Sunday, July 07, 2013

Are you tired of all my photos from geocaching adventures yet?  Too bad!  All I want to do is play outside.

Yesterday my friend Anne and I went after some caches we've wanted to get for a while, on the  mountains that form the eastern rim of the Grande Ronde valley.  The views on the drive up were spectacular.

at the top of Mt. Harris

This is looking west from the Wallowa Mountains, across the Grande Ronde Valley, to the Blue Mountains.  You can see the Grande Ronde River meandering north across the near side of the valley.  The highest peak in the photo is Mount Emily, and the town of La Grande, where I live, is at the base of the mountain just out of the picture to the left (south).  It's about nine and a half miles across from where I was standing on the top of Mount Harris to the top of Mount Emily.

We got four caches yesterday, and hiked a total of almost seven miles.  The first cache was on the way up the mountain, and the second two were at the tip-top of Mount Harris.  The wildflowers were beautiful.

Indian paintbrush

AND, I saw another new butterfly!  This is a Phoebus parnassian (Parnassius phoebus), related to the swallowtails.

Phoebus parnassian butterfly (Parnassius phoebus)

I love seeing new critters.

penstemon and other wildflowers

AND, I also saw a new moth, a quite spectacular one.  This is a Western sheepmoth (Hemileuca eglanterina), one the silk moths.  Fancy!

Western sheepmoth (Hemileuca eglanterina)

After we got the three caches on Mount Harris, we decided to get one more at Point Prominence, about 10 miles to the southeast.

More spectacular views, and a great (steep!) hike in.  We found the cache, and enjoyed a quiet moment at the top for a well-deserved snack and drink.

hiking rest

What a perfectly fantastic day.

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