Category Archives: Wallowa County

Music of the morning. Cats Back sunrise

The sunrise of the Ca’ts Back and the Wallowa Mts. does not need words.  The music of the mountains continues to resound in Meg’s and my mind.

 

Cats Back Wallowa County
Cats Back Wallowa County
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa mts

 

Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts

 

Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts

 

 

 

 

 

Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts

The music of the Cat’s Back, Wallowa County, 1

Evocative remoteness summarizes the experience on The “Divide,” or the “Cat’s Back.” Located in a little visited corner of Wallowa County in NE Oregon, it provides some of the most beautiful country you will find anywhere in this nation. In 1885, sisters Daisy and Caroline Wasson came to live there on a homestead established by their parents. High, on an open ridge with spectacular views of the Wallowa and Seven Devils mountains, they spent ten years. Snowed in for six months of the years, they learned to sew from their mother, and do the multi varied tasks that made life bearable in the winter. In the summer, the place was magical. Daisy wrote about those who wondered how/why they could live in such “god forsaken” place: “I have a picture in my mind of Caroline, standing, listening. She has on a little white linen hat and she is holding her walking sticks, and leaning a little forward. I watch her, and then after a little bit ask what she is doing. ‘I hear music,’ she answers, ‘when I am real still and look at the mountains. I hear it.’

“I hear music when I am real still and look at the mountains.”  Meg and I have enjoyed this music, the silence, as we have enjoyed the blessing and privilege to visit the Cat’s Back many times in the late spring.  I hope you enjoy these pictures as well and “hear” the music for yourselves.
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
sego lilies, Cats Back
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
homestead, Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Homestead Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Big Sheep Canyon Wallowa County Cats Back

Cats Back Big Sheep Canyon
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts

Letting go

“If we don’t allow God to address the deep levels of our attachment to ourselves and to our programs of happiness, we will put into the world the negative elements of our self-centeredness, adding to the conflicts and the social disasters that come from over identifying with the biases and prejudices of our particular culture and upbring.” Fr Thomas Keating

Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts

 

Hells Canyon Spring, 2018

Although Hells Canyon is a formidable barrier between Oregon and Idaho, extremely hot and dry in the summer, beautiful wildflowers bloom in the spring along the Snake River, and on the high benches.  Heavenly is a much better way to describe it. I have day hiked the McGraw section for the last five years.  It is a wonderful way to be reminded of His Creation!

 

Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County, balsam root, phlox
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County, phlox
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County, phlox
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
McGraw Creek, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
McGraw Creek, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
balsam root, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
balsam root, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
balsam root, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
balsam root, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
McGraw Creek, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, 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