Category Archives: Wallowa County

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

 

A late season transition

Fall comes to a close in NE Oregon, from the Grande Ronde Valley to Wallowa Lake. Saturday was overcast, the type of day where normally I would not have gone out with my camera.  But we had friends visiting from Hong Kong and we wanted to show them Wallowa Lake. As it turned out, the sky was filled with dramatically defined dark clouds and special subtle shades of light shone through.

 

attitude adjustment, Joseph Oregon

“Attitude Adjustment, Joseph Oregon

Egglegson Corner, Wallowa County

Eggleson Corners, Wallowa County, Joseph Oregon

Minam Canyon, Wallowa County

Minam Canyon, Wallowa County

Mt Emily barn, Grande Ronde Valley

Mt Emily, Grande Ronde Valley, Union County

Wallowa LakeWallowa Lake

The freshness of fall in Wallowa County

I enjoyed a Friday overnight stay at our shared cabin at Wallowa Lake in NE Oregon. Kokanee, a landlocked salmon, are running in the Wallowa River above the lake. Their redish colors are mirrored in the beaufiful fall maple leaves in downtown Joseph. The air was fresh and clear early Saturday morning, a great befinning of the fall.

wallowa-lake-panorama

Wallowa Lake, NE Oregon

Wallowa Lake

 

 

Wallowa Lake and Bonneville PeakTeasel and spider web

Teasel and spider web

Kokanee in the Wallowa River

Kokanee in the Wallowa River

 Chief Joseph Mt above the town of Joseph, Wallowa County

Chief Joseph Mt above Joseph, Wallowa County

Downtown Joseph, Wallowa County

Downtown Joseph, Wallowa County

Kokanee sculpture

Kokanee sculpture in downtown Joseph

He will wipe away all tears

He will swallow up death forever!
  The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears. 
                                                Isaiah 25:8
 
As I read this passage a couple days ago, once again I was awed by the knowledge of God’s love.  Despite the unhappy struggles we all go through during our lifetime, God prevails.  He does give us life after death; He does know  our sufferings, and WILL wipe away our tears.
 
A couple of weeks ago, as Meg and I were camped above the Snake River in Hells Canyon, a hummingbird whizzed back and forth in the early evening light. I clicked quickly, hoping I might come close to capturing the moment on camera.  This hummer is obviously not in focus, but its glow is mystical.  God’s presence is mystical; it is quiet; it is “be still land know I am God.”  And, it is His gift to us that He will “wipe every tear from our eyes!”
Saddle Creek Campground Wallowa County
Saddle Creek Campground Wallowa County

The views from the top

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.

Birds and Beasts above Saddle Creek

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.

Always keep your camera handy

As Meg and I were driving out to Wallowa County, we saw this great animal encounter. We had never witnessed anything like this.  Fortunately my camera was right with me, close at hand.

Hat Point, another Spring trip into Hells Canyon

A “must see” place in the Northwest, Hat Point lies opposite the Seven Devils mountains of Idaho, high above the Snake River.  The mountains and the river form the deepest canyon in the United States.  The road to the top is a sinuous gravel road, with the stretch of acrophobic drop offs. But the views are spectacular, and make the driving challenge more than worthwhile.

The road crosses the Imnaha river and climbs quickly to a canyon overlook filled with wildflowers and basalt layered cliffs. Then, as one climbs and curves higher, the view moves from the south to the east, and the deeper Hells Canyon and the Seven Devils come into view.
Usually snow blocks the road until late June.  With this year’s drought, however, Bob Coulter and I were able to make the trip in mid May. The wildflower progression was just starting, and we enjoyed the yellow glacier lilies, as well as the mountain goats that had not yet dispersed to parts unknown.

Imnaha river overlook on road to Hat Point
Imnaha river overlook on road to Hat Point
Balsam root and Imnaha canyon
Glacier lilies, Seven Devils Mts near Hat Point, Hells Canyon
Mountain blue bird
Mountain goats close to the Hat Point fire lookout
Enjoying the view
Inmate river canyon, Hells_Canyon_NRA