Wednesday, September 23, 2009

East River

My Evening Retreat, John's Lake

The next stop on my Still Can't Believe I'm Getting Paid for Gardening vacation took me to a quiet little lake cabin, East River.

The term, East River, makes no sense. Unless, of course, you were unfortunate enough to be born and raised in South Dakota, where the mighty Missouri River neatly slices this state in half.

Moonflowers bloom ecstatically near the lake. Opening as the sun begins to set, flowers reflect moonlight until the sun rises when they close up for the day.

'West River' is cattle country ~ a hard scrabble existence, with dry, desert conditions and more rattlesnakes than people.

'East River' is lush, green, laden with soft, nutrient-rich garden soil that sometimes makes me wonder why in the world I ever chose to move farther west.

Blossoms bigger than your head: Hibiscus flowers easily east of the Missouri River. In my home state of Utah, they require 'round the clock care. (And they're still not happy!)

Interestingly enough, it was West River South Dakotans who coined the term East River as a derogatory label for us 'softies.' (We East River folks label them: jealous.)

So, I landed in the place that I called home for the formative years of my life. And, our first task was the saddest one of all.

Taking down the old cabin that stood forever on my parent's property. It was a fully functional teeny, tiny house that had been there for ages and had finally decided it was time to fall down.

Bye-Bye Cabin.

If this place could talk, oh the stories it would tell. Over these long years 'The Cabin' served as temporary housing [aka free lodging] for many a wayward 20-something and friends down on their luck. A silent cave where my Father read entire libraries of books.

For me, it was a giant playhouse. With room enough for all my friends and most of their Barbies, too.
Early mornings, John's Lake. (You'll just have to imagine me in this shot because I couldn't figure out how to set the camera timer.)


KC said...

Sorry about the cabin but you will forever have your memories. East River looks gorgeous. We are missing you here in the desert.

Wunx~ said...

Congrats on the landscaping job, condolences on the cabin and thank you for the BD card. (And please let me know when you get home.)

Anonymous said...

It's nice to meet a fellow Utah gardener! Howdy neighbor! That's fantastic to get paid for gardening! :) I love hibiscus. Very beuatiful photo. Sorry to hear about the cabin taking a dive.

Granny J said...

Looking at your idyllic pictures, I recall my father telling me that once he left S Dak at age 17, he made up his mind NEVER to return to a place where it snowed in winter. He did return there once, late in life. That must have been west of the river.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I would have been a bit teary eyed to see the little house come down.

Those Hibiscus--WOW!

JOHN SHORTLAND, Cotswold Hills, England. said...

Wow! Absolutely beautiful - both the photos and the writing. Johnson

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

KC: I am missing you, too. And, I'm gettin' fatter by the minute without our Friday Afternoon Club hiking adventures! :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Wunx~ I'm home as of today. You'll never believe the outcome of my landscaping adventure. Have I got stories to tell! :D

I'll try to make the pancake party... - k

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Welcome Miss Daisy! Always great to meet a new Utah gardener. I'll mosey over there and check out your website... :))

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Granny! - How interesting. Just like your Dad I left at 17 and swore that I would never go back. But... I've always been kind of wishy washy...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Jeannie!

I did cry - quite a bit - when my brother wasn't looking. He was all stoic about the whole thing but I secretly think he was sad, too. He was, after all, one of those wayward 20-somethings that used the cabin as free lodging a time or two!!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Johnson!

Well, thanks, that's very kind of you to say. I was lurking around your blog while I was traveling. [I'm a bad blogging person because I visit and then I forget to leave comments to prove I was there.]

Anyway... I LOVE the whole horsey and English countryside stuff. You live in a marvelous place.

Anonymous said...

is that hibiscus this variety?

i would love to get one for my garden!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

The flower in the photo is a 'Brandy Punch Hibiscus' but I checked your link and the flowers look very similar. I've never heard of a 'newbiscus' -- but if it's the correct growing zone I'm sure it will be lovely. :)