Vol. 21, No. 2


Easing Back Into Community Connection

April CDC Guidelines For After Vaccination 

Remembering Lorelei Patrick

Hartland Cemetery’s New Gates

What We See While Doing Dishes 

Paintings By Jocelyn Weeks

Two-Hour No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread

Watch For Spring: Photos By Peg Caliendo 

2020 Fire District #14 Value Of Service


Pawsitivity Succeeds Despite Covid-19

Beyond Observation

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Easing Back Into Community Connection

Gwen Berry

The HPCC Board recently jumped at an opportunity for the community to begin connecting again. COVID restrictions were easing here in Klickitat County; and fine spring weather had banished the last of our winter isolation. Vice-President Sharon Aleckson sent out a community-wide email invitation to what she called a “soft” opening event at the Community Center – an informal, coffee-and-pastries open house scheduled for Saturday morning, April 17, 2021. 

“This is a great way to meet and greet your High Prairie neighbors. For those new to the community, we are located at 701 Struck Rd, the other side of the Fire Department,” Sharon’s invitation read.

The gathering took place as scheduled – and yes, it was a great way to meet and greet High Prairie neighbors. The tables were dressed up with spring flowers, and there was a very nice spread of pastries, fruit, and cheese and crackers to go with coffee or tea. Although it wasn’t a large crowd, it included lots of new faces; and it was a pleasure getting together for the first time in over a year. 

Looking forward, Board Treasurer Henry Gerhard reports that more community gatherings are anticipated in the future. “We have had some chats regarding a picnic late June / early July and also a fall and holiday event. However, everything is only vaguely defined and subject to change until the COVID protocols are better resolved.” The HPCC Board will continue to meet on a monthly basis, but there will be no HPCC open meetings until further notice.’

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April CDC Guidelines For After Vaccination


People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen).

Fully vaccinated people can: 

  • Visit indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing – 1) other fully vaccinated people or 2) unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease 
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with 1) unvaccinated people from multiple households; 2) unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease; or 3) people who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

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Remembering Lorelei Patrick

Audrey Bentz

You may remember Lorelei Patrick, wife of Chris Patrick who was Fire Chief for High Prairie FD14 for many years. Chris and Lorelei, with their daughters, lived on Oda Knight Road. They were both very active on High Prairie in the late 90’s and early years of the 2000’s. In recent years, they lived in Kingman, AZ. Lorelei just died in February of this year with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  She will be missed by their grown two daughters, who have become confident and self -sufficient women, and Chris, who shared 41 years of marriage with Lorelei. A family memorial is planned for this summer.

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Hartland Cemetery’s New Gates

Barb Parrish

Last fall some damage was done at the Hartland Cemetery. One gate was damaged beyond repair the railroad tie supporting the gate was broken off at ground level, and the poles holding the overhead sign, designed by High Prairie 4-H Group in the 1970’s, were bent over and could not be fixed.

The damaged gate was taken to Arlen Aleckson for repairing. He said it would be easier to build new gates than try to repair this one. So, Ben Parrish (Cemetery Board President) called the Cemetery Board members for approval – all agreed to new gates. The overhead sign “Lone Pine Cemetery” had to be removed. Ben and Barb Parrish cut the poles off below ground level and removed the sign, getting the area ready for the new gates. The support pole (railroad tie) was replaced by Ben Parrish and Bill Kearns (thank you both). Ben and Arlen installed the beautiful new gates in January 2021. Only one support board left to replace, stretch the old fencing and the project is complete. Many THANKS to Arlen Aleckson for donating his time and talents designing, building and installing the new gates.

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What We See While Doing Dishes

Rebecca Sonniksen 

Mundane moments, a chancing 
glance, a kitchen window snaps
time shut, forever still.  

White 1962 Buick, red interior, port holes in the front fender, 
cruises into Utez’s driveway, strip of mowed grass away, 
the 1958 brown Chevrolet.

Light sifts through rhododendron and forsythia,
distracts Sunday dinner clean up, to glimpse 
a crystal vase of white roses, still life centers 
O’Brians’ dining room table.

Out the kitchen window on Swale Creek Canyon,
time fast forwards. Yellow green laced hills, 
shadow clouds eclipse, drifting into rocky crevices. 

Horizon up, not down. Pull out, not in. 
Ravens cavort on canyon currents, twist to dive, 
wingtips brush, rush of blackness, needles splintering light.

Oak limbs cross-hatched, fling airy pollen upward,  
trunks in contrapposto hold tight, sloping downward,
cupped hands funneling waters through willow thickets, 
hugging flat white rimmed stones. 

A pageantry of turkeys, shimmer in sun, 
iridescent feather fans, blue and red headdress bob,
as winged fenders brush aside matted oak leaves,
snagged under the tires of a 1949 International Harvester tractor 
idle under the oak.

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Paintings By Jocelyn Weeks

“Sit Down You’re Rocking The Raft.” I was listening to my old iPod whilst painting and that great song, “Sit down Sit Down Sit Down. You’re rocking the Boat” came up. So I was inspired to paint these animals together on a raft. 

“Thawing Out” –  painted as the winter snow was beginning to withdraw.

“That Cat Can Dance.” Don’t know where he came from, just appeared in the paint.

“Waltzing On the Ceiling.” I was remembering as a kid when stuck inside the house on rainy days, we kids would hold a little mirror up at the ceiling and pretend we were walking around up there. One person had to guide the mirror holder so they wouldn’t bump into anything. So I thought why not waltzing on the ceiling? 

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Two-Hour No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread

Contributed by Gwen Berry

Incredibly easy to make, perfectly crusty and golden on the outside, and soft and flavorful on the inside.  For an overnight version and more tips and information, go to https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-knead-bread/


3-1/4 cups (430 grams) all-purpose flour

2 tsps fine sea salt

1 tsp honey or granulated sugar

1 (7-gram) packet active dry yeast (2-1/4 tsps)

1-1/3 cups warm water (about 110°F)


1. Stir together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl until combined.  Add in the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the dough is evenly mixed and no large flour streaks remain.  (The dough will look quite loose and shaggy, which is OK.)

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or beeswrap, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 1 hour.  (It should double in size during this time.)

3. Shape the dough.  Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface.  Fold the dough on top of itself — pulling the outer edges up and into the center a few times until the dough feels a bit tighter and holds its shape — to form a round dough ball.  (If the dough is sticky or feels too loose at any point, just keep sprinkling on extra flour as needed.)  Lightly flour the top of the dough ball, and then carefully flip it upside-down onto a piece of parchment paper, so that the smooth side is on top.  Use your hands to shape the ball into an even circle.  Lightly flour the top of the dough ball, then loosely cover it with plastic wrap or beeswrap to rest while the oven heats.

4. Heat the oven and Dutch oven.  Place the Dutch oven inside of your oven*, then set oven to 450°F.  Wait for 20-30 minutes for the oven to heat, while the dough continues to rest.  (If the dough rises and spreads out more than you would like during this time, just use your hands to shape it into a tighter ball once more just before baking.)

5. Bake. Very carefully, use oven mitts to remove the Dutch oven from the oven.  (It will be extremely hot!)  Lift the edges of the parchment to carefully transfer the dough ball (along with the parchment) to the Dutch oven.  Cover with the Dutch oven lid and bake for 30 minutes.  Then carefully remove the lid and bake for 10-20 more minutes, until the crust of the bread reaches your desired level of doneness (as light or as deeply golden brown and crispy as you prefer).

6. Serve. Remove from the oven, uncover, and then carefully lift up the edges of the parchment to transfer the bread to a wire cooling rack.  Cool for at least 30 minutes, then slice, serve and enjoy!

Gwen’s ‘Whole Wheat Plus’ Variation:

Ingredients: Use 2 cups all-purpose flour; 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour; 1/4 cup (choose one) shredded wheat crumbs, finely ground multigrain cereal, wheat germ or bran, or other addition; 1/4 cup pea protein powder; 1 tsp salt; 3 tsp maple syrup or equivalent sweetener; 1 packet (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast; and 1-1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm water,around 110° F. Directions: Proceed with the same directions as above, except add liquid sweeteners to the warm water before mixing with dry ingredients. My oven only requires 25 minutes to bake, and it’s crusty enough for me.

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2020 Fire District #14 Value Of Service

Tim Darland, Fire Chief

What a crazy year 2020 was with the Covid-19 pandemic. It continues to challenge each of us into 2021. During these unprecedented times, I am truly amazed by the dedication of our first responders to answer the call. While compiling the emergency call and training/maintenance data, it is of interest to me to see if any anomalies come forth while pulling the numbers together. One item in particular is that this is the first year I recall where our emergency response call hours exceeded our training and maintenance hours for the year. Should not have been a complete surprise as the department suspended training from 1 April until mid-June. This absent time, however, was spent wisely purchasing personal protective equipment and updating our response protocols for the safety of our responders and patients.

To recap 2020 HPFD activities: Members responded to a total of 119 emergency calls lumped into 5 categories, of which 35 calls were in-district responses. The graph below shows the breakdown. Most of the categories are self-explanatory. The “good intent” calls are where our firefighters were asked to stand down when other departments maintained control of their emergency scene or alarm companies called to cancel responding units.

To calculate the value of service we take the number of hours spent on emergency responses and training/maintenance activities and multiply it by the total personnel time on each activity. Then we multiply the number of volunteer hours by $27.20, the average emergency services hourl wage (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020). The table below shows that HPFD MEMBERS VOLUNTEERED A TOTAL OF 701 HOURS in 2020! THE VALUE OF SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITY TOTALED $19,067.

I must acknowledge our Fire Commissioners who sign a waiver not to get paid for their time serving in their elected positions, which keeps more dollars in the budget for gear and safety equipment. Thank you for your dedication to our department and community. Another person who deserves acknowledgment is our Administrative Assistant, Glenna Scott. She is a paid member of our department and worth every penny we give her.

Please continue to be safe out there. Remember to check your smoke detectors monthly and keep those burn piles small (10’x10’x4’). For us in Klickitat County Zone #2, the normal time for the burn ban to begin is June 1st. There is always a possibility that the burn ban could go on earlier than planned. I will do my best to keep the community informed if changes to the burn ban occur.

My final plea to the community is that we need volunteers. We are down to just 12 members on the department. In order for the community to continue to receive their 8A insurance rating, I need to prove to WSRB (Washington Surveyors Rating Bureau) that 6 volunteers are assigned to each station. Please consider helping out your neighbor and be part of these amazing volunteers serving our community.

It’s only April but we have already had a spate of fires caused by downed power lines during a recent storm. Meteorologists are already saying that this is a very dry spring… and you KNOW what that means. Fire season is coming sooner this summer. Are you ready?

From 4/4/21 Facebook post, Columbia Gorge Fire

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Tom McMackin

Spring is here! Time to get busy! Find the list you created from your earlier 360° Winter Walk-Around survey of Firewise concept tasks you identified to protect your home with surrounding defensible spaces. Use the last week of May 2021 as the end date of a working schedule for your Spring Firewise preparations of house, home and outbuilding or animal shelters on your property. Looking over the list, you can find tasks that can be worked in together to be more effective with your time and efforts. 

If you missed the Winter Walk-Around, start a quick survey at the structure and foundation. Expanding outward from that point, tasks can be identified and scheduled using the same expanding of defensible zones on your property! 

Considering how fire could attack your property is a key element. The two primary ways a wildfire will threaten your home are fire brands (embers) and fire movement along the ground to structures. Heat and those billowing columns of smoke lift burning material into the air. Once aloft, those bits of fire and heat can be carried alive and dropped miles away on new fuels. This creates potential for spot fires at those drop points, which can then turn your roof and house into an extended fuel source to carry the fire of origin along on its merry way. The Eagle Creek fire in Oregon delivered burning material across the Columbia River into forested areas in Washington.

This video link talks about these two ignition sources and how you can do things to protect your property:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL_syp1ZScM   (13:19)

Listed below are five sets of 3 concepts relevant to fire, particularly wildland fire. Elements that can be mitigated using Firewise techniques are highlighted with bold type. Elements we can have some effect on are in italic type. Things that are in Nature’s realm and beyond our control are left in plain typeface.

3 COMPONENTS of FIRE needed – fuels / heat / oxygen

Fuels can be managed using Firewise principles. Heat can be managed by creating space to keep a thing that could burn distanced from other combustible things or a green lawn or watered vegetation as a cooling band

3 WAYS FIRE is TRANSFERRED – conduction / convection / radiation

Breaking the domino chain of items (fuses) that would carry fire from one to another (wood fence attached to the house / grass to shrubs planted next to the house. 30’ separation of combustible items allows for cooling heated air and (radiating) heat waves.

3 ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS of WILDFIRES – weather / terrain / fuels

Firewise principles address fuel potentials. Planning the siting of new construction by considering how fire might move across the landscape can reduce the impact of a future fire event.

3 FIREWISE ZONES [defensible spaces]

Defensible spaces:  Each structure and 5’ out from the foundation / outward to 30’ / continuing out 100’(+). Start from your structure survey and plan tasks from 0’ to 100’(+)!


Level 1 ALERT: Get Ready! / Level 2 WARNING/NOTICE: Get Set! / Level 3 REQUEST/ORDER: Go!!!

Since we can be certain that a wildfire could… will happen here on High Prairie or come to us from some other point of origin, as happened in western Oregon last year, here are a couple of resources to help you get thinking. The Marin County, CA site has a broad range of excellent information and resource links to get your preparations started. Being prepared when a wildfire or other emergency situation might impact our community and the safety of you and your family is crucial!



As you reach the burn pile phase on your to do list, please remember:

Only natural materials [no treated lumber or other man-made items] can be burned in an area 10’ X 10’.

The pile should not exceed 4’ in depth, and a water source and hand tools need to be close at hand.

Our ‘Burn Ban’ generally begins on June 1st, but may be adjusted to environmental conditions.

A burn permit is not required. The burning window is in daylight from dawn to dusk.

If something happens that your pile begins to take on a mind of its own and begins to spread ~ call 911!

If you have any questions or desire Firewise or High Prairie Fire information or have other comments or requests, please feel free to contact me by email at mcmackint@gmail.com or a call to 206-234-4141.

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Pawsitivity Succeeds Despite Covid-19

Elke Neubauer

2020 was a strange and busy year for our fledgling little “Pawsitivity” group. In spite of everything, we managed somehow to muddle through and in the end were quite successful, all things considered.

Pawsitivity is a small group of folks who care about the well-being of cats in our community and who are working to make a difference. Our mission is to create a better life for feral and stay cats in our community by reducing overpopulation and providing education on the importance of neutering pets. Our three-pronged approach involves Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), Education, and Adoption. Learn more at our website: https://www.pawsitivity.info/

In 2020, we had hoped to build on our progress from 2019 with TNR work in and around the Goldendale and Centerville areas. We did what we could to TNR cats before spring and kitten season started, but when Covid-19 hit, we were unable to take any trapped cats to the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) to be neutered. While things didn’t completely grind to a halt, they did slow down considerably.

As a result, come spring there were so many kittens in need of rescuing and fostering! Unfortunately, we were down a foster home at a critical period from May until July. Elke took up the slack and at one time was fostering around 20 kittens and cats in her home! Our other three foster parents Stina, Heather and Sally, stayed busy as well and stepped up to help. In July, with all volunteers on deck, our foster homes were busy taking in more kittens as soon as others were adopted.

Luckily, with the bad, came some good. With everyone stuck at home, folks decided it would be a good time to adopt a pet, and adoptions happened at a fast pace. 

We are proud of what we accomplished in 2020, in spite of Covid restrictions. ●TNR Total: 300 ●Kittens / Cats Adopted: 170 ●Barn Cats Adopted: 45. All our kittens/cats go to a new home after they are spayed/neutered and up-to-date on vaccines.

We’ve had some great success with adoptions and hope that a few of the stories below will warm your heart:

●Easter was a hard case. She was thrown out of a car window near her foster mom’s home and was not social, but was a very sweet and good cat. She bonded to her friend Lily (a sweet outgoing girl) and it was determined that they needed a home together. After being fostered for 8 months, we finally were able to find an amazing home for these two with a very patient woman. 

●Dr. Jean from Rowena Wildlife Clinic helped save a sweet little girl that was caught in the base of a wind turbine. She was pretty bad off and required one of her legs to be amputated and lots of stitches, but she managed to recover in one of our foster homes. She gained some notoriety after being featured in an article and was quickly adopted.

●Poor Sugar was so tiny and so sick for a very long time. Two of her siblings had to be euthanized, but nevertheless she persisted! After many months and several setbacks, she was finally well enough to be adopted, with her friend Bear, to a wonderful home.

●A momma cat that we rescued ended up having 9 kittens! Even though she was a good mom, it was taking a lot out of her to care for so many kittens. We bottle fed some for a while with goat’s milk, but then we rescued another momma that had only 4 kittens. We were able to move 2 of the kittens over to the other mom. All of the kittens survived and we found wonderful homes for all, including the two momma cats.

●Little Tina was found on Centerville Hwy in the middle of nowhere, between Centerville and Goldendale in October. Just 5 weeks old, she would not have survived another night. She found a new friend in Elke’s foster home and a new home together with her friend.

We are working with cat clinics in Portland and the Tri-Cities. Going to these clinics means long drives for the volunteer drivers. We are glad to have Trisha as a new driver besides our all-round volunteers Heather and Elke.

Our volunteers are the heart of our program. We want to thank all of them, including the community members who help us with trapping cats. We always welcome new fosters or volunteers to our small group. 

We are very thankful to our wonderful local veterinarian, Marianne Randall, DVM, for helping us out, when we need a vet immediately.

Finally, we could not do what we are doing without the support of Rowena Wildlife and Dr. Jean Cypher. We are so grateful to her for all that she does to help the kitties. She is also a selfless human being and an amazing vet for our injured wildlife. We cannot thank her enough. 

We don’t know what 2021 holds for us, but we are hopeful that we will be able to continue to build on our progress from the last years. 

Please text or call Elke at 509-261-0689 or Heather at 303-523-4412 and tell us how we can help.

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Beyond Observation

Bill Weiler

“Shut your eyes and see.” –James Joyce

I had never seen so many people and cars at the Rowen Point Overlook as this afternoon. Spring wildflowers at their peak coupled with world-class views of the Columbia River on the year’s first 80 degree weekend day (and a promo article in The Oregonian no doubt added to the crowds).

Throughout the Columbia River Gorge, the last few weeks have been a feast for the eyes; and today is no exception. Yet, are we missing the full experience if we only view the flowers and capture views from a camera lens? The perfume of wildflowers is the perfect partner for their visual magnificence! Walk along a riparian area when the mock oranges are in bloom. And in more domestic realms, a bouquet of lilacs may be the best way to lift anyone’s spirits!

Unlike our other senses, smell needs no interpreter. A scent can be overwhelmingly nostalgic because it triggers powerful images and emotions before we have time to edit them. Research reveals that smells stimulate learning and retention. When children were given olfactory information along with a word list, the list was recalled much more easily and better retained in memory than when given without the olfactory cues.

Spending many days at the Sandy River Delta last week, I remembered one of the pre-Covid activities we offered to students was called “Find Your Tree,” where one person leads a blindfolded partner to a tree and the second child spends as much time as possible getting to know their tree through touch (and perhaps smell) alone. The blindfolded person is led back to the hub area, the blindfold is removed, and the person then proceeds to try to locate the tree….which occurs almost 100% of the time.

Skin is beyond amazing. It gives us individual shape, protects us from invaders, cools us down, produces vitamin D, can mend itself when necessary, and is constantly renewing itself. Weighing from six to ten pounds, it is the largest organ of the body.

It is true that when one sense is lost, the others are heightened. It is also true that when our senses are combined, they are more than the sum of their parts. When we are in the natural world our senses want to be put to use. Try to find ways to open them all as you walk down the wildflower path with a picnic basket in your arms.

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