Tag Archives: Mt_Emily_Recreation_Area

“Let us seek to do your will”

“Lord, just as you led the Israelites out of Egypt, lead us as we seek to do your will, to ‘love you more dearly and follow you more nearly’ all the days of our life.”

Mt Emily Recreation Area, La Grande OR

Glacier Lake, OR, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Western larch and the Mt Emily Recreation Area

As the fall colors fade in La Grande, as leaves fill yards and streets, the western larch (tamarack) are just beginning to radiate color. These trees are deciduous conifers that shed their needles after a late fall golden display.  In the springtime, the fresh needles are a bright pale green, offering a totally different sheen.  The grow straight and tall, like candles, up to a height of one hundred and eighty feet. I love to wander in and around them in the Mt Emily Recreation Area, as the bright sunlight bounces off their needles.

western larch, tamarack

Grande Ronde Valley

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA

MERA, Mt Emily Recreation Area

western larch

Are we supposed to be “happy” all the time?

Were we really created to be “happy” all the time?  I find I often blind myself to God’s reality if I get down or depressed when I feel “my” needs are not being met.

“There is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck.  I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice.  But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.”  Parker Palmer

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA

Strawberry Lake

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa Mts

Along the Oregon Trail

When Meg and I arrived in La Grande long ago, we had no idea that the Oregon Trail passed through the west side of the Grande Ronde Valley, under the landmark of Mt Emily. It then rises up into the hills to find a way above the Grande Ronde river.  Although we have hiked it several times, we had not been on it for quite a while.  So, this past Saturday, we headed up into the hills above La Grande to the first trail marker at a saddle where the trail drops down to a spring that provided an oasis for an overnight stay.

As you can see, the wildflowers (mules ear balsam root, yellow lupine, larkspur) are still superb, and in places, the grass nearly waist high. As the wind blew gently, memories also swirled in our minds, of our own travels, and of the remarkable journey of these hard working, enduring/endearing pioneers.

mules ear balsam root, yellow lupine

Mt Emily, La Grande


Grande Ronde Valley, Mt Emily, Mt Harris

Oregon Trail, La Grande

Mt Emily

yellow lupine

Psalm 25: His unfailing love–yesterday, today, and tomorrow

As I read Psalm 25, I am taken by its timelessness.  The ancient psalm writer certainly could not have imagined the world, the readers, of the 21st century.  Yet here we are, once again reminded that God is timeless and eternal, breathing deeply the meaning of this Psalm in our everyday lives.

                              Lord, I give my life to you.
                                                                                                 I trust in you, my God!

Grande Ronde Valley

                                Show me the right path, O Lord;
                                                                                          point out the road for me to follow.
                                            Lead me by your truth and teach me,

                                                  you are the God who saves me.
                                               All day long I put my hope in you.

Mt Emily Recreation Area

                             Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
                                                                             which you have shown from long ages past.

MERA, La Grande

Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

Mt Emily Recreation Area

Wrap around sunset: a Fourth of July preview

Sunday evening, Meg and I were blessed to be in a location where we could observe the best sunset we have seen, outside of the Bay of Plenty, North Island, N  (how is that for name dropping 🙂 The sky surrounding the Grande Ronde Valley was a wrap around of developing color in full 360 degree grandeur.  Frankly, it surpassed anything we can expect on the Fourth of July.

Mt Emily Recreation Area

Mt Harris, Grande Ronde Valley


As he so often does, Henri Nouwen provides a challenging, practical way to live.

“Compassion, to be with others when and where they suffer and to willingly enter into a fellowship of the weak, is God’s way to justice and peace among people.  Is this possible? Yes, it is, but only when we dare to live with the radical faith that we don’t have to compete for love, but that love is freely given to us by the One who calls us to compassion.”
As I endure this political season with so much clanging noise/anger, so much talk and so little substance, I realize how easy it is to be distracted from Christ’s reminder that “what you to do to the least of mine, you do it to me.” Our response to His unqualified love must be to use our own hands and time serving others, not letting someone else do it for us.
Mt Emily Recreation Area, OR

Norse Creek Wilderness, WA

Nosu classroom, China

Mt Emily Recreation Area winter

Through the dedicated efforts of a group of Union County citizens, the Mt Emily Recreation Area was purchased from timber/property company Boise. Whereas most folks use it in the spring, summer, winter months, the area offers excellent winter recreation. Meg and I have enjoyed snow shoeing here. Recently, several days of snow were followed by very cold weather and blue skies. The snow hung heavily on the pine and fir branches, creating a proverbial winter wonderland.