Thirteen Scouts, four adults with four rafts enjoyed three days on the Grande Ronde river from June 16 to June 18.. Three of the boats were involved in rescuing a party of five whose boat had flipped . Morgan, Nate, Tim, Caleb, Garren righted the flipped raft and collected floating gear, and helped out a father and son who had landed on a rock near shore,. Nick skillfully maneuvered the second Scout raft while Lucy, Kadyn, Elias pulled a father and two young children out of the river, got them to shore and provided them dry clothes. Eric, James, Devin in the third boat heated up water with a jet boil stove, and furnished food and drink to the the children and father. It was a solid performance by the Scouts. Greg in the lead boat, was ahead of the accident. He had a campsite ready for us when we arrived. David, Alex, Kyler, and Eli had walked up stream and alerted us where to land, and helped pull us in.
“The heart of prayer is to recognize the presence and action of God and to consent to it. We do not have to go anywhere; God is already with us….Faith tells us that we already have God. The most intimate relationship with God is to be completely present to God in whatever we are doing.” Fr. Thomas Keating.
The Mt Emily Recreation Area is less than a fifteen minute drive from where we live. When the Boise Cascade timber company decided to sell its land for home development on Mt Emily, a group of dedicated and far sighted people raised funds for Union County to purchase this land. The MERA provides trails for hiking, mountain biking, off road motor cycles and 4 wheelers and horses. These multiple users cooperate to make maintenance and trail development happen.
Meg and I have enjoyed hiking, biking, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing here. This spring has been particularly intense for us. We have hiked here several times a week, watching the first round of wild flowers appear, peak, and slowly fade until next year. Our minds and memories have enjoyed wrapping around this nuanced and delicate beauty.
“If I could stop time and contemplate the true beauty of a given moment, my eyes would widen and my jaw would drop. (Wait, I can do that! That’s why I photograph!) ” Dewitt Jones
During this Easter week, it is good to remember and reflect upon the incredible unfailing love God shows us despite the evil and chaos that never seems to end. Indeed, we have sound reason NOT to let our hearts be troubled!
“Hope and faith will both come to an end when we die. But love will remain. Love is eternal. Love comes from God and returns to God. When we die, we will lose everything that life gave us except love. The love with which we lived our lives is the life of God within us. It is the divine, indestructible core of our being. This love not only will remain but will also bear fruit from generation to generation.
“When we approach our deaths let us say to those we leave behind, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. The love of God that dwells in my heart will come to you and offer you consolation and comfort.” Henri Nouwen
To feel vibrate the enraptured
waterfall flinging itself
unabating down and down
to clenched fists of rock.
Swiftness of plunge,
hour after year after century,
O or Ah
spray. The smoke of it.
of steelwhite foam, glissades
of fugitive jade barely perceptible. Such passion—
rage or joy?
Thus, not mild, not temperate,
God’s love for the world. Vast
flood of mercy
flung on resistance.
One of the great joys of visiting family in Ohope is watching the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, the ever changing morning and evening light. Ohope Beach lies on the eastern end of the Bay of Plenty, an eighty mile curve of sea three hours southeast of Auckland. Because of its north-south location, this ocean expanse, unlike the Oregon coast, receives both sunrises and sunsets. The light is unique. Enjoy these pictures.
While we were planning this year’s trip to New Zealand’s South Island, Matt asked if we had ever visited Akaroa. Based on his recommendation, an excellent one, we spent a couple of nights here. The town and harbor lie inside and ancient volcanic crater, one of several in the area. its rugged, twisting, rising and descending road challenges a driver. However, upon arriving at the town, one finds a tranquil, serene setting. However, it is less than a two hour drive from Christchurch, so the six hundred or so population is said to swell to twelve thousand on a busy summer weekend.
Fortunately, Meg and I enjoyed a quiet, unhurried time there. We swam with Hector’s dolphins, a rare species in New Zealand, but in substantial numbers around the harbor. We enjoyed one of our finest meals at a French restaurant, Ma Maison, sitting outdoors in the cool evening as sunset approached. Akaroa is part of the Banks Peninsula, an excellent three day walking tour where one stays at bed and breakfasts along the way.
If one is fortunate, a trip to a new — or an old place — allows one to find an individual whose unique skills light up a memory that draws one back many times to relive that experience. Ant (Anthony) Harris created that personality for Meg and me on this New Zealand trip. Ant guides for Southern Alps Guiding. He conveys an authenticity and humility that is not dependent on external praise or recognition, but comes from a deep desire to perform to the highest standard of personal integrity and skill.
We met Ant at the Old Mountaineer Restaurant next to the visitor center at Mt Cook National Park. He guided us the first day on the Tasman Lake iceberg kayak trip. As one of the leading mountaineers in the Mt Cook ranges, he also leads heli tours on the Tasman Glacier. I knew after Meg and my interaction with Ant on this kayaking venture that I wanted additional time with him on the glacier. Meg was not really committed to the trip, so I went alone with an additional party of three participants. Ant carefully prepared us for the helicopter exit and entry before we drove to the small airport.
Ten minutes later, we landed on a flat place amidst deeply fissured and fractured ice. I saw no way that we would be able to navigate a course down and across this maze of mini ice slot canyons. However, Ant strapped on our crampons and skillfully picked out a path over and around, up and down the glacier. It was a fascinating venture to discover that indeed we could find a way out, so to speak.
After a while, he located a suitable crevasse to let us into an icy cavern. Chopping steps into it with his ice ax, and then belaying us down, we dipped and stooped our way through to an exit point where Ant belayed us up. It was a fascinating and invigorating experience. Once again the helicopter landed on a small flat, we took off our crampons, and followed the helicopter entry lesson Ant had taught us earlier.
After returning to the restaurant, we invited Ant to lunch, and enjoyed his stories of putting up rock climbing routes in the late seventies and early eighties in Australia, when climbing flourished there much as it did in Yosemite in the late sixties and seventies. You can read more about these climbs at his blog antsclimbingspace.blogspot