Tag Archives: Leslie_Gulch

Closing the gap, ever so slowly

Last week I mused on the force of my ego, and my unwillingness to surrender it to God. Paul writes  how Christ has freed us from the need to be self centered on our material needs and desires–that we should serve one another in love. Whether I am reading the Old Testament 
or the New, I realize that indeed my call is to love and to walk humbly with God. 

The call of the prophet Micah, the call of Christ, is so simple, yet so difficult to live daily.  But only in doing so, do I open myself to hear God’s word and feel His presence; only when I let go on my dependency on society’s approval do I create space for God and for others.

Succor Creek, Malheur County
Mt Emily, Ladd Marsh
Mt Harris, Ladd Marsh, Union County

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County




What is my preference?

Sure, I am generally a good person.  I recycle, help Meg reasonably often around the house, give time and money to charitable causes.  But, so often I prefer to follow what my ego defines as  pleasure rather than what God calls me to do: to love unselfishly and honor Him and His creation with my surrendered life.

“God’s call helps us to discover each step of the way, how we are to be a loving person in our world despite our chipped, flawed condition.”  Joyce Rupp

Succor Creek, Malheur County

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County


Scenes from Leslie Gulch and Succor Creek

The whimsical and striking features of Leslie Gulch began with a major volcanic eruption about fifteen million years ago.  Over the millennia, the forces of nature have created shapes that challenge one’s imagination.  The features are made up of volcanic ash, known as Leslie Gulch tuff, heated and compressed in the volcanic dynamo. The tuff is composed of rhyolite, a mineral that is rich in silica.

This whole area including Succor Creek provides great hikes and mountain biking.  Spring and fall are the best times to visit, because the temperatures are the best.  Spring, of course, provides the added benefit of wildflowers.

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County, SE Oregon

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County
Leslie Gulch, Dago Gulch, Malheur County

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County

Swallowtail, Leslie Gulch

Succor Creek

Succor Creek

Succor Creek, Malheur County

Succor Creek State Park, Malheur County




Troop 514 at Succor Creek and Leslie Gulch

Six Scouts from Troop 514 and myself and a dad of one of the boys enjoyed a fabulous outing in the canyon country of Malheur County, OR. The scenery there reminds one of Utah, as massive cliffs and whimsical rock formations reach skywards. We had a nice blend of older, experienced Scouts and younger, new scouts.  The older boys did an excellent job of preparing meals, leading hikes, and playing games with the younger ones.  They were excellent role models.

We arrived Friday evening and set up camp at sunset.  Saturday was clear and warm.  After breakfast we drove from our campsite above Succor Creek to Leslie Gulch.  The boys hiked, “bouldered,” and enjoyed the magnificent scenery.  By that evening it had clouded over and started to rain.  Despite rainy Sunday morning weather, the older Scouts cooked sausage and pancakes, and we enjoyed an excellent breakfast before packing and cleaning up.

Enjoy these pictures.  I will be doing another post of just scenery soon.

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County

Succor Creek breakfast in rain

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County

Succor Creek, dutch oven cobbler

Succor Creek, in the rain after breakfast

Leslie Gulch, Malheur County

Succor Creek campsite

The Honeycombs

The Honeycombs are one of the most obscure, most spectacular canyon areas in Oregon. Located northwest of Jordan Valley, along the Owyhee Reservoir, the area has been one of my backpacking meccas.  A somewhat gnarly 4WD road takes you within a couple miles of where this canyon country begins.  The road is clay, and is not to be trifled with in wet weather, as it turns slick and greasy. Rob Ostermann, a friend with a similar passion to explore, and I drove down there last week.  Twice we attempted to reach the drainage where the hike begins, and twice threatening weather turned us back.

I did get some alluring pictures from afar, and the goal remains to actually reach into this scenery close up another time. The Honeycombs road takes off from the Leslie Gulch road, so we camped there instead and enjoyed the scenery you can view in my Leslie Gulch post.

Leslie Gulch

A vast land of magical shapes, spires, and walls, Leslie Gulch lies in the Owyhee river country of the extreme southeast corner of Oregon. I am drawn there in the springtime, when wildflowers and bird songs fill the canyons formed by volcanic tuff–ash that has consolidated through heat and pressure in solid rock. Wind and water have sculpted these walls into an infinite number of patterns. Early evening and early morning intensify the colors.

Overarching the light and the colors of this canyon, is an incredible feeling of awe, wonder, tranquility, and timelessness that dwarfs our mere short term human experience.

Pentecost



L”Holy Spirit, illumine our minds with the light of faith.  Draw us past perplexity that we may ponder our personal calling and be enkindled by your love. Form us into the people of God we were meant to be. Discard our old, unfruitful selves. Let us not die and return to dust until we have been transformed by you. Teach us to adopt the mind of God. Convert our minds that we may turn from what is false and follow the path of your truth. Put on our lips the words of the psalmist: Praise the Lord!”  Susan Muto

God can do nothing for me until I recognize my human limits, and I give up my ego and allow Him to fill me completely with His loving Presence. That is what happened two thousand years to very human, very ordinary believers when the divine Spirit of God entered them at Pentecost. That Spirit still works in us today!
Leslie Gulch

Wallowa Mountains

Lake Taupo

Leslie Gulch

A vast land of magical shapes, spires, and walls, Leslie Gulch lies in the Owyhee river country of the extreme southeast corner of Oregon. I am drawn there in the springtime, when wildflowers and bird songs fill the canyons formed by volcanic tuff–ash that has consolidated through heat and pressure in solid rock. Wind and water have sculpted these walls into an infinite number of patterns. Early evening and early morning intensify the colors.

In May, when the days are clear, I simply put out a tarp, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag and sleep under the stars. Waking up at dawn to the melody of chukars, canyon wrens, and meadowlarks, I feel deeply alive and grateful. 


Receiving and sharing God’s love



“Our journey toward abundant living is like walking a spiritual labyrinth repeatedly, from an ever deepening space. We walk toward the center to be transformed by God’s love; then we walk outward to transform our small space in the world by reflecting God’s love. There is no intention to trick us or get us lost in the journey. But there is mystery. Always mystery. And awe. And amazing grace.” Marilyn Brown Oden

The Magic Kingdoms of Succor Creek and Leslie Gulch








Succor Creek and Leslie Gulch, located in the far SE corner of Oregon, blend much of the “look” found at better known Zion and Bryce Canyons. The formations, particularly in Leslie Gulch, are whimsical, reminding one of Disneyland’s iconic castle. The geology is largely volcanic tuffs, ash that has been cemented together in the heat of an eruption. There is a state park campground at Succor Creek. Leslie Gulch offers primitive off road camping along the gravel road that leads to excellent fishing at the Owyhee Reservoir. In the spring, the grass is green and filled with colorful wildflowers–a visual delight complemented by the melodic voices of meadowlarks, chukar, and an occasional canyon wren.

With its cathedral like walls and spires, Leslie Gulch is a great place to focus on God’s majesty–they simply ARE, nothing more, nothing less. As Oswald Chambers writes in his May 18 commentary in “My Utmost for His Highest,”

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin”— they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars, and the moon— all of these simply are as well— yet what a ministry and service they render on our behalf! So often we impair God’s designed influence, which He desires to exhibit through us, because of our own conscious efforts to be consistent and useful. Jesus said there is only one way to develop and grow spiritually, and that is through focusing and concentrating on God.”