Weekend Adventures

A few recent shots to share with you from last weekend. This first one of the helicopter dipping in the turtle pond is during the recent Memaloose #2 Fire on the Oregon hills along the Columbia River between Mosier and Rowena. The fire was in mop up the last few days which has been a slow process because of the steep terrain and cliffs. Evacuations have all been dropped and the fire was knocked down.

By the way there’s no smoke in the picture because I’m looking south away from the fire.

I started out the morning on top of the world. At least that was the name of the aid station along the route of marathon set up by the Columbia Gorge running club. I had the pleasure of running radio communications at aid station two. My view included a glimpse to the north of Underwood Mountain in Washington state.

The Marathon started here:

On my way up the hill to my station it was misting/raining lately which was so refreshing after a long dry spell. Did not amount to much but it sure felt good. It also provided me with a rainbow. A great start to a beautiful day.

Here comes one of the runners through the aid station.

The end of the 50k

it really was the top of the world, and this is even on the way back down

This next image was taken After the race, Clear across the valley. Looking across the Hood River Valley towards the west and Binn Hill from Fir hill area on the east side of Hood River Valley.

Driving up over the hills and down the valleys to Mosier and upstate road I stopped and took the first photo of the helicopter picking up water. Along the way I stopped to take the photo of the tree because it grabbed my attention.

Here was the view of the backside of Memaloose #2 fire, although this iPhone shot doesn’t capture much. To the far right of the red circle there is smoke and a burned area that has come up over the hill from the north. Fortunately it did not spread much more than this.

After I watch the helicopter I drove back down to the freeway and up to the Dalles and back down to the Lyle rest area where I took a few more photos.

I visited the Klickitat River which is very murky from the glacial run off.

I even found a place to park out of the way somewhere and slept in my car because I knew I was too tired to drive home.

The next morning I stopped and grabbed a couple more shots from the Lyle rest area, happy to see that the fire across the river had calmed down considerably

I chatted with some tourists at the rest area and gave them plenty of information on my way to work at the Mt. Adams Chamber visitor center in White Salmon, Washington. Just doing my job!

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It Takes a Village

Rotary Club of White Salmon-Bingen presents the first annual ‘It Takes A Village’ peace promotion and community awareness event on Tuesday September 11th from 3 – 7 pm at Rheingarten Park in White Salmon. This will be happening in conjunction with the Farmers Market.

We encourage you to bring your business to the Farmers Market for this date, as there will be additional draws bringing in a larger than normal crowd.

Would you like to help represent a country? We are seeking community members from diverse backgrounds to share their cultural foods, games and knowledge.

We are going to be seeking volunteers to help with setting up our tents and tables, as well as taking them down. Please let us know if you can assist.

Please contact one of the event coordinators for more details or to sign up!

Tammy Kaufman – 509-637-3340 / TamaraKaufman@gmail.com

Debi Budnick – DebiBudnick@skylinehospital.org

Tammara Tippel – 509-493-3630 / execdir@mtadamschamber.com

Sleeping Beauty Framed

On a freezing cold and brilliantly blue morning in Trout Lake, Washington.

I sure seem to be thinking about snow and cold a lot this week 🙂 while all around me it’s hot and dry and there are fires. Too many fires.

Loss of Baby Comstock

Help with Baby Comstock Funeral and Family expenses during this time.

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On July 18, 2018, little four month old Finlee Andrew Comstock died unexpectedly and suddenly, leaving his parents Derek and Palace in total shock and grief, with no money for funeral or burial.

Through Generous donations , so far enough money has been raised to cover funeral costs. The donation request continues to help the family deal with lost wages etc. during this time.

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https://www.gofundme.com/derek-and-palace-face-tradegy

Also an account has been setup at a local bank for those of you who do not like GoFundMe because of the fees they take out.

And for locals near Dallesport, WA, the local all volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a Spaghetti Dinner as a fundraiser. Little Finlee’s father Derek is a volunteer Firefighter in the Department in Dallesport. This will be Saturday, August 4, 5-9 PM

At the Dallesport Fire Department, 630 Central Blvd., Dallesport, WA, 98617

Sunset in Glenwood

On my way back from the woods Wednesday evening, i witnessed this wonderful sunset over Mount Adams, from Glenwood, WA.

Stronger than Cancer part 2

UPDATE 5/10/18:

Last night Erica and her mother were interviewed for KGW Channel 8 by Christine Pitawanich/KGW. The interview was aired on the late evening news.

Meanwhile on another front, our local Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce executive director had emailed her connection with the Seahawks, Mike Flood. Mike replied saying they can’t really send a player out to take Erica to prom, but he is offering some other perks such as some tickets to a game. He is also coming this way later this month for other business and plans to bring Erica some official Seahawks swag.

– Darlisa

News Story from KGW channel 8 aired late evening on 5/09/2018,

following interview with Christine Pitawanich/KGW.

Original story below on the blog post, at this link:

“Stronger than Cancer”

Also Erica and her mom Elsa Spence could really use some financial assistance. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to:

(Make checks out to Elsa Spence. )

“Stronger than Cancer”

Donations For Erica Kuneki

Umpqua Bank

PO Box 67

White Salmon, WA

98672

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

To the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, esp. Earl Thomas the third:

“I Am Erica Kuneki:

I am Stronger than Cancer! I Will Survive!

Will you go to Prom with me on June 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM?

Columbia High School, White Salmon, Washington. Please?”

Erica just turned 18. She also just had a total knee replacement as a result of bone cancer. She is a fighter, and her motto has become “Stronger than Cancer”.

She also has a dream, for a gift of time from the Seahawks. Senior prom is June 2 and she has no date. Can you help us reach out to Earl Thomas and the other Seahawks to see if any of them could help by escorting Erica to her prom?

Also Erica and her mom Elsa Spence could really use some financial assistance. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to

“Stronger than Cancer”

Donations For Erica Kuneki

Umpqua Bank

PO Box 67

White Salmon, WA

98672

The full story of Erica Kuneki and her battle with Cancer is posted on my blog along with a lot more pictures.

https://starlisablackphotography.com/2018/05/08/stronger-than-cancer

Thank you!

Darlisa Black

Stronger than Cancer

UPDATE 5/10/18:

Last night Erica and her mother were interviewed for KGW Channel 8 by Christine Pitawanich/KGW. The interview was aired on the late evening news.

Meanwhile on another front, our local Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce executive director had emailed her connection with the Seahawks, Mike Flood. Mike replied saying they can’t really send a player out to take Erica to prom, but he is offering some other perks such as some tickets to a game. He is also coming this way later this month for other business and plans to bring Erica some official Seahawks swag.

– Darlisa

Original story below:

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I would like to tell you a story about a girl named Erica Kuneki. She’s a very special girl, one that has always watched out for others. And she LOVES the SEAHAWKS! More on that soon ❤️😀. Erica and her parents are from the Klickitat tribe, part of the Yakama Nation. Their family is from the Husum, WA area, and her grandmother Elsie Thomas used to make the traditional split cedar root huckleberry baskets that are so prized in museums now.

Erica at her 8th grade graduation

Erica with her uncle

Erica at school

And in Drama, she was in a play in Hood river.

Last November, 2017, Erica started having severe pain in one leg. She was very athletic, involved in several sports. After much testing, she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, A cancerous tumor in the bone below the knee. She was very quickly started on aggressive chemotherapy, which took a toll on her body. Often very nauseous, she lost weight and had a very tough time keeping up in school. With the help of teachers at the Cancer Hospital in Portland, she kept up with her schoolwork as best she could. Early this year, they did a total knee replacement including a length of bone from the leg below the knee. For a while there was a break from chemo while she recovered from surgery, and during that time Erica was able to go back to school here in White Salmon. One of her coaches was very supportive, as he himself was a cancer survivor, and when Erica returned to school he and the team honored Erica in an assembly, making her an honorary team leader.

Erica with her Coach Don

Recently chemo started back up again, along with the struggle to keep eating and hold food down. Occasionally the weekly hospital stay lasts longer when her body isn’t ready to get up and go home. Chemotherapy will likely continue up to a year total, perhaps less if all goes well.

Mom and Daughter at sports event

Through this whole experience her amazing mother Elsa Spence has been right by her side most of the time, and if she has to be working then generally Erica’s father Leon Kuneki spends the time with his daughter at the hospital. They never leave her in Portland at the hospital alone.

Dad and Daughter times

Elsa is a caregiver by trade, working for Klickitat County Seniors. She helped take care of my sister Nora for several years. Her boss Norma Pickett has been so good with her, scheduling work around Erica’s medical appointments, as much as possible. Norma also helped run a fundraiser to get Elsa a working car after her old one broke down. Various bills are still a struggle, between lost work hours and the long drives to Portland. Elsa is the primary wage earner of the household, and I know from personal experience that caregiving in rural areas is a low paying job.

Through all the struggles with cancer, these Gals have done an amazing job of keeping their chin up and moving forward with a positive attitude.

Erica has frequently cheered up and encouraged others in the cancer ward and at home. Erica has a wise old soul, while also young and silly. She and her mom laugh together over so many things, and their laughter is contagious.

At the same time, both of them can be very serious, have a great deal of respect for their elders, and often reach out to help others. Both Elsa and Erica are very empathic, often sensing when those around them are troubled or in pain. Recently, A young patient at the cancer center passed away in a nearby room. The mother’s cries of loss carried through several wings, and Erica left her own room to go out and give hugs to the family. She brought them tissues and encouragement.

A year earlier, after I had lost my own sister, Erica would often stop by my house after school to check on me and make me laugh.

She never fails to brighten my day when I see her. Tonight i was on the phone with Elsa, and I could hear Erica in the background making us both crack up with laughter, and she had just come home from the hospital after more chemo.

Recently on two separate occasions, Elsa and Erica ran into KGW Channel 8 newscasters out on a mission. They talked each of the reporters into a photo, never even mentioning the cancer to the reporters!

Erica is really rocking all this!

TO THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: One thing that Erica is sad about is that no one has invited her to her senior prom which is June 2, at 8:00 pm. . Her cousin Shaneeta Bly came up with the idea of trying to reach out to the Seahawks, especially to Erica’s favorite player Earl Thomas, to see if he or any of the team would be willing to help fulfill the dream of a cancer patient. Erica just turned 18, and will hopefully be graduating soon from Columbia High School where she has participated in several sports including her personal favorite, basketball. She and her family are long time hard core Seahawks fans, with the Seahawk emblem painted on her father‘s truck and several birthday cakes that have had the Seahawks written on the cake.

Dad and Daughter, on Erica’s 18th birthday in April. There was no money or energy for a birthday party this year, but great hopes and plans to save money and have a combined birthday/ graduation/ end of chemo party in a few months.

Seahawks thru and thru!

Any acknowledgement from the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS team would be bound to uplift Erica and her family unimaginably, and an actual escort to prom, especially from Earl Thomas, would bring over the top joy for Erica. She also loves wrestling, her favorite wrestler is Dean Ambomore, and her favorite singer is Lil Pimp.

Please share this and help bring joy to this amazing young lady and her family!

My Erika Kuneki: I am Stronger than Cancer! I Will Survive! Will you go to Prom with me on June 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM? Columbia High School, White Salmon, Washington. Please?

To the SEAHAWKS:

I Am Erica Kuneki:

I am Stronger than Cancer! I Will Survive!

Will you go to Prom with me on June 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM?

Columbia High School, White Salmon, Washington. Please?

DONATIONS: if you would like to help Erica fix her car (est cost $4,000); help her family pay their monthly bills, and help them plan the celebration party, here is how:

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Drop by or send a check to

“Stronger than Cancer”

(Donations for Erica Kuneki)

Umpqua Bank

PO Box 67

White Salmon, WA

98672

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

This way the money all goes to the family and not to one of the online fundraisers.

Thank you,

Darlisa Black

Starlisa.com

Spring Storms

After spending some lovely time trying and failing to catch some lightning in Southern Washington Cascades May 6, i finally gave up on that and just enjoyed where I was standing. Hope you enjoy it with me!

Soft, Springy Earth

“What a joy it is

to feel the soft, springy

earth under my feet once more,

to follow grassy roads

that lead

to ferny brooks

where I can bathe my fingers

in a cataract of rippling

notes.”

~ Helen Keller