The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Returning to Goldendale from the Grand Canyon State


February 28, 2018

Jaryd Cline

2010 Goldendale graduate Scott Valentine and I pose for a picture shortly after the two javelinas were brought down Sunday morning about 17 miles west of Seligman, Arizona.

I want to apologize for the small sports section this week, but I have been out of the state for the past week on a short vacation.

I took off last Wednesday afternoon with my stepdad Dwayne Valentine, headed for Portland for a flight down to Phoenix, meeting up with Scott Valentine for a special hunting trip in northwestern Arizona.

Scott, a 2010 Goldendale graduate has lived in Arizona for the last couple of years, and he, along with his grandfather, also Dwayne Valentine, entered a lottery for one of 400 javelina permits in the state.

They both were awarded the tags, and the first day of the week-long hunt started last Friday.

Javelinas are pig-like animals that weigh between 40-80 pounds and have long, sharp canine teeth that protrude from the jaw about an inch or more. They are native to Central and South America, as well as in the southwestern US.

We arrived in Seligman, Arizona, Thursday afternoon, and woke up early Friday to the same weather we left in Goldendale, cold and snowy. A small town of less than 500 people, Seligman lies on historic Route 66, giving tourists passing through a small view of how the 1950s looked.

The snow came down harder as we made our way out, and a chilling wind made it feel a lot cooler than the 32 degrees the thermometer read. Seeing cactus covered in snow was definitely weird for me, but the snow made it easy to track their prints, although we didn't see one javelin our first day out.

Skies were sunny the second day, but it was somewhat deceiving as the temperature sat steady at nine degrees when we started our hike to an area dubbed Cactus Flats, a hotbed for javelinas. They like to nestle under juniper trees/brush in the congested areas to stay out of sight of the coyotes, and often find the trees that have the flat cactus plants (prickly pear I think it's called) surrounding them to provide a little extra protection. They also like to eat those prickly pears.

Tracks were all over the place though on Saturday, and we saw a large group of them sometime before noon, but we weren't able to safely get off any shots. There weren't any other opportunities that day, and Sunday was our last day out before heading back to Phoenix Monday morning.

Things came together Sunday morning about 9:30, and the Valentines were able to get a pair of them, ensuring we wouldn't go home empty handed.

The temperature shifted about 30 degrees upon arriving back in Phoenix, and we had a day to kill before the flight left for Portland late Monday night.

It just so happened that the Seattle Mariners were taking on the Chicago Cubs in their fourth Spring Training game at Sloan Field, the Cubs' Spring Training home field.

It just so happened that future Hall of Famer Felix Hernandez was on the mound for Seattle, and he looked like vintage Felix early on, striking out Javier Baez while catching three-time all-star Anthony Rizzo looking with a fastball on the outside corner in the first.

Although everyone held their breaths in the second when Hernandez took a line drive off his elbow and exited the game without throwing another pitch. According to the Seattle Times, x-rays were negative and they found it's only a deep contusion.

Newly acquired Dee Gordon wend deep for a three-run home run after hitting just two all last year with Miami, and the Mariners led 9-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, when we had to leave to prep for the flight.

But the game wasn't quite over yet. Imagine the surprise when I pulled open the score on my phone at the airport to see the game ended 9-9 after Chicago struck for five runs in the eighth and two in the ninth.


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