Sunday, May 15, 2011

don't turn your back on the canyon

We staggered out of the canyon, having underestimated it yet again.

The main thing you can't forget about Hells Canyon is that you can't count on anything there. Can't count on there being water in the draws, can't count on the weather forecast being accurate, can't expect "just an eight mile backpack" to be easy.

What you can count on is this: a view so big that you can't describe it. You can't say how it makes you feel to look at the folds in the landscape falling steeply down to the Snake River,  rugged and wild and lonesome. Low scraps of fog haunting the buttes. The thirsty feeling both from draining your water dry but also the desire to keep going, to keep walking as long as you can to see where you end up. The canyon's like that.

Cale is ready to go. Finding good water for the dogs was a problem.

Our campsite above Eureka Creek. This is about a mile and a half above the Snake River. The Megamid was for cooking and for the dogs. They appreciated it because it rained all night.

We went exploring down Eureka Creek, finding an old cabin and foundations, also pit houses.

There's wolves in the canyon.

It was eighty degrees as we climbed into the canyon and about forty and hailing on top.

The fog in the canyon

The dogs were pretty tired after sixteen miles and four thousand feet elevation loss and gain

Know what this is? Stay far away.

The dramatic clouds right before a huge thunderstorm.

First light in the canyon.


  1. Awesome photos and description- so many elements of experience and survival...a "harsh" landscape with discoveries for those able and willing to persevere. What do the beautiful dogs say about going back to Hells Canyon?

  2. I see poison ivy in them pics...right? Love your pics Marre.

  3. Very nice! The fog and clouds are amazing!

  4. Your doggies are cute!! :) I also love the photo with the bright, sunny mountains and thunderclouds.


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