“Peace is the pervasive sense of contentment that comes from being rooted in God while being fully aware of one’s own nothingness. It is a state the endures beyond the ups and downs of life, beyond the emotions of joy and sorrow. At the deepest level one knows that all is well, that everything is all right despite all appearances to the contrary.” Fr. Thomas Keating
Every year as I read through my chronological Bible, something new jumps out at me. Psalm 43:3 did that to me recently. I realized how deeply I need God’s light and faithful care–and that ultimately, God within me, is leading me to His Holy Place where I will live and be sustained forever.
Mu friends, Jimmy and Shari, provided information about these flowers:
This is a slipper orchid, related to the lady slipper Cypripedium kentuckiense. They are rare
Also called Moccasin Flower.
Native American folklore tells the story of a young maiden who ran barefoot in the snow in search of medicine to save her tribe. She was found collapsed on the way back from her mission with swollen, frozen feet. The story goes that beautiful lady slipper flowers then grew where her feet had been as a reminder of her bravery. In addition to inspiring folklore, lady slipper roots were also widely used by Native Americans as medicinal herbs.
We are glad you take photos because a picked lady slipper will not rejuvenate itself. The plant has a less than 5% transplant success rate, they are often considered “off-limits” to pickers and diggers. Some species of lady slipper are listed as endangered or threatened. Others, like the common Pink Lady’s Slipper, are listed as “special concern” under the Native Plant Protection Act. Although regulations on picking or transplanting lady slipper plants vary from state to state, either practice is generally discouraged and it is illegal to pick or dig up lady slipper plants on Federal properties.
These beautiful orchids don’t transplant successfully and have declined dramatically in our area due to grazing and logging. They require specific soil fungi in order to grow from seed, so even seed collection is rarely successful unless in soil with the correct fungi and just the right amount of sunlight. Enjoy them in the woods!
Victims of 1943 military training accident remembered
Dick Mason Oct 20, 2017, La GrandeObserver
The full story behind the 1943 deaths of four young men in a military training plane crash near Tollgate may never be known, but they will not soon be forgotten. Lyle Schwarz and Armen Woosley of La Grande made certain of it Wednesday.
Schwarz and Woosley installed a plaque honoring the four members of an Army Air Corps B-17 bomber crew who died Aug. 16, 1943, when the plane they were flying on a training mission crashed in a forest on the northeast edge of Umatilla County. The plaque was mounted on a tree at the site of the crash near Lake Creek Trail in the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness.
The plaque’s inscription lists the names of the members of the crew and salutes them as heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“It is important that their lives are commemorated,” said Schwarz, a retired Eastern Oregon University theater professor.
The crash claimed the lives of Master Sgt. Phillip J. Rogers, 27, of Duluth, Minnesota; 1st Lt. Lewis W. Hubbard, 22, of Monett, Missouri; 1st Lt. Francis L. Stephenson, 25, of Pontiac, Illinois; and 1st Lt. Walter P. Fitzmaurice, 25, of Anaconda, Montana. Their plane spiraled to the ground 75 minutes after leaving their training base at what was then the Pendleton Army Airfield. Stephenson, Hubbard and Fitzmaurice perished when the plane slammed into the ground, and Rogers died after he bailed out with a parachute. His body was found away from the plane’s wreckage.
The B-17 bomber hit in perpendicular fashion with such force that Woosley believes some of the remains of the men in the plane are likely still buried at the site. He anticipates that human remains may someday be found there.
“You definitely could say this is hallowed ground,” said Woosley, a retired City of La Grande public works employee who has worked extensively at aircraft crash sites while serving as a search and rescue volunteer.
He said it is not known why the crew lost control of their B-17 and why only one person attempted to bail out.
“They never reported (to the Pendleton Army Airfield) having any engine problems,” Woosley said.
The plane crashed after climbing to 20,000 feet, an altitude at which oxygen is needed. Woosley believes the bomber’s oxygen system may have malfunctioned, causing the crew to lose consciousness.
They may have gone to sleep,” he said.
Other possibilities for explaining why the crew did not abandon the aircraft could be that the sudden loss of altitude slowed their reaction time, or they could have been overpowered by centrifugal force in the out-of-control B-17, according to a passage in the book “Aircraft Wrecks of the Northwest” by David McCurry.
Woosley said he finds it intriguing that only two engines are at the site since the bomber had four. He believes that the two engines closest to the fuselage may have been thrust into the ground and buried because of the additional force they were subjected to due to their position on the plane.
He was also surprised that there is no evidence of the tail of the bomber.
“You almost always find the tail (at an airplane crash site),” he said.
The tail would have displayed the plane’s identification number.
Some of the metal at the site appears melted, which Woosley explained was likely because of the explosion following the accident.
Referring to the high octane gasoline the Army used to operate B-17s, Schwarz said, “It must have been an incredible explosion.”
Despite the explosion, the crash ignited only a small fire, according to the Aug. 17, 1943, edition of The Observer. Forest Service crews cooled the crash site with water from nearby Buck Creek, according to The Observer.
Schwarz learned about the 1943 airplane crash a year ago. He then determined its location with the help of information in books. Schwarz next found the site, which turned out to be an easy 1.5-mile walk in the forest from an area road.
When Schwarz found where the bomber had crashed, it seemed as if he were stepping into a time capsule.
“It really felt like that,” he said.
Schwarz then told Woosley, a good friend, about finding the crash site. Woosley, who said he first heard stories about the Tollgate area crash in 1980, jumped at the chance to later visit it with Schwarz and help install the commemorative plaqueThere is no litter at the crash site, but it is apparent that people have removed a number of smaller items from it over the years, Schwarz said.
“Grave robbers have been here,” he said.
Among the wreckage that remains are sections of wings, parts of the landing gear and wheels, batteries and large fuselage skins.
Schwarz said a large American flag had been attached to trees near where the B-17 crashed.
“It looked like it had been put up (last year),” he said.
The flag had become quite tattered, so Schwarz and Woosley replaced it with a new one Wednesday.
The plaque they installed will survive the elements better than the flag, for it is made of acrylic stone, Schwarz said. Acrylic stone is a non-absorbent, non-porous solid surface composite material known for its longevity.
Along with names of the four crew members, the new plaque has an inscription reading: “Please treat this place with respect due these young men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.”
Schwarz and Woosley have looked into the backgrounds of the plane’s crew members and uncovered information with the help of a private investigator who was referred to them by Tim McCarthy, a retired police officer.
Some of what Schwarz and Woosley learned from Whittington was heart tugging. For example, they learned that Fitzmaurice had gotten married just four months before the accident. He was the only crew member who was not single.
Whittington found one surviving close relative of a crew member, Bob Hubbard of Branson, Missouri, the younger brother of Lewis Hubbard, the crew’s pilot. He said Thursday morning that he was happy about the plaque was installed at the crash site.
“I’m thrilled to hear about it. I’m happy that he is being honored,” Lewis Hubbard saidThe Branson resident has fond memories of his brother.
“He was a wonderful guy. He was happy and full of life,” he recalled.
After learning to fly a Piper Cub plane in college, Lewis Hubbard had a private pilot’s license when he entered the military. Bob Hubbard said his brother once shook up his hometown of Monett, Missouri, when he flew a plane over its main street not far above the buildings’ rooftops.
“He rattled things a bit,” he said.
The members of Lewis Hubbard’s crew had great confidence in his flying ability, according to “Aircraft Wrecks of the Pacific Northwest.” McCurry wrote in his book that the Army committee investigating the 1943 crash said the crew had such high regard for Hubbard that it was possible they delayed their attempts to bail out “believing that Lt. Hubbard would be able to regain control.”
Schwarz and Woosley said that learning the life stories of the four airmen was fulfilling.
“In a way I feel like I met them after learning about them,” Schwarz said.
Woosley voiced a similar sentiment.
“The human interest side of the crash, it really touches both of us,” Woosley said.
Wilbur Mt. provides another stimulating discovery above the canyons of the Mt Emily country of the Umatilla National Forest. . USFS 3113 ultimately travels along a ridge between the deep, alluring canyons of Meacham Creek and Bear Creek
Recently, a New York Times writer interviewed Bob Dylan about his latest album and his life and career. He offered this telling insight of Little Richard and why our society did not appreciate his talent as a Gospel singer:
“Probably because gospel music is the music of good news and in these days there just isn’t any. Good news in today’s world is like a fugitive, treated like a hoodlum and put on the run. Castigated. All we see is good-for-nothing news. And we have to thank the media industry for that. It stirs people up. Gossip and dirty laundry. Dark news that depresses and horrifies you.
“On the other hand, gospel news is exemplary. It can give you courage. You can pace your life accordingly, or try to, anyway. And you can do it with honor and principles. There are theories of truth in gospel but to most people it’s unimportant. Their lives are lived out too fast. Too many bad influences. Sex and politics and murder is the way to go if you want to get people’s attention. It excites us, that’s our problem.” Bob Dylan
The Summit Road going east from Interstate 84 takes one to the turnoff to this gorgeous view from the Summit Guard Station on the Umatilla National Forest. In the spring, the camas and Indian paintbrush are spectacular above Meacham Creek Canyon.!
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.”