Tag Archives: Hells_Canyon_Wilderness

Being empty, being filled

As I feel, see, absorb the seasons changing, as I read the Psalmists profound observations of God, creation, and human nature, I am once again reminded of how I need to let go of my dependency on possessions, things, and status. God is the flow of life and creation, not me. I must be as empty as possible for Him to fill me.

Hells_Canyon_NRA, Wallowa County

McGraw_Creek_cabin_Hells_Canyon


A last day of canyon beauty Part 4, Wednesday

I arose early Wednesday morning for the dawning light and returned to an area of colorful wildflowers.  It was a cloudy morning, but the filtered sunlight intensified the colors.  I was struck how these pockets of wildflowers could still thrive despite the drought conditions that had limited blossoming in other areas of the canyon. May each of us find our own micro climates to continue to grow in!

And, so after breakfast, we packed up and returned down to the river and out to the trailhead. Flowers may fade, but memories endure! And more adventures will Raz and Wallowa llamas await in this Hells Canyon Wilderness.

Hells Canyon Wilderness

The Spring Creek drainage in the Hells Canyon Wilderness

Where the Hells Canyon Wilderness begins

Raz and the Wallowa llamas

our final lunch down almost at river level

McGraw Creek cabin Hells Canyon, Part 3, Tuesday

One of my goals of hiking and camping in this Hells Canyon area was to visit the McGraw Creek cabin. This name and location has resonated in my mind for many years.  I had only seen it on a map, and had read nothing about it.  Still, its utter loneliness and inaccessibility had drawn my interest.  How did one live such an isolated life and survive?  Certainly, were I a writer, I would enjoy writing a tale about the motivations and strengths and challenges of those who survived here.

So on Tuesday, a two mile hike took us there.  The cabin had fallen down, but the creek sang and the wildflowers, once again, were gorgeous.
Meg enjoying the tranquility of our campsite in Hells Canyon

looking into the McGraw creek drainage

Meg on the trail to McGraw Creek

How did they get this farm implement here, miles above the Snake river?

The McGraw Creek cabin, Hells Canyon

remarkable that this saw is still here

Obviously, I loved photographing these Indian paintbrush

The llamas were content to stay “home”

Traveling with Wallowa Llamas in Hells Canyon. Part 1, Sunday

Last year, on the last Sunday of April, Meg and I took a beautiful wildflower day hike in the Snake river canyon country, east of Halfway, Oregon. While on a a vast bench high above the river, we encountered a train of pack llamas and hikers.  Raz Rasmussen, of Halfway, has operated Wallowa Llamas since 1983.  We decided we would take this trip in 2015.  We invited good friends, the Gleesons, to join us.  And so, starting on the last Sunday of this April, we spent four days and three nights in this overwhelming, breath taking canyon country.

I am posting these pictures on a day to day basis, so there will be four parts.  Here are the pictures from Sunday.

Our ponderosa pine campsite, below these balsam root wildflowers. Hells Canyon Wilderness

Hells Canyon Wilderness

Phlox along the Snake river before the trail begins to climb

Llamas crossing McGraw Creek

Wallowa Llamas led by Raz

Love is patient and kind

Love is patient and kind. ..Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13: 4, 7


Paul’s statement about love is the most profound ever written on this topic.  It makes an excellent template for thinking about our mothers, and what part—or parts—we would choose to describe their relationship to us.  I would choose “endures through every circumstance.”  As I think of my mother, and as I watched the mothers of men who came through my courtroom, all of them maintained their love despite what was going on in their sons’ lives. Nothing could sever or lose that love; nor is that love ever wasted.

Hells_Canyon, Wallowa_County

The Matriarch, Great gray owl