Tag Archives: Wallowa_mts

Thoughts this Memorial Day weekend

“The desire for certitude is an obstacle to launching full sail upon an ocean of trust.” Fr Richard Keating

This Memorial Day weekend I am reminded of what God spoke to Abraham so long, long ago: “Leave your father’s house, your friends, relatives and property, and come into the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1 I am  blessed to have such deep, loving memories of my parents and grandparents.  Their blessings upon me have continued to this day and hopefully have been shared and passed on to my own children and grandchildren. I have left so much “behind” as my life has moved into paths, prepared by the Lord, that I had no idea ever existed.

His love is the constant. I cannot imagine what else He has in store for me.  I only know that His only Will for me is to live and share His Love.
Wallowa Mts, Iweytemlaykin State Historic Park

Early summer in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Wallowa County

Meg and I enjoyed two exceptional day hikes in the Eagle Cap Wilderness before and after the Fourth. On Thursday, the third, we hiked six miles into McCully basin and back. The hike itself is through rather dry, scraggly forest.  However, after crossing McCully creek at the five and half mile point, the forest deepens and then opens up into an immense basin surrounded by mountains. Filled with buttercups that are the first flowers to appear after the snow melt, this basin spoke of the eternal seasons that once again, for a short time, present this palette of intense green and yellow.

Then on Saturday, we hiked high into the Eagle Cap basin, following the East Fork of the Lostine river. The trail began normally, moving through tall, stately, dense forest. As we climbed higher, we met some snow patches on the trail. Ultimately, for the last mile and half, the trail was all snow, with just a few patches of trail showing.

The trail opens up into one of the prettiest glacial valleys you will find anywhere in the world. Eagle Cap peak dominates the skyline, with boggy meadows of melting snow, filling up with buttercups. We hiked about twelve miles round trip. Yet the mileage and effort was completely dwarfed by the reviving beauty of this valley.

Entering the Eagle Cap basin

Eagle Cap

McCully basin and Aneroid Peak

Meg enjoying the serenity of McCully basin

waterfall before entering the Eagle Cap basin

East Lostine River and Eagle Cap

Meg hiking into Eagle Cap basin. Eagle Cap in background

Meg hiking past Lost Lake

Meg crossing McCully creek

The Zumwalt Prairie country of Wallowa County in NE Oregon

The Zumwalt Prairie seemed a polycultural sea of greens–springtime mint greens, forest greens, shamrock greens.  They were every hue and shine–pale, bright, dull, and verdant–and always changing from the height of the sun in the sky or the volume and cover of the clouds. The wind changed the colors as did morning and evening dew.  Morning color was heightened, noontime was flat, and late afternoon shone gold-green and shadowy.”  Marcy Houle, The Prairie Keepers

Many of these pictures were taken on property that the Nature Conservancy manages. The vast vistas of the grasslands and the Wallowa Mts always call me back.  Meg and I are blessed to be able to live close to areas like this one.

Zumwalt Prairie

Wallowa Mts, Zumwalt Prairie

meadow lark, Zumwalt Prairie

Zumwalt Prairie

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa Mts

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa County

Zumwalt Prairie

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa Mts

Zumwalt road and barn

Wallowa Mts, Wallowa County

Zumwalt Prairie, The Nature Conservancy  

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa Mts


Meg and I have been dog sitting a friend’s golden retriever. Once again, I am reminded how absolutely loving devoted these creatures are.  They seem to believe that God created human beings to give them constant love.  And again, I ask myself, how devoted am I am to loving God as deeply and as constantly?  I am grateful He is merciful.

Wallowa County, Hells Canyon

Wallowa Mts, Zumwalt Prairie

The Wallow Mts above the town of Halfway in Baker County

Meg and I overnighted in Halfway a week ago before heading off to hike the wildflowers of the upper canyons above the Snake River.  Located in Baker County, about a three hour drive from La Grande, Halfway is a sleepy ranching town set in a beautiful valley beneath the Wallowa Mts. The area was evaluated in the mid thirties as a potential ski resort site that Averell Harriman wanted to develop to increase the ridership for the Union Pacific Railroad.  Instead, Ketchum, ID, was chosen for Sun Valley.

In any case, the small bed and breakfast, Pine Valley Lodge, suffices as an exceptionally cozy and comfortable place to stay without any of the fancy trappings of a resort. The community is down to earth and the people strongly connected to each other.

At this time of year, the hills outside of town are alive with the yellow arrowleaf balsam root wildflower. Its name comes from a combination of its leaf shape and the fragrance of its roots. It is a common spring flower in the Great Basin areas of the west. Native Americans used various parts of it as a pain reliever, and to treat colds, burns, wounds, insect bites and swelling.

From a photographer’s standpoint, these flowers and the snow capped mountains behind them provide some of the most spectacular pictures in Oregon!!

Wallowa Mts, balsam root, halfway, Pine Valley Lodge


Baker County, Wallowa Mts. halfway

Wallowa Mts, Halfway, Baker County

Wallowa Mts, Halfway

Wallowa Mts, Halfway, Baker County

The Promise of Christmas

“Christmas is the promise that the God who came in history and who comes daily in mystery will one day come in glory.  God is saying in Jesus that in the end everything will be all right.  Nothing can harm you permanently, no suffering is irrevocable, no loss is lasting, no defeat is more than transitory, no disappointment is conclusive. Jesus did not deny the reality of suffering, discouragement, disappointment, frustration, and death; he simply stated that the Kingdom of God would conquer all these powers, that the Father’s love is so expansive that no evil could possibly resist it.”  Brennan Manning, Reflections for Ragamuffins

Iwetemlaykin_State_Park, Iwetemlaykin, Wallowa_Lake, Wallowa_County, Wallowa_Mts

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!  Isaiah 52:7

“Through faith, hope, and charity we hear the ultimate message of the universe.”

“Through faith, hope, and charity we hear the ultimate message of the universe. The result of that awakening is shown in what the blind man did on receiving his sight; he followed Jesus. Jesus emphasizes what healed him.  Faith! This was not just the faith that works through reason but the faith that is a direct intuition. ‘Go in peace,’ he says to this man, ‘your faith has saved you.’ 

“Your faith, that is your consent  to God calling you, touching you, transforming you. Transformation in Christ is the ultimate healing.”  Father Thomas Keating

Mt_Joseph, Wallowa_Mts


Iwetemlaykin State Historic Site at Wallowa Lake

Iwetemlaykin, the Nez Perce word for “at the edge of the lake, captures the meaning of  this magnificent State Park that overlooks Wallowa Lake, the ancestral home of the Chief Joseph band of the Nez Perce Indians. Chief Joseph Mt dominates the skyline as one enjoys walking this historic site.

Meg and I enjoyed hiking through with our grandchildren who were visiting from New Zealand. The enjoyed hearing the story of Chief Joseph and his efforts to lead his band safely to Canada after having the band’s land forcibly taken from them.

Iwetemlaykin, Mt Joseph

Iwetemlaykin, Mt Joseph

Wallowa Lake, Wallowa Mts, the Iwetemlaykin Park is just to the right, outside this picture.

Iwetemlaykin, Mt Joseph

Iwetemlaykin, Mt Joseph

Iwetemlaykin, Mt Joseph

Iwetemlaykin, Mt Joseph

Things of eternity

“Use the things of the world, but long for the things of eternity.  You cannot be fully satisfied by material possessions, for you are simply not made to gain ultimate happiness from them”  Thomas a Kempis

I need to remember always that life is eternal, and the “trinkets” I earn or desire are transitory.

Wallowa Mts, Wallowa County, OR

Siletz Bay, Oregon Coast

Sharing love

Sharing love is so much easier than we mortals make it.  

“Miss not a single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly work or word; always doing the smaller right and doing it all for love.” 
        St The′rese’ of Lisieux

Zumwalt Prairie

The Cat,s Back and the Wallowa Mts