Meg and I enjoyed our annual trip camping trip high above Hells Canyon, near Hat Point in Wallowa County. The Seven Devils mountains in Idaho rise above the Snake River, making Hells Canyon the deepest gorge in the US. The view is one of those “million dollar” experiences.. If this were private property accessible by an easy road, a five star resort would be perched here, hosting hundreds of people a day.. Instead, amidst gorgeous wildflowers, skies and clouds, science and tranquility, Meg and I rested in these views and feelings alone.
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|
Monday, the first full day high on a bench above the Snake river, began with Raz, our outfitter, preparing Swedish pancakes for us. After breakfast, he led us north on a trail that crossed many of the small streams and ravines that make up the Spring Creek drainage. Although the wildflowers were not as thick and lush as last year, nonetheless we hiked through many pockets of intense color. After three miles we reached the far ridge of the Creek basin and enjoyed lunch looking over the vastness of canyon.
|balsam root, Hells Canyon|
|Lupine and balsam root, Spring Creek drainage, Hells Canyon|
|Indian Paintbrush, Sping Creek|
|Snake River canyon|
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|