Live. Love. Harm no one. Help when you can. Be happy.
By: BriarCraft , 9:57 PM GMT on April 30, 2012
The day was mostly cloudy and gray, but it wasn't raining. Time to get out and enjoy the nearby tulip fields. The grass was in need of mowing -- really, really, really in need of mowing. Did I care? Well, I did give it a moment's thought as I drove out the driveway and the little private road where I live. A moment later, just about the time the tires first touched on pavement, those thoughts, along with the too-tall grass were left behind.
The first order of business was to go into Toledo to rob the ATM, as I don't like going anywhere without a bit of cash on hand. In rural areas such as this, debit and credit cards can be useless at times.
Then it was about face and head out for my Sunday afternoon drive past Toledo airport. It has a handful of planes in hangars, a repair shop and gas pump, the primary activity that takes place there is Skydive Toledo. It would have been a good day for jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, but apparently there were no thrill-seekers just then.
Heading east on US-12, it wasn't long before the prairie gave way to the foothills of the Cascade Range. Before long, I came to a sign pointing the way to Mayfield Dam. I hadn't been there in awhile and I had never shared it with WUville denizens.
As the road wound between hills down toward the dam, I was treated to an added springtime bonus. A different sort of dam with her foal. There was no resisting the smile that touched my lips, even as I reached for the camera.
Mayfield Dam has no particular claim to fame. It's just a small hydroelectric dam on the Cowlitz River, tucked into the hills with a fair-sized reservoir behind it. It's a popular place for boating and fishing with a few boat ramps and a state park campground. The only real amenity is the view, but that's enough for me.
A few miles farther east, between the towns of Mossyrock and Morton, is the DeGoede Bulb Farm and Gardens. DeGoede has a large nursery and several greenhouses, but it's main claim to fame is the tulips. 300 to 500 acres of tulips. Because of the cool spring, the tulips were 2-3 weeks behind schedule this year, so they were just coming into full bloom.
DeGoede welcomes the public to drive onto their property, park their cars, and wander along the edge of the fields. They don't charge admission, because they know this is the best way to generate customers for the bulbs that will be for sale in late summer.
I wasn't alone in my desire to spend some time enjoying the blooms. It was nice to see that, while there were no employees to stand watch, the public acted with respect for the farm and the flowers. Nobody cut flowers. Nobody stole bulbs. They simply stood and looked or took pictures, and some made note of the names written on stakes at the end of the rows.
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Updated: 4:34 PM PDT on August 29, 2015