Category Archives: Union County Oregon

The Whitman Overlook, Umatilla National Forest

Whitman Overlook, Umatilla National Forest, Umatilla County, Union County
Whitman Overlook, Umatilla National Forest, Umatilla County, Union County

Here is an account from the journal of Narcissa Whitman, who crossed the Blue Mountains in late August, 1836.  She and her husband, Marcus, established the Whitman Mission that fall in Walla Walla.  They had left from Independence Missouri, and followed what became the Oregon Trail.  She    was the first white woman to come west in this fashion.

“After dinner we left the plain and ascended the Blue Mountains. Here a new and pleasing scene presented itself-mountains covered with timber, through which we rode all the afternoon; a very agreeable change. The scenery reminded me of the hills in my native country of Streuben.

August 29th. – Had a combination of the same scenery as yesterday afternoon. Rode over many logs and obstructions that we had not found since we left the states. Here I frequently met old acquaintances in the trees and flowers, and was not a little delighted; indeed, I do not know as I was ever so much affected with any scenery in my life. The singing of birds, the echo of voices of my fellow travelers, as they were scattered through the woods, all had a strong resemblance to bygone days. But this scenery was of short duration-only one day.

Before noon we began to descend one of the most terrible mountains for steepness and length I have yet seen. It was like winding stairs in its descent, and in some places almost perpendicular. The horses appeared to dread the hill as much as we did. They would turn and wind around in a zigzag manner all the way down. The men usually walked, but I could not get permission to, neither did I desire it much.”

 

Butcher Point, Tilicum Ridge Umatilla National Forest

Butcher Point  and Tillicum Point have been wonderful discoveries during these quarantine times.These are  dramatic canyons in the Umatilla National Forest  only a 30 minute drive from home. Like TS Elliot wrote, I have always been exploring, but now am home and know this place for the first time.

Butcher Point, Umatilla National Forest, Union County, Umatilla County
Butcher Point, Umatilla National Forest, Union County, Umatilla County
Butcher Point, Umatilla National Forest, Union County, Umatilla County
Butcher Point, Umatilla National Forest, Union County, Umatilla County
Butcher Point, Umatilla National Forest, Union County, Umatilla County
Butcher Point, Umatilla National Forest, Union County, Umatilla County, Shooting stars
Butcher Point, Umatilla National Forest, Union County, Umatilla County

 

Tillicum Point Umatilla National Forest
Tillicum Point Umatilla National Forest
Tillicum Point Umatilla National Forest, Meacham Creek
Bitterroot, Tillicum Point Umatilla National Forest
Tillicum Point Umatilla National Forest

Taking Time

You have traveled too fast over false ground;

Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through. 

Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,

Taking time to open the well of color

That fostered the brightness of day. 

Draw alongside the silence of stone

Until its calmness can claim you.

JOHN O’DONOHUE
Excerpt from the blessing, ‘For One Who is Exhausted,’ in his books:Benedictus (Europe) / To Bless the Space Between Us

Enjoying winter

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.

 

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Meg Michael, and our dogs

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

If the snow is the right temperature and consistency, Leif acquires snow balls on his fur.

 

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide–tracks of a snow hare

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

God’s tender mercy

Because of God’s tender mercy,
  the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.  Luke 1:78,79

How does “tender mercy” definite my relationship with the Creator of the Universe, and my relationship with His Creation?

Fr Thomas Keating writes this way: “You cannot exaggerate the closeness, the gentleness, the tenderness of God. It is not sentimental.  It’s a love that wants to give us the treasure of the divine life–not just becoming better human beings. It is unconditional love pouring itself out. And it has to pour itself out. That is the nature of infinite goodness.”

 

Peace on Earth, Mt Emily Oregon, Mt Emily Union County