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Sage-country hike near Odessa picturesque, tick-free

HIKING — I made some footprints on the BLM's Pacific Lake/Lakeview Ranch near Odessa on Wednesday. The 40-degree day was perfect for hiking this dry country studded with magnificent basalt rock formations.

The area's signature end-to-end hike is featured in my guidebook, 100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest.

Downside to hiking this week: The wildflowers are not yet blooming.

Upside: The tick's aren't active.