After living without a dog for six years, Meg and I recognized it was time to invest love and time in a dog again. So in late August, we bought a mini Aussie shepherd. Leif is a delightful creature, full of love, energy, and intelligence. Winter hiking and snowshoeing with him in the Mt Emily Recreation Area and the Meacham Divide have been filled with his joyful exuberance for snow travel! And many of these times Meg and I enjoyed the added pleasure of having son Michael and his dogs with us.
If the snow is the right temperature and consistency, Leif acquires snow balls on his fur.
The Mt Emily Recreation Area above La Grande and the the Grande Ronde Valley in Union County Oregon calls recreationists anytime of year–hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing in the winter, and mountain biking, riding dirt bikes, hiking the rest of the year. We are so blessed and fortunate to have such a great place to enjoy so near to us.
“All the flowers God has made are beautiful. The rose in its glory and the lily in its whiteness do not rob the tiny violet of its sweet smell, or the daisy of its charming simplicity.” Thérèse of Lisieux
The Mt Emily Recreation Area is less than a fifteen minute drive from where we live. When the Boise Cascade timber company decided to sell its land for home development on Mt Emily, a group of dedicated and far sighted people raised funds for Union County to purchase this land. The MERA provides trails for hiking, mountain biking, off road motor cycles and 4 wheelers and horses. These multiple users cooperate to make maintenance and trail development happen.
Meg and I have enjoyed hiking, biking, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing here. This spring has been particularly intense for us. We have hiked here several times a week, watching the first round of wild flowers appear, peak, and slowly fade until next year. Our minds and memories have enjoyed wrapping around this nuanced and delicate beauty.
“If I could stop time and contemplate the true beauty of a given moment, my eyes would widen and my jaw would drop. (Wait, I can do that! That’s why I photograph!) ” Dewitt Jones
A short ten minute drive from home takes one to the Mt Emily Recreation Area (MERA). Mt Emily creates an iconic profile as it rises above La Grande. The MERA offers excellent recreation opportunities year around. In fact, if you go to the previous post, you will see Meg on a billboard in which she is hiking in spring in this Mt Emily Recreation Area.