Saturday, September 07, 2013

Another great hike this weekend.  Today, we climbed Mt. Ireland, in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest south of La Grande.  Are you seeing a theme here?  The Wallowa Whitman National Forest is amazingly awesome.

Anyway, here's the view of Mt. Ireland, from about a half mile up the trail from the trailhead.  We climbed ALL THE WAY UP THERE!

Mt. Ireland

It was about three and a half miles from the car to the peak, and it was such a glorious day to be hiking.  Sunny and about 75 degrees, and the vegetation is just starting to look like fall.  The views were amazing.

On the way up to Mt. Ireland

Plus, this was also a geocaching adventure, and I found my 500th cache!

Geocache #500!

There's a fire tower at the top of the mountain, and we had a nice visit with Andy, the lookout this year.  He's up there all alone all summer, with only the occasional random visitor climbing up the mountain.  Talk about solitude.

Mt. Ireland fire lookout tower

But can you imagine having this view for three months?  This picture was taken looking north from the fire tower to Baldy Lake and the North Fork John Day Wilderness.

Baldy Lake and the North Fork John Day Wilderness Area

It was a somewhat hard hike, gaining 2,300 feet in elevation over three and a half miles.  It took us right around 6 hours round trip, including almost an hour at the top of the mountain.

view from the south slope of Mt. Ireland

What an amazing place.  What an amazing day.

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