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.
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.
“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.”
“God is love, so His loving is not something He may do nor not do at His will. Loving us is not an intermittent act or series of acts which God does in between other acts. His love flows steadily out upon the whole human race in an unbroken and continuous fulness. There is not a time, not a fraction of time, when God’s love is not active toward us. It is as constant as the being of God, for it is the being of God in unforced, normal expression…
“We are often tempted to wonder how God could love us, but honest as this feeling is, it is nevertheless the result of a wrong way of looking at things. God does not love us because we are hard or easy to love; He loves us because He is God, not because we are good or bad or more attractive or less so. God’s love is not drawn out of Him by its object; it flows out from God in a steady stream because He is love.” A.W.Tozier
Friday late afternoon and early evening two weeks ago at the Painted Hills, near Mitchell OR in Wheeler County–the light changes softly but distinctly, subtle but intense, drawing me into an ever deepening mood of peace and relaxation, wonder and joy.
The Painted Hills, located near Mitchell OR in the John Day country, represent over fifteen million years of geological history. The colored layers were created by a variety of plants that we covered from intermittent volcanic ash deposits. The wildflowers this year at the Painted Hills were the best ever–truly a super bloom!
Once again, BSA Troop 514, La Grande, OR successfully prepared snow shelters and slept in them for the annual Klondike Derby at Mud Lake, opposite the Anthony Lakes ski area. Eleven hard working Scouts, in an excellent team effort, dug a forty foot by five foot trench down into six feet of snow. From there, they dug three snow caves into the sides of the trench. This preparation happened on Saturday and Monday of Presidents’ weekend. Last Friday night, February 22nd, they slept in the caves and then participated in the Saturday morning Klondike competition .
After living without a dog for six years, Meg and I recognized it was time to invest love and time in a dog again. So in late August, we bought a mini Aussie shepherd. Leif is a delightful creature, full of love, energy, and intelligence. Winter hiking and snowshoeing with him in the Mt Emily Recreation Area and the Meacham Divide have been filled with his joyful exuberance for snow travel! And many of these times Meg and I enjoyed the added pleasure of having son Michael and his dogs with us.
If the snow is the right temperature and consistency, Leif acquires snow balls on his fur.