By Sarah Schrock
Finding awesome can be close to home. Last week, while observing some trees in Twisp Park, Dwight Filer and I stumbled upon an elusive inhabitant of our urban forest: a bat. The creature was visibly struggling for life, twitching on its back like a beetle. Because bats can be carriers of rabies, one is to never touch a sick or injured bat. Therefore, in these rare instances (which for me it turns out are not so rare since it’s happened to me before in Twisp Park), “who you gonna call?” Kent Woodruff, our local batman.
Like a bat emergency responder, Kent has rescued these winged rodents for me before. However, the timing wasn’t right and our call went to voicemail. We turned the bat on its belly and it crawled toward the nearest tree. We walked on with heavy hearts and hopes of its survival. Serendipitously, I ran into Kent later and he positively identified the bat as a hoary bat from a photograph on my iPhone. As the largest bat in Washington, the hoary bat is distinctive by the color of its fur, which is silver-tinged.
Still unsolved is whether the bat was injured or ill. According to Kent, young bats can be clumsy fliers and often wind up injured, just like a toddler who has battle wounds from learning to walk. What an amazing opportunity to observe the creature’s unique webbing, large ears and pug nose in slow motion, right here in Twisp Park, a remarkable discovery that left us in awe.
At the same gathering where I ran into Kent, a time capsule containing some relics from the 1920s was opened. The time capsule (or collection) came from an old farmhouse north of Winthrop recently sold by Shia Lints and Leah Hansen to the Bondi family. In awe, we all thumbed through the items, laughing and imagining the time gone by.
Among the mementos were two items hailing from Twisp – an insured postal receipt dated Dec. 21, 1925, and a business card. The receipt was for undisclosed item valuing $1, likely a Christmas gift. The parcel cost 5 cents to post and used three stamps.
The postmaster in 1925 had the initials A.M. Who was A.M., one can’t help but wonder? Alongside it was a business card for an establishment run by a woman named S. Virginia Moore in Twisp reading, “Delicious Foods, Good Beds,” with graphics evoking a crowded parlor house. I would be interested to know if any of my readers have a lead to either A.M. at the post office or S. Virginia Moore.
These tokens of a forgotten time inspired me to continue a walk through history. So, Sunday our family drove over the Loup to China Wall. The series of granite terraced walls were constructed in 1889 as a foundation for a stamp mill (ore crushing mill). The so-called Arlington Mine went into bankruptcy before it ever produced an ounce of silver, but the massive foundation still stands, concealed by the forest that has filled in around it, revealing its antiquity.
While Chinese laborers likely had no hand in its construction, the name probably hails from the impressive scale of the structure that reaches nearly 30 feet high and stretches 80 feet long. The walls, tucked 7 miles up Loup Canyon Road, are worth the trek. If ATVs or mountain bikes are your thing, I would recommend using them to reach the site for a full day of exploring the narrow canyon that was home to Loup Loup, the first platted town in the county, and a string of small mines. Wow, what a beautifully rich county we live in, truly awesome.