The San Juan Islands lie north of Seattle, WA, a ferry ride away from the town of Anacortes. Each island creates its own personality. Meg and I have enjoyed five delightful days at the home of family friends on Lopez Island. Lopez is relatively flat, making it fun to bike along farmlands and and ocean bays. We have enjoyed kayaking in the bay as well as just sitting and watching the evening light change on the water.
Besides the “birds and the beasts,” Meg and I enjoyed the never ending vistas above Hells Canyon at the Saddle Creek Campground near Hat Point in Wallowa county. You could not find a five star hotel with any better views than we enjoyed from our campsite. We read and relaxed and enjoyed the changing shadows and highlights as the sun moved across the sky.
Saddle Creek is one of many drainages that flow down steep basalt canyons into the Snake River. Often times, Meg and I stay at a Forest Service campground above Saddle Creek that looks into the majesty side cliffs and benches that form Hells Canyon. Bird and mammal life is busy, as these pictures show. A pair of blue birds were nesting in a dead tree close to our campsite, providing us with fun sightings of their constant search for insects.
Seventeen Scouts, ages ten and half to eighteen, along with seven adults, spent three days rafting the Grande Ronde river this past Friday through Sunday. We rented five boats. The river was low, slow, and challenging.– lots of obscured rocks that needed to be maneuvered around and between. However, all went well and the boys learned about “reading” the river, and rowing.
They cooked dutch oven meals for both dinner and breakfast. We had four cooking groups and the boys did a wonderful job working together. Their cooperation and collegiality was a joy to behold. They were supportive of each other, and the few conflicts were minor. This is the third river trip we have done in the past four years. I have enjoyed watching boys grow into young men.