By Sally Gracie
I arrived at the 27th Methow Valley Farmers Market of the season near closing but in time to visit with the vendors, to return a couple of vases to Bonny Stephens and to buy some peach jam from Lenore and goat cheese from Sunny Pine.
Sadly, fresh flowers and tomatoes are finished for the year. Alyssa Jumar’s and Plow Horse’s greens were also missing. (Glover Street Market told me that Alyssa has a small greenhouse going, so I picked up a bag of mixed greens at Glover).
Most of the vendors said they had had a good year at the market; many said “better than last year.” Lots of local apples from Twisp River Organic and squash and garlic from several produce stalls will be available at the final two markets of the season.
Carolyn Edson’s “Photography by Carolyn” stall at the Saturday market has been a popular stopping place for horse lovers. Large, striking portraits of equines dominate the walls of the tent.
The subjects of her horse photographs live on Bureau of Land Management land in southeastern Oregon, where, according to a web article, BLM oversees close to 3,000 wild horses and burros on thousands of acres.
During her trips to horse country, Carolyn has slept in her car as well as in motels, always waking early to spend a long day with the horses. She captured one subject on film after hiking after it for six hours. The weather at 6,000 to 8,000 feet can be severe and changeable, tough on the visiting photographer but far tougher on the horses, which gather close together below the hills to shelter from wind and bitter cold.
Carolyn has loved horses since she was a young girl, but it was just six years ago that she became serious about being a photographer. She says that her friends and family encouraged her to sell her work. Her sales at the market have been a success, and she also sells online.
Though horses are her favorite subject, her portfolio on Facebook shows rustic buildings, glorious landscapes, cowboys, wildlife, and even a few children and dogs. Galleries of her work for sale can be found at wlplittlebitred.smugmug.com.
During the past year Carolyn’s work has been recognized by Cowboys & Indians and Trailblazer magazines; the cover photo on a recent Back in the Saddle magazine is hers of Shaman, a wild stallion that she photographed in Oregon.
It gives me great pleasure to complete a story that I began two years ago, when Peggy Willis and Ted Willhite began the Grande Randonnee Cinq (GR5) near Amsterdam and walked 500 miles through Europe. In 2012 they walked 700 miles, and this summer completed the 1,500-mile GR5. Their three-summer trek took them from the Netherlands, to Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy and France.
Traveling with ultra-light 15-pound packs, and without a tent, sleeping bags, or cooking equipment, they stayed in private homes, alpine huts, ski dormitories, and hotels and inns. The trail this year included everything from sandy beaches to abandoned gravel roads; they climbed high mountain ridges and up and down ladders and toeholds in the Alps.
Peggy and Ted completed the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail over a period of five summers, finishing in 2010. What’s next? Crossing the Gobi? Watch this space.