Tag Archives: Grant_County

Strawberry Lake and Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

The Strawberry Mountains are the eroded remnants of a volcanic explosion fifteen million years ago. Strawberry Lake is a small glacial lake, not very deep, with transparent water that shows off the bottom and reflects the mountains above. Its evocative name came from an early pioneer who named the creek that flows out of the lake for the abundance of wild strawberries that grew in the area. The lake is about a mile and half hike from the campground at the end of the road.  Beyond the lake, Strawberry Falls cascades down from a height of eighty feet.

This area lies in Grant County, Oregon, about half an hour from the town of Prairie City. The Strawberry Mountain Wilderness is relatively small–70,000 acres, but the pines and firs are deep and the beauty intense.

Strawberry_Lake

Strawberry_Falls

Strawberry_Lake

Strawberry_Lake

Strawberry_Falls

Strawberry_Falls

Strawberry_Lake

Strawberry_Lake


Troop 514 at Strawberry Lake

Strawberry Lake sits in a basin surrounded by colorful, eroded andesite, a mile and half from the trailhead into the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness. Five Scouts from BSA Troop 514 in La Grande just spent a delightful weekend there.  Four of the scouts were young and new, carrying packs that challenged their stamina and energy. Yet, they remained cheerful. They worked quickly and efficiently to pitch their tents. They played in the water, and then we hiked up to Strawberry Falls.  They cooked a one pot meal of couscous and chicken on a one burner stove, and in the morning made up blue berry pancakes.

Their enthusiasm for working together and for learning new skills was excellent.  I think I am becoming younger on each outing!  

Troop 514, Strawberry Falls

Receiving God’s Love

Last weekend we took care of our friends’ goldendoodle, a cross between a poodle and a golden retriever.  Buddy was an excellent companion, mellow and loving. As we interacted, I was again reminded how much a dog tells us about loving God.  All Buddy really wanted was our love.  He reveled in being petted, positioning himself so as best to receive our touches and attention. He seemed to know that he did not need to do anything to “earn” this love other than just making himself open and aware of us. His purpose was not achieve us, but to receive us.  And so it is with our relationship to God.  How do we position ourselves, purpose ourselves, to receive Him?

“Use the things of the world, but long for things of eternity. You cannot be fully satisfied by material possessions, for you are simply not made to enjoy them.”  Thomas รก Kempis
Painted Hills

John Day River

Focused without distractions

Oswald Chambers writes, “the abiding awareness of the believer’s life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be totally obsessed by the presence of God.”

I realize I do not like the word “obsessed.”  It has too many negative connotations in the current psychology of our society.  Yet if I am totally obsessed by His Presence, then I am devoted/committed to Him and not distracted by the “trinkets” that I fill my life with. And if I maintain this deep devotion and discipline, then worries slip off and do not stick to me.  Instead, I can fill myself with wonder and gratitude for all He provides. Then He is truly a refuge, and my path is secure.

John Day River