Tag Archives: Harney_County

In quietness and trust is our strength

In repentance and rest is your salvation;
  in quietness and trust is your strength.

                                      Isaiah 30:15

I love the juxtaposition of the words “quietness and trust.” Isaiah wrote this passage over 2600 years ago.  Generally, his people ignored him.  Do we do any better today? And if so, how then do we live in the Lord’s Presence?

Alvord Desert, Steens Mt

Out of my comfort zone

My mid July trip consisted four wheel driving from high in the Steens Mt through Juntura and other back pockets of eastern Oregon, finishing in the high, remote gold mining mining sites in the Elkhorn Mts if Baker County.  It was led by David Zartman, a friend of Matt’s who graduated from La Grande High School a couple of years before Matt .  David received his degree from the University of Oregon and then went to LA.   While working for Land Rover magazine, he recognized that nothing existed for Toyota 4 Wheel Owners, and so, without borrowing money from either parents or bank, he pre sold subscriptions and started the magazine from his desktop.  

The circulation is now 31,000 and he still produces it from his desktop, now in Gig Harbor Washington state where he lives close to his parents.  He receives many offers to use and review products.  He recently imported a 1983 Toyota Trooper from Australia, which was part of this venture.  He and his friends are not happy unless they have to repair cars along the way, pull them out of tight situations, and use maps, not GPS.  Charlie’s Dad drove the Trooper; I was just along for the ride. We were on the road for five days, starting high in the Steens Mt of Oregon and ultimately visiting the high, remote gold mining sites of the Elkhorn Mts in Baker County. It was a great opportunity for me to move beyond my comfort zone!   

Map reading near Juntura


Someplace beyond Juntura

a budding mechanic under David’s supervision

Campsite at Fish Lake, Steens Mt

David outside of Malheur Cave

Kiger_Gorge, Steens_Mt

Eastern Oregon back road

Fish Lake

Steens Mt Indian paintbrush

Moon Hill Rd, Steens Mt

Alvord Desert overlook

Fish_Lake, Steens Mt

Great Pyranees watchdog


Fish_Lake, Steens Mt

The Trooper from Australia that Charlie drove

The space where we find freedom

Viktor Frankl, psychologist and Auschwitz survivor, writes in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

From my own journey with God, I would write that God did not create us as puppets to force us to love Him and glorify Him. He does not compel us to love and forgive each other with patience and kindness and mercy.  Instead, between the actions of others and our response to them, we have the choice, the freedom to love or to reject, to accept or to deny. Or as Richard Rohr would say, in any situation we have the power “to transform the pain or to transmit it.”
Steens_Mt, Kiger_Gorge

“Lights, camera…” my action or God’s

I was raised in an era where the phrase “lights,  camera, action” was popular. It was a catch word for what we as individuals, the “directors” of our lives,  could accomplish on our own.  I find I continue to be influenced by that concept.  I can choose “my” words, “my” thoughts, “my” actions. Yet my plans frequently result in an obvious, sometimes a subtle, dissatisfaction or mild depression.  Only when I align my way with God’s love, mercy, and justice do find lasting hope and fullness. 

The paradox of possessions: If I try to keep my things, I lose them; it I give them to God, they are preserved and purified in Heaven.
“The principle runs through all life from top to bottom.  Give up yourself, and you will find your real self….Keep back nothing.  Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.  Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.  Look for your self, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay.  But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”  C.S. Lewis

Pueblo Mts, Alvord Desert, eastern Oregon

Snow geese, Sandhill Cranes and the Malheur Bird Refuge

Located in Harney County in the southeastern part of Oregon, the Malheur Bird Refuge is a vibrant and delightful place to bird anytime of year.  In late winter and early spring, snow geese fill the skies and fields outside of Burns, the county seat. Elegant sandhill cranes also move around in this area. The refuge itself was established in 1908 by Theodore Roosevelt to prevent the near extinction of egrets, grebes, herons, and similar birds that were being decimated for their plumes. Now, its more than
187, 000 acres offer superb bird and wildlife viewing.