Bob Carter and I enjoyed a three day backpack trip up the Eagle Creek drainage on the south side of the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Bob and I have been hiking together since 2003, and we are grateful our legs still let us enjoy these trips.
We left Monday afternoon and found very few others on the trail. The flowers were at their peak, blooming in green expansive meadows beneath formidable peaks and cliffs.
” The mountains are calling and I must answer.” John Muir
It is easy to find joy and God’s breath of life in the mountains. However, when I return to the heat of the valley, I must remind myself that nothing is ordinary in God’s sight. All ground is holy. I need to walk upon it “with gentleness and mindfulness. God is in every particle.”
The iconic view of Painted Hills unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is off limits to exploring. However, there a couple “mini” colorful ash areas outside the unit where you can hike and explore and let your mind wander in the stillness that is uninterrupted by vehicles and viewers. Here are a few pictures from May. I hope to hang out there more in the future.
“The goal of life is God! The source of life is God! That out of which life comes is that into which life goes. . . . God is the guarantor of all [our] values, the ultimate meaning—the timeless frame of reference. That which sustains the flower of the field, the circling series of stars in the heavens, the structure of dependability in the world of nature everywhere, the stirring of the will of man to action, the dream of humanity, developed and free, for which myriad men, sometimes in solitariness in lonely places or in great throngs milling in crowded squares—all this and infinitely more in richness and variety and value is God. Men may be thrown from their courses—they may wander for a million years in desert and waste land, through sin and degradation, war and pestilence, hate and love—at last they must find their rest in Him. . .” Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman
Six Scouts and another adult and myself from Troop 514 in La Grande made a mid July backpack into Minam Meadows/Red’s Horse ranch, an eight and a half mile hike from Moss Springs above Cove, Oregon. We stayed at a cabin constructed in the mid thirties by the father of a member of the Presbyterian Church. The boys, ages 11 to 17. collaborated and cooperated, living the Scout Oath and Law to the fullest I have ever experienced. It was a deep joy to listen to them laugh and share. They repaired a small bridge, hiked, fished, cooked, cleaned Mup, and played a variety of games. This trip created distinct memories of happiness for all of us.
After a sunset that filled my mind and heart, I woke up to this sunrise and early morning scenery near Hat Point in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area in the far corner of Wallowa County. Its massive grandeur never ceases to lift one’s spirits.
The deepest canyon in the United States, with million dollar views, Hells Canyon is one of the most profound esthetic experiences one could ever hope to find, anyone. Meg and I have camped here in early July off and on for over twenty years. Were it not so remote, someone would have obtained a permit for a five star lodge. Instead, simple camping provides this serene wonder and solitude.
I am posting pictures from the sunset. Later, I will post sunrise pictures.
“Put Your song on our lips and in our hearts, and remind us of the joy that awaits us when we put our trust in You. Guide us into the light of Your unwavering, never ending, and grace filled love. Amen.”