Tag Archives: Wallowa_llamas

A last day of canyon beauty Part 4, Wednesday

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

With the llamas in Hells Canyon, Part 2, Tuesday

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

Lunch time

Lupine and balsam root, Spring Creek drainage, Hells Canyon

Indian Paintbrush, Sping Creek

Snake River canyon

Traveling with Wallowa Llamas in Hells Canyon. Part 1, Sunday

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

Maynard the Rotary Duck and Kenny the Kiwi

You may recall “Flatiron Freddy” who used to travel to worldwide destinations. Well, last fall, Beth, our La Grande Rotary president, acquired Maynard the Duck. She sent him out with Rotarians who were traveling to help them document their travels. I took Maynard to New Zealand over Christmas. Since he felt “lonely,” far from home, I acquired Kenny the Kiwi to keep him company. Last week, Meg and I went with friends high above the Snake River with a guided llama tour. Wallowa Llamas is operated by Raz Rasmussen, out of Halfway, Oregon. It was a great trip. I will be posting scenic pictures later, but in the meantime, you can see the trip through the eyes of Maynard and Kenny 🙂

“We didn’t get to ride a llama.  Instead, Eric carried us.”

“Meg hiked faster than Eric.  He stops to take so many pictures.”

“I got to sleep next to Meg.  She told me Eric used to be a frog before she met him.”

“Have you ever kissed a llama?”

“Our guide, Raz, made delicious Swedish pancakes!”

“Spring is gorgeous in Hells Canyon.”

Raz made great coffee every morning!”


Imensity

 I took Meg back to where I had hiked with the Scouts last week. Continuing upwards into a canyon that rose far above the Snake River, in the Hells Canyon NRA, Meg and I were reminded of the immensity, the infinity that surrounds us.  It is both humbling and awesome to be part of such a vast universe.   The wildflowers along the Snake river had diminished, but the higher we went, the more profuse they became, This week the red Indian paintbrush had appeared, to complement the yellow balsam root and the purple lupine. We hiked high into the deepening green of the canyon, deeply breathing the fragrances and the freshness.




Wallowa llamas

Hells Canyon NRA

Hells Canyon Snake River

Hells Canyon

Snake River canyon

McGraw Creek Snake River Hells Canyon

MeGraw Creek drainage