Tag Archives: Wallowa County

Music of the morning. Cats Back sunrise

The sunrise of the Ca’ts Back and the Wallowa Mts. does not need words.  The music of the mountains continues to resound in Meg’s and my mind.

 

Cats Back Wallowa County
Cats Back Wallowa County
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa mts

 

Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts

 

Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts

 

 

 

 

 

Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts

The music of the Cat’s Back, Wallowa County, 1

Evocative remoteness summarizes the experience on The “Divide,” or the “Cat’s Back.” Located in a little visited corner of Wallowa County in NE Oregon, it provides some of the most beautiful country you will find anywhere in this nation. In 1885, sisters Daisy and Caroline Wasson came to live there on a homestead established by their parents. High, on an open ridge with spectacular views of the Wallowa and Seven Devils mountains, they spent ten years. Snowed in for six months of the years, they learned to sew from their mother, and do the multi varied tasks that made life bearable in the winter. In the summer, the place was magical. Daisy wrote about those who wondered how/why they could live in such “god forsaken” place: “I have a picture in my mind of Caroline, standing, listening. She has on a little white linen hat and she is holding her walking sticks, and leaning a little forward. I watch her, and then after a little bit ask what she is doing. ‘I hear music,’ she answers, ‘when I am real still and look at the mountains. I hear it.’

“I hear music when I am real still and look at the mountains.”  Meg and I have enjoyed this music, the silence, as we have enjoyed the blessing and privilege to visit the Cat’s Back many times in the late spring.  I hope you enjoy these pictures as well and “hear” the music for yourselves.
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
sego lilies, Cats Back
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
homestead, Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Homestead Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts
Big Sheep Canyon Wallowa County Cats Back

Cats Back Big Sheep Canyon
Cats Back Wallowa County, Wallowa Mts

Hells Canyon Spring, 2018

Although Hells Canyon is a formidable barrier between Oregon and Idaho, extremely hot and dry in the summer, beautiful wildflowers bloom in the spring along the Snake River, and on the high benches.  Heavenly is a much better way to describe it. I have day hiked the McGraw section for the last five years.  It is a wonderful way to be reminded of His Creation!

 

Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County, balsam root, phlox
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County, phlox
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County, phlox
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
McGraw Creek, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
McGraw Creek, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
balsam root, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
balsam root, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
balsam root, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
balsam root, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
McGraw Creek, Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County
Snake River OR, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County

 

Gracious Uncertainty

“Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), NOT, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

I recently returned from the high benches above the Snake River in Hells Canyon.  The wildflowers are always remarkable as they briefly burst forth.  I never know how many there will be, nor how long they will bloom before they fade. However, I do know, they will be there; that I will be surprised, and that I am always with God.
Ecclesiastes 3.1, Hells Canyon, Wallowa County

Beauty is God’s Handwriting

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s  handwriting–a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower and thank God for it is as a cup of blessing.”      Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Hells Canyon, Wallowa County

For all eternity

“I am yours for all eternity. I am the Alpha and the Omega; the one who is and was and is to come. The world you inhabit is one of constant change—more than your mind can absorb without going into shock. Even the body you inhabit is changing relentlessly, in spite of modern science’s attempts to prolong life and youth indefinitely. I, however, am the same yesterday and today and forever.

Because I never change, your relationship with Me provides a rock solid foundation for your life. I will never leave your side. When you move on from this life to the next, My Presence beside you will shine brighter with each step. You have nothing to fear, because I am with you for all time and throughout eternity.”  Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Aneroid Peak wm

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth
    and made the heavens with your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain forever;
    they will wear out like old clothing.
You will change them like a garment
    and discard them.
27 But you are always the same;
    you will live forever. Psalm 102:25-27

The high country of the Eagle Cap Wilderness

My hiking partner, Bob, and I spent a delightful time in the high Wallowas, far from the “madding crowds.”  A ten mile hike and 4000 foot elevation gain to us to the tundra country of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, where its short spring was just arriving.  We have been here before, but it was the first time we caught it at the peak of its wildflowers.

 

Eagle Cap Wilderness moonrise

 

Bob above lake wm

Trail to Pete's Point
Trail to Pete’s Point
Eagle Cap Wilderness, named lake
Eagle Cap Wilderness, unamed lake
family fun
family fun
Feather
Feather
Snow line beauty
Snow line beauty
Heather
Heather
Eagle Cap Wilderness, early morning
Eagle Cap Wilderness, early morning
Lake reflection, vanishing point, Eagle Cap Wilderness
Lake reflection, vanishing point, Eagle Cap Wilderness
Rarely visited meadow
Rarely visited meadow
Snow lines
Snow lines
Eagle Cap Wilderness
Eagle Cap Wilderness

 

Eagle Cap Wilderness moonrise

 

Camping above Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon campsite
Hells Canyon campsite
Our tent looking out at the Seven Devils Mts.
Our tent looking out at the Seven Devils Mts.
Full moon rising over the Seven Devils Mts.
Full moon rising over the Seven Devils Mts.
Hells Canyon sunset
Hells Canyon sunset
Hells Canyon lupine sunrise
Hells Canyon lupine sunrise
Hells Canyon lupine in the early morning light
Hells Canyon lupine in the early morning light
Hells Canyon wildflowers
Hells Canyon wildflowers
Hells Canyon, Seven Devils Mts
Hells Canyon, Seven Devils Mts
Hells Canyon sunset
Hells Canyon sunset

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.