Happy blogiversary to me! I can't believe I've been doing this for three years already.....
We went camping this past weekend, at Wallowa Lake, about 70 miles east of La Grande. We went with another family (the father teaches at the university with Shaun), and they have three boys, ages 8, 6, and 2. Emma (she's 4 now!!!) loves playing with them, especially the youngest, probably because he copies everything she does.
Playing at the edge of the lake was fun the afternoon that we got there, and we went for a walk Sunday morning to the Wallowa River, which borders the State Park campground and flows into the lake. It's a beautiful setting.
It was very exciting , because we were there during the fall spawning run of the Kokanee salmon. This is a landlocked form of Sockeye salmon, neither of which I had seen before. I've seen the pictures in my field guide, so I knew they were red, but until I actually saw some, I didn't realize just how red they are!
The males especially are a brilliant, vibrant, clear, true RED. Emma found a perch and sat and watched them for several minutes straight, as they navigated their way up a shallow riffle area.
It really was amazing to see them thrash and struggle around rocks and logs to get upstream. They always found the way through, even when the water was only about six inches deep.
All that effort to deposit their precious cargo, then die.
It was an amazing sight.
Sunday afternoon, after we packed up, we went for a hike farther upstream from the campground, to find a waterfall and a colony of pikas. We didn't see any pikas, but the waterfall was lovely.
That's about the top third of the waterfall. It fell off very steeply (like...50 feet straight down) below where I'm standing, and I had no desire to try to get to the bottom to get a full shot. I can only imagine what this would look like in early spring when it's in full spate. See how smooth the rocks are?
The path was fairly short, only a mile in each direction, and though there were a few steep sections, there were switchbacks to make it a bit easier. The views of the mountains and lake were stunning.
Emma didn't much like the uphill parts, but downhill on the way back was better and she hop-skipped most of the way.
Such a fun way to spend a couple days.