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.
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.)
But the price is SO. WORTH. IT.
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.