Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dear skunk that keeps patrolling my yard and disagreeing with a raccoon three times a week...

Please stop it. No matter what the raccoons say to you, it's not worth getting that upset.  You know you hold the trump card.  We ALL know you hold the trump card.

Take the high road and just ignore whatever the raccoons are doing that riles you up.  Please.  I'm begging you.

And you, raccoons, need to back off.  Nobody likes a bully. Pay attention to the lesson that the skunk is trying to teach you, and leave him the heck alone.

That is all.  Thank you for your attention.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

--James Dillet Freeman

Rivers hardly ever run in a straight line.
Rivers are willing to take ten thousand meanders
and enjoy every one
and grow from every one.
When they leave a meander,
they are always more
than when they entered it.
When rivers meet an obstacle,
they do not try to run over it.
They merely go around
but they always get to the other side.
Rivers accept things as they are,
conform to the shape they find the world in,
yet nothing changes things more than rivers.
Rivers move even mountains into the sea.
Rivers hardly ever are in a hurry
yet is there anything more likely
to reach the point it sets out for
than a river?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Emma and I escaped to the woods again today for a geocaching adventure.

(By the way, I am no longer hiking with an 8-year-old.  Last Thursday she turned NINE!  How did that happen?!)

Anyway, this time we went over to the southern face of the Wallowa Mountains, in the Eagle Cap Wilderness area.  Blue Hole is in the Eagle Caps, too, but farther north.  Today we were east of Baker City, north of Richland and Halfway, and south of  Wallowa Lake.  Kind of in the middle of nowhere, but still a day trip at only an hour and a half from home.  It's actually only 45 miles from home as the crow flies, but there's no direct way to get there!

We visited 8 geocaches, found six of them, but the prize of the day was the last one.

Summit Point lookout

Me and my far-too-quickly-growing-up girl, at the Summit Point fire lookout tower, elevation 7006 feet.


The actual hike was only 0.8 mile, since the road goes most of the way to the top.  But that 0.8 mile gains over 600 feet of elevation.

It was a glorious sunny day, not too hot, and we had a great hike.


The leaves are starting to change color, and the views were gorgeous despite the haze and smoke from the forest fires.

Emma begged to differ on the "glorious, wonderful hike" part on the way up.  She wants me to make sure and let you all know that the hike up was not 0.8 mile long, it was 15 miles long, nearly vertical, and it was in fact HOT.  Also, the dusty trail needs to be cleaned up and all the dust taken away.  The way down was all right, since the trail had shrunk back to 0.8 mile and wasn't as steep any more.

 (I do see her point about the 6" deep dust that rose up in choking clouds.  We encountered this at Blue Hole, too. The only way to avoid the cloud was to keep moving ahead of it, a solution that Emma was not pleased with.  I guess that's the price you pay for hiking in eastern Oregon during the dry season.)

dusty trail on the way up

But the price is SO. WORTH. IT.

Cornucopia Mountain

That's the view north to Cornucopia Mountain, from the Summit Point fire lookout.

Yes, another great way to spend a day.  I love geocaching. I would probably never have explored this area without the incentive of a geocache.  And now we've scoped out two nice campgrounds that are on our list of places to come back to.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Note to self:

No matter how tired and overwhelmed you are after a sleepless night and crazy morning at work, do NOT go home during your lunch break.  DO. NOT.

You WILL sit down in your comfy chair to eat your sandwich.

You WILL end up falling asleep.

Even when you somehow manage to wake up in time to get back to work, it WILL NOT be with a cheerful spirit. 

Just don't do it.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Last weekend, Emma and I escaped to the woods.  Everything is better in the woods.  She and I both had Labor Day off from work/school, so we went camping for two nights!

(Working the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings means that from May to October, I only get one free day per weekend, and therefore can't really go far from home. I miss 2-day weekends.  One-night camping trips seem like a lot of work for a short time away.)

Anyway, the extra day off meant that we could finally trek over to the upper Imnaha River and camp and hike.  It was awesome.

Blue Hole

This is Blue Hole, a spot where the Imnaha River goes through a narrow gorge.

 Blue Hole

There's a deep pool, and it is thoroughly, entirely, completely beautiful.  This is the view from the top of the cliff, near where we bagged a geocache.  Of course this was also a geocaching trip!

This is the view at river level, upstream through the gorge, showing the deep pool.  Earlier in the year, before the water starts cooling off, this is apparently a perfect swimming hole.  When we were there the water was painfully frigid (even though the air temperature was in the 80s), but Emma and I plan to test this theory next July. 

Blue Hole

The pool was stuffed with salmon.  None of which, of course, I was able to photograph.  They were there, though!

Blue Hole

Blue Hole

It took us about an hour to hike the three miles from the campground to Blue Hole, and another hour back.  We spent about three hours at Blue Hole, playing on the beach...

Blue Hole

watching the dragonflies (Variable Darner, Aeschna interrupta) zooming around and sunning on the beach,

dragonfly at Blue Hole

and just generally enjoying being outside.  This is the view downstream- not a bad way to spend an afternoon...

Blue Hole

What a great weekend.

me and my girl