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Don Davis

Stories by Don

OUTDOORS - In search of Sandhills

The annual migration of the Sandhill cranes has begun, and a trip to the Othello area turns up flocks of the majestic birds.

OTHELLO — Sandhill cranes have arrived. Perhaps 10,000 will pass through the Columbia Basin in the next few weeks.Well, they may have been here for weeks already. I saw a dozen land in a field along Ringold Road a few days ago.So, two days later, I hunted

Singin' in the Rain

Remembering rain gear is a must on a spring hike to the White Cliffs along the Hanford Reach.

Alan L. Bauer will be in Walla Walla on Saturday, giving a presentation at the Book & Game store.Bauer teamed up with Dan A. Nelson to author The Mountaineers Books trail guide 'Best Desert Hikes Washington.”I've used the book to discover interesting day

Wa-Hi hard-ballers ‘will play hard'

Seven returning players head roster for 2010 Blue Devil ball season.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi's baseball team for 2010 has seven returning players with experience and oodles of talent who love baseball. Add to that a group of gifted players moving up from the junior varsity that also loves the game, and it's no wonder first-yea

Blue Devil seniors reflect on prep careers

Wa-Hi's boys basketball team will have a different look next season after nine seniors lead it to fourth at state this year.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi boys basketball coach John Golden will tutor a new cast to Blue Devils for the 2010-11 season.Yet, as the waited for his 2009-10 team to face Decatur for the fourth-place finish at the 2010 Class 4A state tournament in the Tacoma Dome

Double Ws lead Wa-Hi to fourth place

Michael Weisner and Gary Winston combine for 42 points in the Blue Devils' 48-38 victory over Decatur for the state trophy.

TACOMA — Wa-Hi's double Ws, Gary Winston and Michael Weisner, combined to score 42 points.And the Blue Devil defense, sparked in the fourth quarter by junior Seth Alden, put the clamps on the Gators from Decatur, especially in the second and fourth quarte

Winston leads Wa-Hi into trophy round

Gary Winston scores 29 points as the Blue Devils manhandle Eastlake, 67-49, Friday to play for fourth place.

TACOMA — Seconds after the inbounds pass to start the third quarter, Wa-Hi's Gary Winston drilled his second 3-pointer of the game.The shot extended the Blue Devils' lead to 31-25 over Eastlake at the boys Class 4A state basketball tournament here Friday.

Rams butt Blue Devils' rally

Wa-Hi erases a 13-point deficit to Wilson in the final six minutes, but the Rams hold on for the 52-44 state quarterfinal victory.

TACOMA — Wa-Hi started strong and almost finished strong enough to earn a come-from-behind victory over Wilson at the boys Class 4A state basketball tournament here Thursday.Sandwiched between the two, however, the Blue Devils suffered from a defensive la

Blue Devils battle past Abes

Wa-Hi's defense gets to Lincoln as the Blue Devils take the state tournament opener,

TACOMA — The second half belonged to the Blue Devils in a highly defensive 55-49 state Class 4A boys basketball victory over Lincoln at the Tacoma Dome Wednesday afternoon.With the victory Wa-Hi, 23-5, advances to tonight's 7 p.m. state quarterfinal-round

OUTDOORS - Don Davis does some trout fishing on Yakima River

Next time, this angler is sure to swing it and use a spider pattern with a gnat on a dropper

I spread a folded towel on the gravel in the parking area and sat on the car's the rear bumper. I removed my boots and stood in my socks on the towel.A small pickup filled one other space in the parking area, two spaces to my left. The area had space enou

Blue Devils gear up for Abes

Wa-Hi's boys play Lincoln of Tacoma in the first round of the state Class 4A tournament Wednesday in the Tacoma Dome.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi, 22-5, opens Class 4A boys state basketball tournament action with a first-round game against Lincoln of Tacoma, 18-7, of the Narrows Bridge League on Wednesday.Wa-Hi takes a No. 3-4 seed from the Eastern Region into the 3:30 p.m. game

Blue Devil boys booked for state tourney

Wa-Hi earns a spot in the state tourney with the 51-45 regional loser-out victory over Kamiakin Saturday.

KENNEWICK — Wa-Hi charged to a 13-4 lead in the first quarter and never trailed on the way to defeating Kamiakin, 51-45, in a winner-to-state, loser-out game at the boys Class 4A Eastern Regional Championships at the Toyota Center Saturday afternoon.Wa-Hi

Blue Devils slam door on Eisenhower

Gary Winston's 23 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, lead Wa-Hi's boys to the 61-54 regional victory.

KENNEWICK — Wa-Hi's Gary Winston capped a 12-point fourth quarter with a two-handed slam dunk after half-court steal.Winston finished with a game-high 23 points, and his prolific fourth slammed the door on Eisenhower.It clinched a 61-54 Blue Devil boys' b

'I should've turned back' is a common refrain on an icy hike to Umtamum Falls

Part 1 of a series on a fly-fishing trip to the Yakima River Canyon. Part 2 continues next week.

Ooooohh!The cotton-pickin' root pulled loose.On my hands and knees, I clawed at the soaked black earth with my fingernails to halt my backwards skid onto the inch-thick sheet of ice — then over the edge of the 30-foot cliff and down, down into the tumblin

Bullpups run past Blue Devil boys

Wa-Hi watches a nine-point lead disappear late in the third quarter as Gonzaga Prep hands the Blue Devils a 70-62 regional defeat.

SPOKANE — Wa-Hi took the game away from Gonzaga Prep for nearly three quarters here on Tuesday night.When Gary Winston scored a driving layin with 3:22 on the third-period clock, Wa-Hi led by nine points, 42-33.The Bullpups then closed out the period with

Wa-Hi boys claim the No. 3 seed into the regional with win over Davis

WALLA WALLA — If its offense hits a cold spot, a good team turns up the defensive pressure.That's what the Wa-Hi boys did Saturday night in a battle with Davis for the Big Nine Conference District's No. 3 and No. 4 seeds into the 4A Eastern Regional next

Wa-Hi boys beat Ike, 58-52, for ticket to regionals

Wa-Hi's boys hand Ike a 58-52 defeat Friday night to secure a berth out of the district tournament.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi overcame a scrappy Eisenhower team, which played without leading scorer James Lopez, for a 58-52 Big Nine Conference boys' District 9 playoff basketball victory Friday at the Blue Devils' gym.

Braves bounce cold Blue Devils

Wa-Hi's boys hit just 38 percent from the floor in the 66-55 district tournament loss to Kamiakin.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi shooters missed their first four shots in a second-round Big Nine Conference District boys basketball game Tuesday night at the Blue Devils' gym.And they never quite found their usual shooting touch on the way to a 66-55 rubber-game lo

Wa-Hi relies on offense for a 76-56 win over Kennewick

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi, one of the top defensive teams in the Big Nine Conference, relied mainly on its high-powered offense for a 76-56 district playoff victory over Kennewick here Saturday.The Blue Devils, now 18-3 on the season, play Kamiakin at the Wa-Hi

Pomeroy aims to have at least 10 Pirates qualify for Mat Class XXII

Pomeroy coach Derek Shawley says 10 of his wrestlers have an excellent chance to advance to state.

POMEROY — District champs Klyntin Bott, Tory Knebel and Scott Wolf lead a 17-man contingent of Pomeroy wrestlers to the Class B Regional wrestling tournament at Kittitas today and Saturday.

An adventure to Wallowa Lake and back, in a FOG

An oppressive fog makes for unique scenes and photos on the trip.

I rolled out of Walla Walla in a fog.An external fog, actually, that lay on the bright, moist streets like a chilly gray cloud. Buildings along the way became vague, dark shapes in the mist.Yet, a mile up Highway 204, after leaving Winn Road, I drove bene

Wa-Hi's boys finish first in Big Nine Conference Cascade Division hoops race

Wa-Hi's boys clinch the Big Nine Cascade crown, but set their sights higher in the postseason.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi knocked off West Valley 63-47 in a regular season-ending Big Nine Conference Cascade Division game that clinched the division crown.

Bomber boys figure turnabout is fair play against Wa-Hi

Friday's last-gasp 67-65 win at Wa-Hi avenges the Blue Devils' 51-49 victory three weeks earlier on Richland's home floor.

RICHLAND — Dylan Radliff swished a 3-pointer from the right side of the key with 4.1 seconds left on the clock for a 67-65 Richland lead over Wa-Hi.The shot capped a furious Bomber comeback from a seven-point deficit, 61-54, with 2:59 left in the fourth q

Wa-Hi's Sumerlin signs at Air Force Academy

The Wa-Hi lineman heads to basic training in June before Falcons practice begins.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi senior Zach Sumerlin participated in a college football signing day at Wa-Hi on Tuesday, making a commitment to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

A stop at Little Goose Dam turns up anglers Retrieving Lead

A light and steady drizzle followed us all the way to Texas Rapids on the Snake River.Or, we dragged it along with us.Anyway, after a nature call at the one-holer, I wrapped Nora the Schnauzer into her powder-blue raincoat and put on a green one of my own

Wa-Hi grads Dean Derby, Drew Bledsoe receive Big Blue Boosters Professional Athletic Alumni Awards

Dean Derby, class of 1953, and Drew Bledsoe, a 1990 Wa-Hi grad, receive Professional Athletic Alumni Awards at Friday's game.

WALLA WALLA -- Wa-Hi Blue Devil fans and autograph seekers stood 20-feet deep in the main gym's lobby before the boys' basketball game with Eisenhower Friday night.

Wa-Hi bursts from the blocks to beat Ike, 75-62

The No. 5 Blue Devils lead 20-10 after one quarter en route to a 75-62 victory over No. 8 Eisenhower.

WALLA WALLA — With Blue Devils fans overflowing into the lobby, and with Michael Weisner popping 11 first-quarter points, Wa-Hi burst from the blocks on the way to a comfortable 75-62 Big Nine Conference Cascade Division boys basketball victory over state

An Elk's Life

A herd of elk at the Oak Creek feeding station west of Yakima appear philosophical, whimsical, mischievous and just down-right hungry during a recent visit.

OAK CREEK, Wash. — Many of the elk awaiting lunch reclined on the ground and dozed in the mid-morning sunshine.A few picked at the remnants of hay left from past meals at the Oak Creek feeding station, 20 miles from Yakima.I aimed the 500-millimeter lens

Eric O'Flaherty first to receive Big Blue Boosters' award

The Atlanta Braves reliever receives a Blue Devils jersey and signs autographs at the event before Wa-Hi's boys downed Kamiakin.

WALLA WALLA — With a standing room only crowd on hand, one-time Big Nine Conference baseball Pitcher of the Year and 2003 Wa-Hi graduate, Eric O'Flaherty received the Big Blue Booster Professional Athlete Alumni Award. Big Blue Booster past-president Scot

Blue Devil boys nip Braves 77-75 in two overtimes

Wa-Hi's boys beat Kamiakin 77-75 in double-OT to avenge their only Cascade Division defeat.

WALLA WALLA — Gary Winston scored eight of Wa-Hi's 12 points in the second overtime to pace the Blue Devils' 77-75 Big Nine Conference Cascade Division boys basketball victory over Kamiakin here Friday.

Walking with Lewis & Clark

The Lewis and Clark Commemorative Trail provides vistas the explorers themselves once viewed.

On a recent chilly, foggy noontime, Nora the Schnauzer and I arrived at the Warehouse Beach trailhead for the Lewis and Clark Commemorative Trail.We parked behind another vehicle from Walla Walla. Well, it had 'Walla Walla” on the license-plate holder, wh

Wa-Hi boys roll over Rams 49-32

Wa-Hi's boys win for the fourth time in a rigorous six-day schedule, 49-32 over West Valley, and move to the head of the class.

YAKIMA — Wa-Hi wrapped up a compressed four-games-in-six-days schedule with its fourth-consecutive Big Nine Conference Cascade Division boys basketball victory.The Blue Devils defeated West Valley 49-32 at the 2010 SunDome Showdown, in a Martin Luther Kin

Lob and a layin lifts Wa-Hi boys to huge win

Ryan James' inbounds pass to Gary Winston leads to the winning bucket as the Blue Devils nip Richland,

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi's Gary Winston converted a three-point play in the finals 20 seconds, and the Blue Devils knocked off previously unbeaten Richland 51-49 here Friday in a boys Big Nine Conference Cascade Division basketball game.

Blue Devil boys' all-around effort downs Cadets

Wa-Hi's boys shut Ike's offense down in the first half, and outscore the Cadets in the second, for the 64-55 victory Wednesday.

YAKIMA — Led by Michael Weisner's 16 boards, Wa-Hi outrebounded Eisenhower 42-27.The Blue Devils outdefended the Cadets in the first half, allowing 4-for-30 shooting from the floor and leading 22-14 at the intermission.Wa-Hi, led by Weisner's 20 points, o

Gnomes in the Snow

No live critters show their faces, but snow on young trees leaves figures reminiscent of gnomes, elves, eagles and elephant seals on the trails around Andies Prairie.

Wind whipped across Andies Prairie Sno-Park as I knelt over a snowshoe and tugged the binding strap tight around my boot. A 20 mph gust.It drew tears to my eyes. They ran down my cheeks.

Surviving the fowl weather

Cold weather hardly phases the chirping and clucking birds at the Pioneer Park Aviary. Even the naked-necked turken chickens take below freezing temperatures in stride, without a scarf."The birds acclimate to the cold," a smiling Joanna Lanning said. "We

Hunters in the Valley

A meandering mosey through field-mouse territory in the Walla Walla Valley turns up predators of flight as well as of the four-footed nature.

As I knelt over the snowshoe and pulled a binding strap tight around my boot, a wind whipped across Andies Prairie Sno-Park.A 20 mph gust.It drew tears to my eyes. They ran down my cheeks.My bare finger tips, aching from fiddling with the snowshoe binding

Top 10 (or so) trips of 2009

The year takes the Davis's from the Pacific Coast to the banks of the Snake River to welcome their great-granddaughter to the world.

During the past few days, Top 10 lists have popped up in the media like May's dandelions in my yard.Everywhere you turn: The Year's Top 10 (fill in the blank with: movies, books, TV shows, news stories, baseball salaries, golf salaries, celebrity scandals

Wacky Weather

The weeks before winter officially set in included balmy temperatures followed by frigid cold, which makes for unique experiences along Mill Creek.

Although the month started with near 40-degree temperatures and a pumpkin-colored full moon, December weather has been frightful along the popular Mill Creek dog-walking trail.First came the single-digit days, with a 4-degree night or two, followed by a b

Wa-Hi boys give undefeated Braves true test

The Blue Devil boys trade leads with Kamiakin eight times in the second half before free throws secure the 62-58 win for the Braves.

KENNEWICK — Wa-Hi's Big Nine Conference Cascade Division opening boys basketball game at Kamiakin featured eight lead changes and three ties in the second half.It featured 11 lead changes and six ties overall.The final score, 62-58 for the Braves, filtere

Pirates tangle with Heppner on way to Cathlamet tourney

IRRIGON, Ore. -- The Pomeroy wrestlers paused on their 400-mile journey to the Down River Challenge prep wrestling match in Cathlamet, Wash., to tangle with wrestlers from Heppner here Thursday.The Pirate matmen will compete in the 16-team Cathlament tour

Eastman's wins can't propel Wa-Hi grapplers

HANFORD -- Wa-Hi's Eric Eastman notched a pair of pins at the 189-pound division, but the Blue Devil wrestlers lost both matches in a Big Nine Conference crossover double-dual wrestling match here on Thursday.Wa-Hi lost 37-31 to Southridge and 54-22 to Su

Walla Walla University defeats Southwestern College

PHOENIX -- Walla Walla University overcame the hot-shooting Southwestern College team 77-75 in a men's basketball game here Thursday.

Wa-Hi Blue Devil swimmers beat up on La Grande, slip past Pendleton in dual meet

WALLA WALLA -- Led by senior captains Merrick Calder and Will Bergstrom, the Wa-Hi boys defeated Pendleton and La Grande in their first dual meet of the season Thursday afternoon in the Harvey Pool at Whitman's Baker Ferguson Fitness Center.The Blue Devil

A cold search for an elusive bald eagle along the Columbia proves fruitless

Freezing weather seems a likely time to track down the regal birds, but a recent exploration turned up none of them along the Columbia River.

Bald eagles should be showing up here abouts by now. Waters in the far-north latitudes of Alaska's Chilkat River Valley and Haines must be frozen over.That's when eagles by the dozens flap south to the Snake and Columbia rivers after filets of salmon, car

Icy roads alter Walla Walla Valley athletic events

Many of tonight's basketball games have been postponed due to icy roads.

WALLA WALLA — Freezing rain in Blue Mountain Country allowed students to sleep in for two extra hours this morning, or all day in some cases. In addition, the icy roads put the skids to most athletic schedules at area schools.

Winston keys lackluster Wa-Hi boys basketball win in Kennewick

Gary Winston scores 23 points in three quarters of play, but the Blue Devils don't impress their coach in the 51-36 win in Kennewick.

KENNEWICK — For a team expected to battle for a top spot in the Big Nine Conference Cascade Division, the Wa-Hi boys looked a bit ragged at the Kennewick Lions' Den here Wednesday night.The Blue Devils put their second win of the season in the book, 51-36

Zipfying down the hill

Testing out the Zipfy 'freestyle mini luge' is a sweaty, but enjoyable, endeavor on the snowy hills at Andies Prairie.

I didn't know sledding would make a person sweat. Yet, after a couple of hours with the Zipfy at Andies Prairie, my sodden longjohns clung to my back and arms.Technically, I shouldn't say sledding, I suppose. Advertisers describe the Zipfy as a freesty

Blue Devil boys swamp Bulldogs

Senior Gary Winston surpasses 1,000 career points in Friday's season-opening 73-29 win

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi connected on 27-of-53 shots from the floor, and its tenacious defense stymied Pasco's offensive efforts, especially in the first half.Before the intermission Wa-Hi's Colton Arias and Gary Winston poured a combined 24 points through th

Palouse Falls sojourn

Another visit to the vista includes making sure Nora the Schnauzer doesn't take a trip over the 186-foot falls.

Summer, fall, winter or spring, I enjoy a visit to Palouse Falls.It changes with the seasons. It differs with each visit.Last summer, I especially enjoyed the marmots that scooted off of the paths on the upstream side of the park.And Nora the Schnauzer en

Treys come alive for Warrior men in win over Seattle

WWCC sinks 14-of-32 shots from beyond the 3-point arc as it opens the season with a comfortable 86-69 victory over Seattle.

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla lived by the 3-pointer at the Dietrich Dome Friday night.The Warriors fell behind Seattle 4-0 early in Friday night's community college men's basketball opener in the Dietrich Dome.Led by a pair of Jason Smith 3-point baskets, Wa