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Back in the Saddle

I’ll admit, it doesn’t look like much. From this angle.

Crusty hills with a few power lines.

But this is Saddle Rock…one of the jewels of Wenatchee.

And since last summer when we stood in this same spot, things have changed.

Like this sign. And the two beside it.

Which say that Saddle Rock, an area once belonging to the state (Department of Natural Resources) now belongs to the city of Wenatchee, an effort that started in 1909 and got put on the back burner until 2010.

What’s a 101 years?

Now why does it matter who owns the land?

Well…it’s all about the future.  The state may change its agenda one day.  But the City of Wenatchee wants this place to be enjoyed as a park forever. By anyone.

Which may mean some significant changes. More than signage.

But for last Sunday, Saddle Rock was still the rugged place it’s always been.

Still steep from the very first step.

Which means that if you’re wearing a long sleeve, you tear that thing off and tie it around your waist before you go any further.

It also means you tackle the really steep stuff however you can.

Hunched over or with small steps creeping backwards…

Or…head down, holding hands…

Or…by counting grasshoppers.

Whatever works.

And it means that when you finally look up again, half the saddle isn’t that far away.

Sometimes you land on a rare branch of shade.

But mostly it’s wide open dirt trails with dead grass for traction.

Here’s where we’ve been.

And there’s where we want to be.

On top.

Smiling down.

Or sideways.

On top.

With the city spread out like a map.

Or the rock against our backs.

On top.

With nervous feet in the cracks…

Until it is enough to stare from there…

To here.

Simply enough.

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