Thursday, June 9, 2011

the strange world of cold springs ridge

This week I got to go to another place I've never been: a long, wide ridge poised over Hells Canyon at 5,800 feet. Though only fifty miles from town, it seemed like another world. Strange and mysterious things lurk there. For example:

This is called Frog Pond. It is a teardrop lagoon. Actually I think it's a stock pond, but I can pretend it's an amphibian palace. The froggy chorus is deafening.

The trail signs are weathered and sometimes unreadable, a mute testament to when we used to have a trail crewin the canyon. A victim of budget cuts, that crew is gone and the trails are vanishing.

Often the map and the GPS were both wrong. The trails go down entirely different drainages. You have to tease a faint blur of ancient trail out of the landscape.

This stream was called "Dry Creek". Hmmmmm.

Up on the ridge, someone left me a toilet! Sweet! (not)

And then as I dragged myself back to the Liberty Sport after a 4000 foot elevation gain, after not seeing anyone for 24 hours, I looked up and saw this:

This is Bart Smith, and he is walking the neemeepoo trail. It's 1000 miles and he will end up in Yellowstone. This is the route Chief Joseph's band took when they were chased out of the Wallowas. There are actual trail sections and road sections. Bart's website is

You just never know what you will find out here.


  1. I love frogs but I don't like budget cuts. Some of our parks in CA are overgrown with poison oak. Once they close them it is only going to be worse. Sad times.
    I am checking Bart's page right now.
    BTW, are you on facebook? Would love to have you as a friend. :)

  2. A test comment from Mary because people are saying they can't comment.

  3. Love the potty for Mary! I think I would say no way as well! Love the pics too!

  4. Oh and I commented just fine. It is a new comment layout for me though.


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