hints And Tips: Candied Almonds

Amanda Richards

One of my favorite gifts to give loved ones is candied almonds. The aroma when baking will make your whole house smell divine. Feel free to substitute your favorite nut in the recipe.

Candied Almonds



1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1 pound almonds or pecans
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine egg white, vanilla extract and water. Beat mixture until frothy. Stir in almonds and mix to coat.

3. Gently combine sugar and cinnamon, and stir into almond mixture, thoroughly coating all nuts.

4. Evenly spread nuts onto prepared baking sheet and place into oven.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

6. When cool, pack in an airtight jar or food grade gift bags. They will keep at room temperature for about 2 weeks.

Recipe courtesy of www.mybakingaddiction.com

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Jake Jakabosky

Veteran Appleton fire fighter Bill Schmidt tells the story of standing beside his tender south of Goldendale, and watching in amazement as a fast-moving grass fire advanced across the hillside and then abruptly came to a halt, the flames quickly dying down until there was only gray smoke issuing from the burn. Less than an hour before, he had watched High Prairie FD Lieutenant Will Conley analyzing the fire, wind and terrain as a number of brush rigs assembled around him. Satisfied he knew where the fire was going to go and what it would do, Will directed his crews well ahead of the fire front, where they began to establish a fire line and reinforce it by setting controlled fire along the edge (aka “burning-out”). In a demonstration of Will’s skill and experience, the wildfire ran right to the burn-out, strangled on the lack of fuel and died, leaving only the dirty business of mop-up and extinguishing hot spots. 

Kiwi Crossing

Unfortunately for us, Will’s presence here will be limited for the next few years. He has enrolled in a doctoral program in Fluvial Geomorphology* at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Will learned of the program last year while presenting at a professional conference in Christchurch, interviewed, and was offered the position. He’ll be researching how sediment (e.g. from headwater landslides) translates through river systems and contributes to river behaviors that can be problematic for infrastructure. New Zealand is an excellent area for this study because it is very active geologically and there are many human constraints. 

But Will hasn’t abandoned us. He plans to return during the (North American) summers to continue work on ongoing river restoration projects in the Klickitat watershed and will be available as a member of our local volunteer firefighting teams while he’s here. According to Will, his biggest Klickitat project involves removing asphalt and a variety of road fill along ten miles of the Klickitat River and its floodplain to restore the river’s access to floodplains and cliffs, and facilitate native vegetation growth. Flood energy then becomes beneficial and re-forms pools, riffles and short runs in place of the long, simple runs that developed while the road channelized the river. Salmon and steelhead benefit from this habitat diversification, particularly from increased juvenile habitats that have become highly limited in the Klickitat River.

Will’s family is with him on this awesome adventure Down Under. Son Declan, four years old, daughter Ada, eight, and his wife, Scotti, have already set up housekeeping near campus and Ada loves her new school. Scotti has a work visa and hopes to land a teaching job.

Will stated they love High Prairie and hated to leave. It is home, and they plan to return in three to four years to once again work locally. Their friends and neighbors will be glad to have them back, and  especially the High Prairie and Lyle firefighters who have worked with Will and recognize his unique abilities. Have a great time, Will, and hurry back!

“Fluvial Geomorphology is a science devoted to understanding rivers, both in their natural setting as well as how they respond to human-induced changes in a watershed. One goal is to predict what changes will occur to a stream channel in response to alterations in watershed conditions; and, in turn, how these changes will impact human infrastructure and fish habitat.”

From http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/brh010/research/fluvial_geomorphology.html

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A Fun Time And A Slice Of Railroad History

Carol Shuster

Neil, Ida and I went to Clear Lake, California, for Thanksgiving. On Wednesday we drove to the town of Willits, which was about an hour drive north on Hwy. 101. We boarded what is called the Skunk Train for a four-hour ride through the redwoods. We saw some trees that were 300’ tall and 800 to 1,000 years old. We were entertained with train songs by a local artist along the way. At the halfway point where we turned around we ate in an open air BBQ cafe. They smoked their own meat at  the same location.

The nickname of the train, “Skunk Train,” originated in 1925, when railway motorcars were introduced (today sometimes referred to as railbuses or railcruisers). These single unit, self-propelled motorcars had gasoline powered engines for power and potbellied stoves burning crude oil to keep the passengers warm. The combination of the fumes created a very pungent odor, and the old timers along the line said these motorcars were like skunks. You could smell them before you could see them.

Until 2003 this train also delivered mail along the route to people who live out in the area. There are roads but a lot of times during the year they are not drivable so the train also stops for the residents when they want a ride to town. Normally there would also be a train from Fort Bragg that would meet in the middle but a slide took a large section of the track out and it is the wrong time of the year to fix it.

The Skunk Train is a great ride and well worth the time if you are ever in the area.

(click image to view enlargement)

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Small Cattle Turning Heads On High Prairie

Gwen Berry

This photo was taken in the early spring 2016. Since then they have grown along with their horns, but this will give you a good idea of what they look like up close.

Lorna Dove wrote and suggested that many people have seen the cute, small cattle at the Perry family’s place (Andy Anderson’s old place, 961 Centerville Highway) and would enjoy knowing more about them. The Perry family happily provided the following information:

HP: We see those cute cattle of yours every time we drive by your place. What breed are they?  
PF: They are Scottish Highland cattle. The breed comes in three sizes and we have the mid size.

HP: What is the history of the breed? 
PF: The breed is one of the oldest heritage breeds from Europe.

HP: How did you learn of them? 
PF: We did a lot of research looking for a heritage breed that was dual purpose, and easy to handle.

HP: Where did you get them? 
PF: We got ours from a friend who keeps them as pets in Parkdale.

HP: What made you decide to raise this breed? 
PF: Highlands are cold and heat tolerant, and are tri-purpose animals, meaning they are good not only for meat and milk, but can even be trained to pull carts.

HP: Are there other pros and cons to raising this breed?  
PF: One drawback is that they are expensive to purchase; they typically cost $1,000 each unregistered, and $1,500 registered. They take longer to grow to maturity, about four years, and they do require some maintenance – in the form of brushing, if you want to keep them looking nice. Some pros to the breed are that they are better foragers than most cattle, they are easier on the ground, and they are very friendly.

HP: How many do you have, and how long have you had them?
PF: We have three, a breeding trio—one male and two females. We have had them just about a year.

HP: How old are they? 
PF: They are 1½ to 2 years old.

HP: Is this an all-family project or is one of you in charge of them? 
PF: They are a family project; the kids are really looking forward to having our own milk cow. Quinn is considering taking one or all to the fair. 

HP: Are they friendly? 
PF: Very! They loved to be petted and brushed, and given treats, but we have to watch out for their horns! 

HP: Do they have names? 
PF: The bull’s name is Max, the red female’s name is Penny, and the lightest colored one is Peggy Sue. [I have to tell you that Peggy Sue’s coloring is just like her mother’s; when we first saw her mom in the pasture when we went to visit, the weather was still cool and she had long, shaggy blonde locks. We were told her name was Farrah. It was amusing that her name fit her so well, and we had to explain to the kids exactly why.]

HP: Do they get along with your other animals? 
PF: Yes they do, although Max does not seem to like billy goats.

HP: Are they just as shaggy year round, or does their coat change with the seasons? 
PF: Their coat is longest during the winter months, getting about 6 inches long. When the weather warms up, they shed a bit and have a summer coat about 3 inches long.

HP: Do you feed them anything besides pasture grass? 
PF: They get C.O.B., that’s corn, oats and barley; and we give them any kitchen scraps they might be interested in. They like cabbage leaves, broccoli stalks, Brussels sprout trimmings, and apple cores.

HP: What other care do they require?
PF: They need regular brushing. It can be done every three to seven days. 

HP: What are your plans for them? 
PF: We plan on milking Penny because she is the friendliest of the two females, and we will also breed them.

HP: How do people react when they see them? Do people stop to look at them?
PF: Yes, people stop to look at them all of the time. The funniest time someone stopped was this spring. A little white car was driving by, but stopped suddenly just past the girls’ pen. The car slowly backed up until it was right next to where the girls were napping, Penny got up and walked over to the fence and Peggy Sue looked at the car quizzically while the car sat in the road for a few minutes looking at them. Then the car slowly accelerated down the road. A few feet later they spotted Max (who was on the other side of the street), and stopped to watch him also, while he held his head up high and snorted at the car to show them how mighty he was, and to warn them NOT TO MESS WITH HIS GIRLS!!! About a minute later the car proceeded down the road with no additional stops. 

HP: Thanks! The whole neighborhood has benefited from your adding these cuties to your menagerie.

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The Prairie as Seen Through the Eyes of Photographers

These photos were taken by Virgil L. Harper near his place on Hartland Road. A resident of High Prairie only since June, Virgil Harper is a Director of Photography in the film industry and a professional still photographer. His website says he graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography “many years ago” with a major in cinematography and has worked in the industry ever since. Virgil has also continued his long-time love of still photography, doing various types including corporate, product, commercial and people. He has published two photography books, Out My Back Door and Up a Dirt Road, Round the Bend. To see more of his photographic work, go to http://www.vlharper-photography.com/ where he has video collections of his photos on display.

(click on image to view enlargement)

Peg Caliendo’s photos have added color and interest to many issues of the High Prairian. She has a long-time interest in photographing the world around her, and among her beautiful photos are several in which she’s shared stunning views from her home on Stacker Butte Road.

Over the last year Peg has enjoyed honing her skills by participating in blipfoto (blipfoto.com), an online daily photo journal and social networking service. A blipfoto user posts just one picture a day, writes something to accompany it, then shares it. Peg says she has found great value in reading others’ comments and feedback, both on her own and others’ photographs. 

Peg’s professional life working for Columbia Gorge Community College keeps her very busy. Photography is one of the way she finds a balance to all the work.

(click on image to view enlargement)

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