Foothills Adventures

by David Robertson May. 03, 2020 210 views

Another great adventure on a lonely road in the foothills. We started in the upper reaches of the wheatlands, and headed up four miles from there with a 1500 ft. gain. We encountered more beautiful wildflowers and green foothills heading towards forest. The real excitement was at the end of our hike.

As we headed back to down into the wheat fields just above the car we rounded a corner and saw what we initially thought was a deer because we could only see a bit of its tan back and head above the wheat. As I watched it move away, it suddenly struck me that it really wasn't moving like a deer, but definitely wanted to get away from us.

I told Shelly that it might have been a cougar. We kind of debated it, and then I went up to the edge of the wheat field upslope (it was only about 30-40 feet away from us) and realized the wheat was only about a foot deep. There is no way a deer could hide in that. Of course I did this a little nervously. It clearly was trying to get away, but I still didn't know how far it might have gotten.

The other thing that made it likely was that the entire way back to the car from that point, there was the sound of wild turkeys down slope, in a ravine below us. That is a favorite food for cougars. I have a friend who hunts that said he always keeps an eye out for cougars when he is around turkeys. So exciting end to the day. and thankfully as they say, "we are not on the menu". Here are a few photos from the day.

Sulphur Lupine at about 2200 ft.  The ravine below is where the turkeys were, and the wheatfields are behind me

Sulphur Lupine at about 2200 ft. The ravine below is where the turkeys were, and the wheatfields are behind me

Classic Blue Mountain Foothills.  Elk and Bear will graze on the hillsides in the distance

Classic Blue Mountain Foothills. Elk and Bear will graze on the hillsides in the distance

ponderosa pine pollen

ponderosa pine pollen

camas lily - the root was eaten by native Americans

camas lily - the root was eaten by native Americans

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