Tag Archives: Eagle_Cap_Wilderness

“Let us seek to do your will”

“Lord, just as you led the Israelites out of Egypt, lead us as we seek to do your will, to ‘love you more dearly and follow you more nearly’ all the days of our life.”

Mt Emily Recreation Area, La Grande OR

Glacier Lake, OR, Eagle Cap Wilderness


“The search for God is the project of a lifetime.”

“The search for God is the project of a lifetime. It does not come at the instant of an exercise completed….Instinctively and timidly, we avoid any real encounter with God because we know it will change our lives. Oh, we go through the motions of seeking God, of  course.  But we find it very hard to believe that God is God: all knowing, all merciful, all loving, all patient.

Augustine is very clear: our God does not change.  It is we who change as time goes by.  God is God always. It is we who are so often somewhere else. After we have sought and gone through all the baubles of life, God is still there waiting for us.

After we have spent our life avoiding God, we find, when we are finally ready and willing to look, that the love of God—still alive in us—still beckons us beyond the frills and fantasies of life to meaning of what it means to be alive….The is no such thing as coming too late to God.”  

Joan Chittister, The Breath of the Soul
Eagle Cap Wilderness

Eagle Cap Wilderness

Regardless of with whom or without whom we journey through life, our thought life is never mindless.

“At no time of day or night are we not thinking about something.  The only real question is, What is it? What do I choose to ruminate about in the interstices of the day, in the dark quiet of the night? Where does my mind go when there is nowhere specific for it to go?

The questions is an important one because its answer defines the kind of person we are choosing to become….The fact is, we become what we think about. What we seed in our souls grows in us, forms us, becomes what drives us from moment to moment.
Prayer intends to steep me in the thoughts of God….If I pray for my enemies, if I pray to a loving God to make me loving too, however many years it takes–it will happen. Then, like a drop of rain in the midst of the sea, I will become part of the heart of the world.  I must pray to become love.”
                               Joan Chittister, The Breath of the Soul
Eagle Cap Wilderness

Anthony Lake OR, Union County

Songs of the heart

I fully believe that God’s Word is planted in the heart of each of us.  Many, many circumstances prevent His Word from fully blooming in us.  Yet, when we focus, our hearts indeed can sing with His Words of love and grace.

Roger Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Polaris Pass, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa County


Spaciousness: the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Wallowa County

Amidst the vastness of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, a statement from St Augustine considering God resonated with me: “The house of my soul is too small for you to enter; make it more spacious by your coming.”  I realized as I lifted my eyes outward and upward into the mountains and lakes how minute and finite my response to God’s awesomeness really is. I can witness His stunning Creation, but were I deeply to feel it and truly to appreciate it, I would need a spaciousness and reverence far, far beyond my current capacity.

Frazier Lake OR, Eagle Cap Wilderness

the trail to Glacier Lake OR, Eagle Cap Wilderness


Early summer in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Wallowa County

Meg and I enjoyed two exceptional day hikes in the Eagle Cap Wilderness before and after the Fourth. On Thursday, the third, we hiked six miles into McCully basin and back. The hike itself is through rather dry, scraggly forest.  However, after crossing McCully creek at the five and half mile point, the forest deepens and then opens up into an immense basin surrounded by mountains. Filled with buttercups that are the first flowers to appear after the snow melt, this basin spoke of the eternal seasons that once again, for a short time, present this palette of intense green and yellow.

Then on Saturday, we hiked high into the Eagle Cap basin, following the East Fork of the Lostine river. The trail began normally, moving through tall, stately, dense forest. As we climbed higher, we met some snow patches on the trail. Ultimately, for the last mile and half, the trail was all snow, with just a few patches of trail showing.

The trail opens up into one of the prettiest glacial valleys you will find anywhere in the world. Eagle Cap peak dominates the skyline, with boggy meadows of melting snow, filling up with buttercups. We hiked about twelve miles round trip. Yet the mileage and effort was completely dwarfed by the reviving beauty of this valley.

Entering the Eagle Cap basin

Eagle Cap

McCully basin and Aneroid Peak

Meg enjoying the serenity of McCully basin

waterfall before entering the Eagle Cap basin

East Lostine River and Eagle Cap

Meg hiking into Eagle Cap basin. Eagle Cap in background

Meg hiking past Lost Lake

Meg crossing McCully creek

In His time: Reflections on McCully Basin

Meg and I hiked into McCully basin this July 3rd.  McCully basin is part of the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Wallowa County in the NE corner of Oregon.  It is off the  beaten path even for most backpackers in the Eagle Caps. Very few feet have hiked, very few yes have seen, this basin. It lies underneath the snow for most of the year.  But just after the snow clears, this beautiful meadow is filled with buttercups stretching far off into the distance.

“In His time, in His time.  He makes all things beautiful in His time.  Lord, please show me eery day, as you’re teaching me Your way, that You do just what you say, in Your time.”  Diane Bell
I am always deeply humbled and awed by God’s infinity,  God’s eternity.  McCully Basin is just a tiny, tiny slice of the infinite meadows that are blooming now.  I see only one, but God sees, God knows, each one of them.  Just as He sees, just as He knows, each one of us.
Eagle Cap Wilderness

McCully Basin, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Forgiveness 2

I am always amazed at how much lighter and freer I feel, spiritually and emotionally, when I first let go of, then actually forgive, those who have hurt me in one way or another. I find there is a real danger when I let the negative energy of “my hurt” take hold of me and control my actions. Henri Nouwen puts it very well in his book, “Bread for the Journey:

“To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation….As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us, or worse, pull them as a heavy load.  The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. It is the way to the freedom of the children of God.”  

Chimney Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Hells Canyon sunrise


With You there is light, help, patience–and wisdom

“God, let my thoughts be gathered to you.  With you there is light; you do not forget me. With you there is help. With you there is patience.  I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Eagle Cap Wilderness, OR

Hat Creek bench, Hells Canyon

Saddle Creek overlook, Hells Canyon


Lakes in Wallowa County

Wallowa County, in northeast Oregon, provides wonderful alpine lake country, from its “jewel” namesake, Wallowa Lake, to the Eagle Cap Wilderness.  Meg and I have enjoyed the tranquility of these settings over the last few weeks. Special light and special moments of reflections, personal and physical, stimulate mind and heart.

Chimney Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Waterfall at Chimney Lake

Buck below Joseph Mt.

Mt Joseph in alpenglow reflections in Wallowa Lake

Reflected moraine

Reflected alpenglow

Wallowa Lake near boat dock