Tag Archives: Grande_Ronde_River

An ancient message that still speaks today

I will lead blind Israel down a new path,
    guiding them along an unfamiliar way.
I will brighten the darkness before them
    and smooth out the road ahead of them.
Yes, I will indeed do these things;
    I will not forsake them.  Isaiah 42: 16

None of us really “see” well.  It is good to know that Lord is always there to brighten whatever darkness surrounds us, and to make our way smooth. Indeed, He will never forsake us!

Grande_Ronce_river_sunset, Wallowa_County, Grande_Ronde_river

Troop 514 rafting the Grande Ronde Rive

Seventeen Scouts, ages ten and half to eighteen, along with seven adults, spent three days rafting the Grande Ronde river this past Friday through Sunday. We rented five boats. The river was low, slow, and challenging.– lots of obscured rocks that needed to be maneuvered around and between. However, all went well and the boys learned about “reading” the river, and rowing.

They cooked dutch oven meals for both dinner and breakfast.  We had four cooking groups and the boys did a wonderful job working together.  Their cooperation and collegiality was a joy to behold.  They were supportive of each other, and the few conflicts were minor. This is the third river trip we have done in the past four years.  I have enjoyed watching boys grow into young men.

The Eagle Cap Excursion Train

In late September, I was invited to present a photo workshop on board the Eagle Cap Excursion Train’s fall excursion train.  About thirty passengers gathered in a designated.  We worked together on techniques to increase their photography skills. I also helped them with the fundamentals of their camera’s operation.  A special treat was enjoying the presence of Grant McOmie, a long time television journalist.  His weekly program, “Grant’s Getaways, visits unique places and excursions throughout the state of Oregon.  I was included in the program.  Here is the link to the program:


The description below, from the train’s website, gives you an idea of what you see.  Enjoy the pictures.

Sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of a train ride on the Eagle Cap Excursion Train. Journey back in time on a section of the picturesque and historic Joseph Branch rail line in Northeast Oregon. Discover untamed territory as the train follows the Grande Ronde River downstream through rugged cliffs and timbered ridges, then travels up the Wild & Scenic Wallowa River. Whether you are a rail fan, a nature and wildlife enthusiast, a history buff or a vacationer looking for a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the spectacular beauty of region, a ride on the Eagle Cap Excursion Train is sure to please! The train departs from the new Elgin Depot, 300 North 8th Street, Elgin, Oregon. The depot was built in 2012 in a style reminiscent of the original historic depot. Entire cars can be reserved for groups. Charter the whole train for unforgettable special events.

Eagle Cap Excursion Train

Eagle Cap Excursion Train

Eagle Cap Excursion Train, Grande Ronde River, Rondowa

Eagle Cap Excursion Train, Rondowa, Grande Ronde River

Eagle Cap Excursion Train, Rondowa

Scenic pictures along the Grande Ronde River with Troop 514

The Grande Ronde river starts high in the mountains west of La Grande.  It is a major tributary of the Snake River. The sixty or so miles we floated passes through deep forests and basalt layered canyons.  The symphony of the river soothes mind and soul, and the rapids and rocks keep the body alert.  We are blessed to have this river in our “backyard.”  The put in is only forty five minutes from La Grande.

BSA Troop 514 rafting the Grande Ronde River

Thirteen Scouts and four adults from the La Grande Presbyterian Church Scout troop enjoyed an excellent three day, two night trip down the Wallowa/Grande Ronde River, June 21 through June 23. Each Scout had the opportunity to row and learn the intricacies of “reading” the water and the rapids. The showed great teamwork in hauling rafts upstream when we needed to move to a better campsite. The collaborated in three cooking groups to prepare two dutch oven dinners and two dutch oven breakfasts.

We started out in the rain, but by the time we set up camp Friday afternoon, the sun had come out and we were soon dry. The boys ages are between eleven and sixteen, yet still they enjoyed cross generation sharing and helping. Out pace was leisurely, and the lessons deep.

At the river put in point

Rafting the Grande Ronde River

The Grande Ronde river starts high in the Blue Mountains of NE Oregon, near the Anthony Lakes ski area.  Salmon and steelhead still run up its 182 mile length from where it joins the Snake River in SE Washington.  After watering the agricultural lands of the Grande Ronde Valley, the river flows though rugged, forested canyons. It has been designated a wild and scenic river in its lower stretches.

Basically a gentle river with a few challenging yet safe rapids, it makes for excellent family rafting.  Meg and I and our sons rafted it numerous times in the late seventies and eighties.  This past weekend, several of us adults from Boy Scout Troop 514 took seven Scouts down the river.  The boys enjoyed learning to row, figuring out how to maneuver past rocks and other challenges.  They fished and also prepared excellent meals in the dutch ovens that we brought along.
After we had set up camp Saturday afternoon, one of the boys spotted a rattlesnake crawling through camp. Although I disliked killing it, I did not want to risk the danger of someone inadvertently getting bit. I skinned it out and gave the skin to one of the Scouts.  In the morning, we fried in in left over bacon grease and french toast topping.  The boys found it to be tasty, and enjoyed this unique culinary experience.