Quilomene in February

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I, for some reason, am going to explore a new way to talk.For people who know me, this is no cause for celebration but maybe this will save them having to listen to me, politely.

I would like to promote one of the great assets of Kittitas County, places to walk dogs.At the same time I will comment on wildflowers (I am not an expert and will accept correction), wildlife rehabilitation, veterinary medicine and any other connections with dogs, wildlands and our associations with them.


The high desert is one of my favorite places but is ignored by many in favor of our great mountains. The diversity of wildlife and the great spring wildflowers are worth looking into. I saw my first wildflowers of the year on a south slope the last week in February. No, really, I was not hallucinating. Desert buttercups are tough little ladies.

The Quilomene wildlife lands are easy to get to and offer a great dog workout. This walk is great during the winter and spring but gets pretty hot and dry in the summer. For those with tick and snake concerns it can also offer challenges (see “Ticks,etc.” under Care of Furry…) but I tend to ignore them. Just head out the Vantage Highway past Wildhorse Windfarm and Banjo’s grave at Saddle Mountain (need to tell the story of Banjo and his cowboy sometime). There are a couple of places to park provided by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, especially handy because the roads are closed to mechanized traffic in the spring (kind of nice for dog walking, too). From these you can start walking any direction, using the roads or cutting cross country (my favorite). You can’t get lost much- the Columbia River cuts off the east, the Vantage Highway to the south, the farmlands and windfarm on the west and to the north, well, if you get as far as Brushy Creek you’re too tough to get lost.