Monday, April 21, 2014

Emma and I went for an Easter hike at Phillips Lake, which is a man-made reservoir on the Powder River, about 45 miles south of La Grande.

Even though we only hiked about three miles round trip, it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon, and we got a geocache to boot!

Easter hike, Phillips Lake

I love this time of year, when the valleys and lower slopes are green and flowery, while the tops of the mountains are still snow covered.  The peaks north of the lake are the Elkhorn Mountains.  We will be hiking along the tops of those mountains later this summer.

Emma's doing a unit in school about forests and plants, and one of her assignments is to create a photographic plant collection, so she spent some time looking for flowers and getting pictures. She had a ball.

Easter hike, Phillips Lake

I cannot even express how glad I am that she likes doing the same sort of thing that I do. I love my girl and we love being outside.

Easter hike, Phillips Lake

The wildflowers are in full swing, and the slopes were covered.  This wallflower daggerpod is a new one for me, Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides.  Very pretty.

Along the way, Emma spied a branch floating in the lake, and had to go check it out.

Easter hike, Phillips Lake. Gonna get that floating branch!

Then she had to "rescue" it.

Easter hike, Phillips Lake. GOT that floating branch!

And then she had to haul it somewhere.

Easter hike, Phillips Lake. Now she's gonna drag that branch somewhere!

But where?

Easter hike, Phillips Lake. Heading up the beach with her branch!

Ah!  It had to go ALL the way up the beach to our dinner spot at the base of the bluff .  Success! She's so funny.

So this is where Emma and I had Easter Dinner, a dehydrated hiking meal I made (spaghetti and meat sauce), satsumas, and trail mix.  Not exactly traditional Easter fare, but it was fantastic.  We sat on the beach, listened to the loons calling, and watched the changing light on the mountains and lake.

Easter dinner with my girl, Phillips Lake. Note, please, the branch at rest.

(Note, please, the rescued branch.)

We finally had to head back, and Emma decided that she wanted to carry the backpack for the mile and a half back to the car.  This is my day pack, 28 liter size, and is a great fit for her.  This will work out perfectly when we go backpacking this summer.  She'll be able to carry her own sleeping bag, clothes, water, and snacks.

Easter hike, Phillips Lake.

It was a really, really great day.

Easter hike, Phillips Lake.

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