This weekend I helped with the Ethnobotany and Waterfalls hike with College Outdoors. We drove out to the Columbia Gorge and spent most of our time on the Washington side (where it gets a bit more sun so the flowers are further along). This winter has been unusually cold and long so the wildflowers weren’t as exceptional as they have been previously, but it was still beautiful.
Before the trip a few people had canceled so they decided to fill the rest of the trip with other student coordinators. Basically, they filled the trip with leaders so the leaders could learn valuable skills (plant identification, practice leading, practice organizing a CO trip). Out of the dozen that went on the trip, seven were in one leadership role or another. We were all amused by that.
Since I am still learning the local plants, I wasn’t as helpful as I normally am with edible plant hikes. It felt kind of weird, but when we stopped by a rest area (with the usual bunch of weeds/non-natives) I was right at home showing everyone plantain, dandelions, lamb’s ear, clover, and black locust. Admittedly, the native plants are prettier, but it got me feeling helpful again. I’m a lot better with the natives now after this trip so that’s always good. I swear I must have over a hundred pictures of plants from that trip.
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