The iconic view of Painted Hills unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is off limits to exploring. However, there a couple “mini” colorful ash areas outside the unit where you can hike and explore and let your mind wander in the stillness that is uninterrupted by vehicles and viewers. Here are a few pictures from May. I hope to hang out there more in the future.
“The goal of life is God! The source of life is God! That out of which life comes is that into which life goes. . . . God is the guarantor of all [our] values, the ultimate meaning—the timeless frame of reference. That which sustains the flower of the field, the circling series of stars in the heavens, the structure of dependability in the world of nature everywhere, the stirring of the will of man to action, the dream of humanity, developed and free, for which myriad men, sometimes in solitariness in lonely places or in great throngs milling in crowded squares—all this and infinitely more in richness and variety and value is God. Men may be thrown from their courses—they may wander for a million years in desert and waste land, through sin and degradation, war and pestilence, hate and love—at last they must find their rest in Him. . .” Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman
Six Scouts and another adult and myself from Troop 514 in La Grande made a mid July backpack into Minam Meadows/Red’s Horse ranch, an eight and a half mile hike from Moss Springs above Cove, Oregon. We stayed at a cabin constructed in the mid thirties by the father of a member of the Presbyterian Church. The boys, ages 11 to 17. collaborated and cooperated, living the Scout Oath and Law to the fullest I have ever experienced. It was a deep joy to listen to them laugh and share. They repaired a small bridge, hiked, fished, cooked, cleaned Mup, and played a variety of games. This trip created distinct memories of happiness for all of us.
After a sunset that filled my mind and heart, I woke up to this sunrise and early morning scenery near Hat Point in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area in the far corner of Wallowa County. Its massive grandeur never ceases to lift one’s spirits.
The deepest canyon in the United States, with million dollar views, Hells Canyon is one of the most profound esthetic experiences one could ever hope to find, anyone. Meg and I have camped here in early July off and on for over twenty years. Were it not so remote, someone would have obtained a permit for a five star lodge. Instead, simple camping provides this serene wonder and solitude.
I am posting pictures from the sunset. Later, I will post sunrise pictures.
“Put Your song on our lips and in our hearts, and remind us of the joy that awaits us when we put our trust in You. Guide us into the light of Your unwavering, never ending, and grace filled love. Amen.”
When Bob Carter and I started hiking together in 2003, he was 62 and I was 60. We are older and slower now. However, we still have the legs and mental stamina to do this eight mile round trip hike over lots of downed timber and over a couple miles of snow to reach this gorgeous meadow in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. On Monday, June24, we started at the end of the Lostine River Road at Two Pan and hiked up the East Fork of the Lostine River. From tracks we saw, we were only the second people to arrive this season.
“God is love, so His loving is not something He may do nor not do at His will. Loving us is not an intermittent act or series of acts which God does in between other acts. His love flows steadily out upon the whole human race in an unbroken and continuous fulness. There is not a time, not a fraction of time, when God’s love is not active toward us. It is as constant as the being of God, for it is the being of God in unforced, normal expression…
“We are often tempted to wonder how God could love us, but honest as this feeling is, it is nevertheless the result of a wrong way of looking at things. God does not love us because we are hard or easy to love; He loves us because He is God, not because we are good or bad or more attractive or less so. God’s love is not drawn out of Him by its object; it flows out from God in a steady stream because He is love.” A.W.Tozier
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.
Excerpt from the blessing, ‘For One Who is Exhausted,’ in his books:Benedictus (Europe) / To Bless the Space Between Us
Friday late afternoon and early evening two weeks ago at the Painted Hills, near Mitchell OR in Wheeler County–the light changes softly but distinctly, subtle but intense, drawing me into an ever deepening mood of peace and relaxation, wonder and joy.