Friday, March 29, 2013

Marie The Missing Herb Trekker

Earlier this month I was sort of shocked to learn of the demise of the Unstoppable Woman, Dina Moor.

This shock led me to make contact where I've not made contact for a long period of time.

These contacts have brought fresh surprises. For instance, I emailed Maxine, who lives upriver in the beautiful Skagit Valley in a sprawling estate that can easily be described as idyllic. Maxine visited here way back in 2001, post 9/11. I was last at Maxine's sprawling idyllic estate in August of 2004. I last saw Maxine, in person, in April of 2006, in Tacoma.

I last heard from Maxine last September, when she was getting ready to hike over the Cascades to Stehekin. If I recollect correctly I asked Maxine to send me some pics of her Stehekin hike. No pics arrived and I forgot about it.

Well, I heard right back from Maxine, after I emailed her. She is fine, ready to start doing some mountain hiking again, prepping for this year's hike to Stehekin.

But, Maxine's email contained the surprising news of another friend's unexpected passing. A person I had not seen since that time in August of 2004 when Maxine had a group of old time friends to her sprawling idyllic estate for a Salmon BBQ.

And now I am wondering about Marie the Herb Trekker.

Marie moved to the D/FW zone from Seattle. Marie had previously lived in Texas and many other locations beside Seattle. At some point in time Marie the Herb Trekker started making comments on my blog. If I remember right Marie and I were also exchanging emails. I was sort of giving Marie pointers as to how to adjust to the culture shock of Texas. The last I heard from Marie the Herb Trekker she was heading to Houston, and then San Antonio. Marie the Herb Trekker's blog has disappeared and she has disappeared as a follower on my blog.

Very perplexing.

Below is a series of blog comments, back and forth, (edited somewhat to shorten) between me and Marie, which gives you a good idea why I'm wondering what has become of Marie the Herb Trekker...

September 1, 2012 at 12:18 AM
 Marie said...
Hey, Durango - you're killing me with Pacific Northwest memories. I too remember being grateful that traffic had stopped so that I could take in the view! The floating bridge was great - so was coming south on I-5 on a sunny day and seeing Mt. Rainier standing in front of you as big as God. Or the Alaskan Way Viaduct at sunset. And the lack of garbage - yes! What gives here? Garbage makes my forehead wrinkle. On the other hand, I do appreciate many things here. Gas is cheaper. Everything's cheaper. There is no state income tax (none in Washington either, but Californication takes a hefty bite.) And many nice folks. Like aerobic bloggers who point the way to shady paths for the topographically challenged. Loved the tree pics on River Legacy Park's site - I shall head over. Many thanks!

September 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM
 Marie said...
Durango, I just received my third electric bill since moving here. I am definitely NOT amused - Steve's point is a good one. I've already spent more for electricty (air conditioning) in three months than I spent for all year in the Evergreen state. But Rainier cherries, you say? I'll pay any price for those! Your hilly green path has me encouraged. These temps and that green water - not so much. But we take the good with bad, eh? By the way, your recent post about the Quanah Parker exhibit made me run to my bookshelf - I have a copy of "The Last Comanche Chief." His and Cynthia's story, and that of the Comanche in general, is a real gut wrencher. Not much of a living Native American legacy exists here like it does in the Northwest. I remember going to Suquamish for the canoe races this time of year. Well, thanks to our amazing distribution system, I can at least go get some cherries. Happy trails!

September 2, 2012 at 2:59 PM
 Durango said...
Howdy Marie, I have not read "The Last Comanche Chief." "Comanche Moon" is really good, covers both the Comanche history in detail, as well as Quanah's and his mom's.

The 'missing' Indians perplexed me when I was first in Texas, having come from Washington where there are so many tribes, with tribal lands. And casino resorts.

In 1999 I went to a very cool Pow Wow at the Fort Worth Stockyards. There were Tulalips there. It turned very spooky. I tell you, Native Americans have special powers. This little Indian girl sought my group out, high in the stands, came up and introduced herself, said she was with the Tulalips but that she was really a Blackfoot from Montana. Well, the visitor who was visiting me from Washington, was the recent widow of a guy who was half Blackfoot. Like I said, spooky.

September 3, 2012 at 12:59 AM
 Marie said...
Hey, Durango! I'm becoming a frequent flier here. I trekked over to the new Trader Joe's a couple weeks ago but couldn't make it past the parking lot cluster. Had to be other West Coasters jonesing for their TJ fix. How could I begrudge them? Today I found myself at Whole Foods buying cherries and then at Clear Creek Nature Preserve up in Denton County. Part of a journey to see about a slightly used kayak. Still plan to get to River Legacy per your recommendation. I'm building a list of must-sees as I meander through your bloggings. But Durango, how do you do it in this heat? I have to live life to the fullest by 9 a.m. or I'm toast. Literally.

September 3, 2012 at 3:38 PM
 Durango said...
Howdy Marie, frequent flier miles are a good thing. I made it in the FW Trader Joe's. I parked a distance away and walked back. I was very disappointed. I'd only been in the Trader Joe's that is south of Sea-Tac, can't remember the town name. The FW one was nothing like the WA one. I felt no impulse to buy anything. It was sorta like when I first moved to Texas, missed Costco, then Fort Worth got the first Texas Costco. Went to the Grand Opening. Was shocked. Costco had been Texasified. Walked in to see saddles and Remington statues for sale. No coffee roaster, no fresh sushi. Then the Southlake Costco opened and with way more transplanted Yankees living in the Southlake zone, that Costco is more like a west coast Costco. Still no sushi, as of my last visit.

I have biked that Clear Creek Nature Preserve trail. I remember the waterway looked very inviting and made me want to return with my inflatable kayak. I never did. I pedaled all the way to the dam that makes, I think the name is, Ray Hubbard Lake. Long bike ride. River Legacy Park has a kayak trail too. Can't imagine paddling it though.

As for how do I do it in the heat? That question was sort of funny, typing it out. My number one concern moving to Texas was the heat. I was never a fan of those Washington summer days when it'd get into the 80s. I did not know about acclimating. By my first summer in Texas, by being out in the heat, I got used to it. When it is HOT I do not go to the Tandy Hills unless the humidity is low and it is windy. The other places I go have enough shade that I do not over heat. On the bike the heat is not an issue, til I stop pedaling. Oh, and both hiking and biking you have to go shirtless. I could not stand it if I had a shirt on, because the shirt would get soaking wet and it'd be miserable.

After a few years of Texas heat you may experience the bizarre opposite. As in when I go back to Washington in summer, after already being used to the HEAT of Texas, I feel chilly. I remember July of 2004 with the Tacoma locals in full whine due to it being almost 80. I was shivering and in long pants. From July 20 til August 20 of 2008 I was cold pretty much the entire time I was in Washington.

September 4, 2012 at 4:53 PM
 Marie said...
Durango, you will be glad to know that I got in about an hour of walking and jogging out in it today. Yes, acclimate I will. Sadly, going shirtless isn't really an option on account of my gender. But you've motivated me with your daily aerobic discipline and excellent attitude - thank you! I'll trek on to other posts now!

September 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM 
 Durango said...
Howdy Marie----You could be a trendsetter and pretend you are in Oregon or Washington or Austin and go topless whilst hiking. I know you could do this on the Tandy Hills, most days. And in an emergency, quickly coverup should you see anyone.

I've been meaning to mention Oakland Lake Park. That's were I went today. It's very close to the Tandy Hills. The breeze blowing across the lake has a nice coolness to it, even on a day like today, when it is HOT. Oakland Lake Park is easy to find. Just exit I-30 at Oakland Blvd. Head south on Oakland, take any of the next couple lefts, go a block and you'll see Oakland Lake Park and Fosdick Lake, with parking on the west and east sides of the lake. And a nice paved trail around the lake where you'll see a lot of turtles and ducks.

September 4, 2012 at 10:44 PM 
 Marie said...
Durango, I went to White Rock Lake in the early a.m. Worked up a righteous sweat. I have to travel a lot during the week, but I try to check out a new locale every weekend. I will add Oakland Lake Park to my list. I won't be setting any trends though! I am enjoying the hilarity on your blog. I think I might adjust yet...


MLK said...

Holy cow, maybe you two need to hook up and move back to WA. You can take my place in 33 months!

Durango said...

Thanks for the kind offer, MLK. You may be the sweetest Texan I know of currently living in Washington.

Steve A said...

I do hope that reading your blog is not somehow unhealthy for people from the PNW!

Durango said...

Steve A, I am fairly certain that the number of PNW fatalities of those who read my blog is not yet statistically significant enough to determine that reading my blog is unhealthy for PNWers. But, I always believe one should err on the side of caution...