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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Even a coyote on the runway couldn’t dim Hayden Lake woman’s high from D.C. march

Shirley Stafford Thagard, of Hayden Lake, is shown at the women’s march in Washington, D.C., Saturday. (Courtesy photo from Shirley Stafford Thagard)
Shirley Stafford Thagard, of Hayden Lake, is shown at the women’s march in Washington, D.C., Saturday. (Courtesy photo from Shirley Stafford Thagard)

A coyote. A stinking coyote. Shirley Stafford Thagard, of Hayden Lake, was tired, exhilarated and motivated as her plane from Dayton, Ohio, was about to set down in Denver Monday. All systems go. Shirley was thinking happy thoughts of her trip to Washington, D.C., where she had hung out with 500,000 of her closest friends to send a message to new President Donald Trump and his administration. Her reverie was interrupted when the pilot pulled up the landing gear at the last minute and began an assent again. The plane circled Denver International and then landed 15 minutes later. As Shirley deplaned, she asked the pilot what had happened. Seems a coyote out for a stroll on the tarmac had prompted the evasive action. The lost time forced Shirley to race across the large airport to catch a connecting flight to Spokane, only to run into a three-hour delay. She finally reached Spokane at midnight, still determined to help make fire-engine red North Idaho somewhat more purple.

Rim to rim

Huckleberry Friend Matthew Root, of Pullman, is tuning up for his annual adventures around the globe (104,103 air miles in 2016) with a fourth cross-Grand Canyon hike. Participants hike down the south side of the Grand Canyon and then back up the north side. Rinse. And repeat – 20,000 feet of vertical descent and climb with a 50-pound sack, including a section of snow. Fifty miles. Matthew has been making the trip since the year after his beloved wife, Sarah, died. This will be his fourth one. He leaves from the south rim Feb. 28. Matthew, 63, tells Huckleberries that the cross-Grand Canyon hike helps him forget how old he is. Old, in Matthew’s case, appears to be just a number.


Police Scanner: “A dispatcher just congratulated a (Spokane County) deputy for scoring a ‘perfect trifecta’ – all three people he’d asked for a records check on were convicted felons” – S-R colleague Nina Culver, who hails from Priest River, reports on Facebook … That heroic surgery performed on a trucker by Kootenai Health surgeons, east of Coeur d’Alene, recently turned westbound I-90 into a 9-mile parking lot of trucks. John Austin counted 200 trucks parked on the freeway before giving up … Poll: Of the three major events that occurred last weekend, HucksOnline readers considered the Women’s March on Washington the most impressive one – 55 percent to 23 percent over Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Seahawk-less NFL conference championships came in a distant third at 5.5 percent.

Parting Shot

It’s swell getting birthday greetings through social media because Facebook faithfully proclaims your birthday year after year. But it can be sad on occasion when the birthday boy or girl has passed on. Huckleberry Friend Randy Myers died in June 2015. But his birthday popped up on Jan. 21 – and at least three followers wished him a happy birthday. The social media still has bugs in it.

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