Sunday, June 21, 2009


Now that Odel is back and learning to run the visitor center, I had the chance to tackle a favorite project: weeding!

Before we began our life of travel, I was an avid gardener. Over a period of a couple years, I replaced two-thirds of our Bermuda grass lawn with a large vegetable garden and several flower gardens.

A vanquished knapweed showing its taproot.In sunny, well-drained soil, Bermuda grass is incredibly invasive, extremely difficult to eradicate. It became my mission to keep it confined to the “lawn” area, and we clashed constantly and ruthlessly. Now, with no gardens to tend, I still relish the challenge of invasive plant control (aka weeding).

Knapweeds are invasive here. They thrive in disturbed areas, and produce an herbicide of their own that helps them subdue the native plant population. Removal is a good thing!

These hearty plants have a taproot that doesn’t give up without a fight. When possible, I rip up the entire plant – but with flower buds preparing to open, I’m willing to resort to pruners if I can’t get that taproot. My goal is to deny them the chance to produce seeds – my personal challenge. :) I must have pulled thirty or forty knapweeds in about an hour – and I sure felt it in my legs and back the next day.

Ready to head up the hill on his trike. The Mosier Twin Tunnels Trail is a multi-use trail with just two rules: Human power only (always observed), and dogs on leashes (frequently flouted).

We see bicycles of all kinds – road bikes, mountain bikes, tandems, tricycles, and recumbents - along with skate boards, skate “skis”, and of course walkers and joggers. When I can, I take pictures of the most unusual conveyences.

This guy, his friend and his dog came to ride the trail on their Trikke. Have you seen the infomercial? He did – and, after taking a Trikke for a test ride in Portland, purchased one. He claims that it is a super workout, completely low impact – and it definitely looked like a workout as he headed up the grade, twisting his body from side to side, pressing alternately outward on one “leg” of the Trikke, then the other to slowly climb the hill. When I saw him return later, his sweat-drenched shirt validated the workout claim.

Pedal-less bike and petite rider

How about this pedal-less bike and tiny rider? Look how seriously she posed after I asked permission for a photo!

She was accompanied by her dad and (my guess) her grandparents, who walked the trail while she “rode”. They are from San Francisco, and her dad said she was an experienced hill-rider. As he pointed out, once she is ready to move up to a regular bike, she’ll already have the balance issues figured out.

When they moved off up the hill, she looked like a little amphibian, her bent legs acting like flippers against the asphalt to move up the hill. Her daddy put his hand lightly on her back, a bit of extra power on the climb. Very cute!


  1. I feel your angst against crabgrass! I wanted to rip out the back lawn of it and put in a vegetable garden, too! We had 15 trees and the only place getting sun was the lawn! I had to settle for deep pots for my tomatoes and zucchini on the patio! But I don't miss weeding!LOL

    Grant suggests you should volunteer at Organ Pipe National Monument, they NEED people to eradicate their Buffle Grass (sp?), BIG TIME!!

  2. Great Photos! Have a great summer and Hugz!