Mary E. Trimble: A Few Days Off

An excerpt from Tubob: Two Years in West Africa with the Peace Corps

by Mary E. Trimble

We desperately needed to get away, to have some R&R. My husband Bruce had projects to finish up before we left, and I didn’t want to miss Friday clinic, so we set a date for Saturday to go to Banjul, capital of our host country, The Gambia We’d get some business matters taken care of and then take a few days off to soak up sea breezes in Bakau.

Friday’s clinic was interminable with close to 300 patients. At the end of the day I had just enough energy left to pack for our trip. We couldn’t wait to go. When our friend Tombong stopped by that morning, we made arrangements for him to stay during the nights as our night guard. Daytimes, with all the coming and going, were not a concern.

Bruce had arranged for a driver and had made a list of project supplies to get and things to do while downriver. I planned to see Sister M’Boge, the head nurse for the Health Department, and also try to find visual aids to use when I was on trek. Our trips downriver never seemed to be only for pleasure, but at least they were a pleasant break in routine and climate.

via A Few Days Off | Mary E. Trimble.

Patricia Bloom: The Dog Days of Summer

by Patricia Bloom

Summer is upon us and for your service dog or companion animal, here are some tips for helping your furry friend stay cool, no matter how high the temperature.

The All-Important Water Bowl

It is probably obvious, but it’s also important to remember that the water dish you filled to the brim can disappear quickly. Dogs can lap up the water, accidentally tip the bowl over, or the water can simply evaporate in the heat. So, be sure you check there is plenty of drinking water, whether your dog is inside or outside the house. We like to add ice cubs to the dog’s bowl, to keep the water cooler longer and, of course, lots of dogs like to play or chomp on these cool cubes. For dogs whose water bowl is outside, it is best to use a ceramic bowl or one that doesn’t absorb heat. Also, try to put the bowl in a shady area, moving it if necessary as the sun shifts.

via The Dog Days of Summer | My Magic Dog.

Joan Husby: Madison Creek Falls, a Fun and Easy Exploration

by Joan Husby

Dodging spring showers, we recently drove west on U.S. 101 from my sister’s home in Port Angeles. We turned onto Olympic Hot Springs Road just before 101 crosses the Elwha River and followed the river toward the Olympic mountains. Once that beautiful valley was the sole territory of Klallam people who hunted, fished, and gathered there for hundreds of years. When settlers came in the late 1800s, they appreciated the valley’s beauty and natural resources as well. They found giant cedars measuring thirty feet around the base and large herds of elk. There are photos of fishermen with Chinook salmon so large their tails dragged on the ground. But when the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams were built (in 1913 and 1927, respectively) to provide power for Port Angeles they blocked access for the massive runs of migrating fish.

Times changed and the dams supplied only a fraction of the power needed by the one remaining mill at Port Angeles. The Klallam and others who valued wild and free rivers agitated for the removal of the two dams. In 1992, the Elwha River Ecosystem and Restoration Act, with the help of $54 million in federal stimulus funds, began the second largest restoration project in the National Park Service system after the Everglades project. Glines Canyon Dam, 210 feet high, is the largest dam so far decommissioned in the United States. In 2011, both dams began to come down, releasing water and sediment to roar through the canyon.

A short distance beyond the Olympic National Park boundary, we see a sign pointing to the Madison Falls Trail. The Elwha hurries past to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, bearing the silt released by the removal of the dams. Across the road, a parking lot fronts a meadow with mossy, gnarled big leaf maples. A paved, wheelchair accessible trail leads to the base of the falls.

via Sun Breaks: Madison Creek Falls, a Fun and Easy Exploration.