Once again, BSA Troop 514, La Grande, OR successfully prepared snow shelters and slept in them for the annual Klondike Derby at Mud Lake, opposite the Anthony Lakes ski area. Eleven hard working Scouts, in an excellent team effort, dug a forty foot by five foot trench down into six feet of snow. From there, they dug three snow caves into the sides of the trench. This preparation happened on Saturday and Monday of Presidents’ weekend. Last Friday night, February 22nd, they slept in the caves and then participated in the Saturday morning Klondike competition .
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.
Meg and I recently saw the excellent movie, “Won’t You be My Neighbor.” This movie, about the life of Mr. Rogers, reminded us that amidst the “not good,” the evil, it is so important consciously to cultivate that which is good and loving. In our lives we must do more than merely avoid that which is bad. We must reach out and build up others, be healers and peacemakers, as best we can.
Boy Scouts from La Grande Troop 514, led by Dr Koza and myself, enjoyed a most excellent June Friday/Saturday backpack trip to Strawberry Lake. The trailhead is out of Prairie City OR, about a two and a half hour drive from La Grande. The hike is a gentle mile and a half. The boys worked extremely well together, setting up tents, hiking up to Strawberry Falls, cooking dinner (backpackers thanksgiving from scratch) and breakfast (pancakes and sausage), retiring a flag, and playing a great game, “Terrain.” It was an exceptional time together.
Before leaving the Chalk Basin, Michael and I took one last hike. This hike took us cross county to an area above the lower Owyhee River knows as the chalk cliffs. On the float trips I have made on the lower Owyhee river, we have camped below these formations on the second night of rafting. I have always want to see this area from above. I finally fulfilled that desire.
PS I did successfully drive the Cherokee out to the road, although not as boldly as Michael 🙂
Sunday began with the kind of sunrise that spoke peace and oneness and concluded with a sunset that invited deep sleep. In between, Michael and I made a major hike through gullys and canyons amidst incredible ash and rock formations. The rain that had challenged us driving here left trickles of water in what are normally dry washes. The air was cool, the damp “dry” wash walk refreshing.
We reached the Owyhee river and ate lunch. I napped while Michael fished. Afterwards we discovered an exciting canyon with the most intriguing and colorful formations we had seen that day. Definitely like Moab, UT, but without the crowds.
Michael found a beautiful agate thunder egg. He hauled this thirty pound rock back to our campsite as my Father’s Day gift. What an outstanding son! Scott, the man we had extricated from the mud hole (see the first Chalk Basin post) came over before dinner. We enjoyed a wide ranging discussion about the presence of God in our lives, and the transformational nature of His deep love for us.