Category Archives: Eagle Cap Wilderness

The weight of many little acts of kindness

More and more, I am convinced how little our politicians, in this country and in the world, can do for us ordinary people.  We are the ones who spread the good news of love and forgiveness, not merely by words, but by our interactions, our interconnections with our neighbors, whether we know them well or not.

Despite terrifying acts of violence we can still choose our response: to pray, to restore, to heal.

By creating us in His image, God has shown us His deep and abiding love. Together, we can outweigh, and outlast, all that distorts this image.

Stephen Gould captures this idea most eloquently:

“Good and kind people outnumber all others by thousands to one. The tragedy of human history lies in the enormous potential for destruction in rare acts of evil, not in the high frequency of evil people. Complex systems can only be built step by step, whereas destruction requires but an instant. Thus, in what I like to call the Great Asymmetry, every spectacular incident of evil will be balanced by 10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted and invisible as the ”ordinary” efforts of a vast majority.
         “We have a duty, almost a holy responsibility, to record and honor the victorious weight of these innumerable little kindnesses, when an unprecedented act of evil so threatens to distort our perception of ordinary human behavior”   Stephen Gould
Eagle Cap Wilderness, Zephaniah 3
Eagle Cap Wilderness, Zephaniah 3

The high country of the Eagle Cap Wilderness

My hiking partner, Bob, and I spent a delightful time in the high Wallowas, far from the “madding crowds.”  A ten mile hike and 4000 foot elevation gain to us to the tundra country of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, where its short spring was just arriving.  We have been here before, but it was the first time we caught it at the peak of its wildflowers.

 

Eagle Cap Wilderness moonrise

 

Bob above lake wm

Trail to Pete's Point
Trail to Pete’s Point
Eagle Cap Wilderness, named lake
Eagle Cap Wilderness, unamed lake
family fun
family fun
Feather
Feather
Snow line beauty
Snow line beauty
Heather
Heather
Eagle Cap Wilderness, early morning
Eagle Cap Wilderness, early morning
Lake reflection, vanishing point, Eagle Cap Wilderness
Lake reflection, vanishing point, Eagle Cap Wilderness
Rarely visited meadow
Rarely visited meadow
Snow lines
Snow lines
Eagle Cap Wilderness
Eagle Cap Wilderness

 

Eagle Cap Wilderness moonrise

 

3000 feet in 3 miles

There is no steeper trail in the Eagle Cap Wilderness than the one my long time hiking partner, Bob, and I took this backpack trip the last Thursday/Friday  of September. Three thousand feet up in three miles! The trail to the Legore mine and the meadow above  is as close to straight up as a trail can be. I had done it several times in my fifties, but at 73, with a backpack, it is much, much steeper than I remembered. What had seemed an easy ascent–and descent (going down was more treacherous than going up)–twenty years ago, was far different now.

We did 1500 feet up to Sawtooth Peak Friday morning. We saw both big horn sheep and mountain goats. Then we headed back down to camp, packed up and dropped the 3000 feet to the trailhead. (Lots of elevation for one day) I was as tired as I have ever been, but still exhilarated by what we accomplished!

 

Hurricane Creek. Falls Creek. Eagle Cap Wilderness

fall-hike-to-legore

The Falls Creek trail is steepimg_8299

img_8386

Where we camped above the Legore minelegore-meadow-wm

Hiking up the gully to the bowl below Sawtooth Peak

img_8362

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Legore Mine, Eagle Cap Wilderness

legore mine

Troop 514 backpacking in July in the Eagle Cap Wilderness

Embraced by memories of mountain air, sounds of the river, and visions of green meadows filled with wildflowers beneath alpine peaks, I loaded  La Grande Troop 514 Scouts into the car to travel to the trailhead that leads up the East Fork of the Lostine River into the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The trail requires more effort than earlier years, but the challenge makes the time and beauty all the more meaningful. I am blessed to live so close to such a special place and still have the legs to hike, albeit at a slower pace. And it was particularly fun to backpack with these older scouts who could carry more weight and prepare a gourmet dinner and breakfast—despite the mosquitoes!

 

Eagle Cap and moon
Eagle Cap and moon
Troop 541 ib bridge over the East Fork of the Lostine River
Troop 541 ib bridge over the East Fork of the Lostine River
East Fork, Lostine River
East Fork, Lostine River
Mosquito protection
Mosquito protection
Campsite
Campsite
Diner preparation, Troop 514
Diner preparation, Troop 514
Waking up
Waking up
Breakfast, Troop 514
Breakfast, Troop 514
Eagle Cap
Eagle Cap
Breakfast, Troop 514
Breakfast, Troop 514
Wilderness run
Wilderness run

 

Our 49th wedding anniversary

Starting at the trailhead for North Catherine Creek, Meg and I backpacked to Catherine Meadows in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.  The six mile hike was made easier through friends who took in most of our gear on their horses and mules. High above Catherine Meadows, Meg and I celebrated with a kiss!

Catherine Meadows
Catherine Meadows
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Catherine Meadows. Horses
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Cartwheel Ridge
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Cartwheel Ridge
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Cartwheel Ridge
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Descending from Cartwheel Ridge
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Crossing North Catherine Creek
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Eagle Cap Wilderness. North Catherine Creek