Tag Archives: Grande_Ronde_Valley

Huckleberry Time in the Grande Ronde Valley

The huckleberries are thick this year.  I find it so relaxing simply focused on the berries with nothing else to interrupt my thinking–other than Leif slurping up some berries! (And the Indian paintbrush are gorgeous as well)


Huckleberries, Grande Ronde Valley
Huckleberries, Grande Ronde Valley
Huckleberries, Grande Ronde Valley
Huckleberries, Grande Ronde Valley
Huckleberries, Grande Ronde Valley
Huckleberries, Grande Ronde Valley
Huckleberries, Grande Ronde Valley
Huckleberries, Grande Ronde Valley




I am leaving this Sunday afternoon to hike in the nearby Eagle Cap Wilderness with Bob Carter.  The mornings and evenings now have an autumn tingle with lows in the forties. These are the temperatures at 2700 feet; we will be camping at 6700 feet. I find I no longer look forward to the “vigor” of cold mornings.  I would just as soon be instantly comfortable when I wake up.  

Yet I realize that I need this discomfort to keep my mind/body from contracting and getting smaller; to challenge it with what is new.  Similarly, I need the continual stretching that Bible passages and my relationship with God and Christ give me as I interact with others. My life is static and dull without the journey into the ever renewing newness of His mystery and joy.

Third Beach, La Push (click this one to enlarge the text)

Mt Harris, Grande Ronde Valley OR

The Grande Ronde Valley from above and from below

The Grande Ronde Valley of La Grande, Union County is vast and verdant.  Whether view from above at Indian Rock, or from below, the fields spread out in the colors of early summer farmland.

Cove OR, canola

Canola, Cove OR


Indian Rock, La Grande

Indian Rock, Grande_Ronde_Valley



Mt Emily

Penstemon, Grande_Ronde_Valley, Indian_Rock_OR

Along the Oregon Trail

When Meg and I arrived in La Grande long ago, we had no idea that the Oregon Trail passed through the west side of the Grande Ronde Valley, under the landmark of Mt Emily. It then rises up into the hills to find a way above the Grande Ronde river.  Although we have hiked it several times, we had not been on it for quite a while.  So, this past Saturday, we headed up into the hills above La Grande to the first trail marker at a saddle where the trail drops down to a spring that provided an oasis for an overnight stay.

As you can see, the wildflowers (mules ear balsam root, yellow lupine, larkspur) are still superb, and in places, the grass nearly waist high. As the wind blew gently, memories also swirled in our minds, of our own travels, and of the remarkable journey of these hard working, enduring/endearing pioneers.

mules ear balsam root, yellow lupine

Mt Emily, La Grande


Grande Ronde Valley, Mt Emily, Mt Harris

Oregon Trail, La Grande

Mt Emily

yellow lupine

Am I empty enough?

In my life filled with busy activities that mostly satisfy me, I find I must ask myself regularly:  am I empty enough, am I hungry enough, am I thirsty enough to receive God and let God fill me?

Rowena, Columbia Gorge, White Salmon

Ladd Marsh, Union County, Grande Ronde Valley

Wrap around sunset: a Fourth of July preview

Sunday evening, Meg and I were blessed to be in a location where we could observe the best sunset we have seen, outside of the Bay of Plenty, North Island, N  (how is that for name dropping 🙂 The sky surrounding the Grande Ronde Valley was a wrap around of developing color in full 360 degree grandeur.  Frankly, it surpassed anything we can expect on the Fourth of July.

Mt Emily Recreation Area

Mt Harris, Grande Ronde Valley

“We can’t fake out God.”

“We can’t fake out God. He knew the end of our ways before we began.  When we seek Him daily, in Spirit and in Truth, we are strongest in avoiding the disaster that comes from complacency and self satisfaction.”
I love the directness of this quotation.  “Fake out” may not be a theological term, but it does remind us that God knows our ways, and we do ultimately stand before Him where nothing will be hidden.
Indian Rock, Grande Ronde Valley, NE Oregon

Indian Rock, Grande Ronde Valley, NE Oregon

Remaining with the One who sends us

From the Old Testament to the New, the Bible is filled with the reassurance that God is present always present, knowing us and our circumstances intimately. During the past two weeks, for a variety of reasons, I have felt uneasy and alienated from this world.  These Scriptures remind me that regardless of where I go, regardless of where I am, I can always choose “to remain with the One who sends me, and there find comfort, companionship, grace, peace, and joy.” (Rueben Job)

La Grande, OR

Key Summit, Routeburn Track, South Island, NZ

Rowena, Columbia Gorge, OR

Ladd Marsh

When the Grande Ronde Valley in northeastern Oregon was first settled in the late 1800’s, the valley was a wet land oasis, filled with all species of birds.  As more settlers arrived and farming expanded, the wetlands were drained creating an exceptionally fertile valley. Now, over the last forty years, land acquisitions have allowed the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to create Ladd Marsh, more than 6000 acres of wetlands, five miles from La Grande.  In cooperation with the City of La Grande, treated waste water flows into this area, benefitting both the birds and the citizens of La Grande. Tundra swans, many species of geese and ducks migrate through here in the spring.  Some stay and nest along with sandhill cranes and many species of shore birds. In addition to the open water and wetlands, the property contains scrub shrub, wet meadow, prairie grassland, and conifer habitat which attract a wide range of song birds as well. 

Psalm 27: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life

As I read Psalm 27 in its entirety, I love to imagine myself being bathed in His Light, held closely in His loving salvation, to live forever in His sanctuary.

The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Grande Ronde Valley

Ohope Beach, West End, New Zealand

Bermagui, Australia