Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge

July 31, 2004

Chris Cunningham and three other obsidians ventured into Baskett Slough, 10 miles west of Salem: Barb Revere, Bonnie Manheim and Pete Peterson. The four of us began our five-mile exploration on top of Baskett Butte, where we surveyed a panorama of tranquil marshes, tidy vineyards and pastoral farmland. An oak woodland a quarter mile down the trail provided the only shade we would see that day. Resident anthropologist Manheim located the space where the landmark barn mentioned in Bill Sullivan’s book once stood! A wrong turn on a gravel road led us to a wine tasting room—well, almost. Better judgment convinced us to retrace our steps. Our virtue was rewarded with a shady lunch spot complete with soft grass and plum and apple trees. Back on the path again, the sweet fragrance of mint and blackberries and open fields of purple thistle, Queen Anne’s lace and pink orchard morning glories distracted us from dwelling on the afternoon heat.

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