I love the uncomplicated mosaic of the Wallowa Mountains. There it is straightforward and simple. Pines, water, lakes. But it is the moody Hells Canyon that fascinates me. As I stand on the rim I feel the weight of history on my shoulders. The doomed Nez Perce, their pit houses still visible in the dreaming sunshine. The sweet curve of the benches where desperate settlers in Depression era times tried to make a go of it. Each layer of the canyon is seductive. When I am on the rim, I want to be on the bench. When I am on the bench, I want to be on the river. When I am on the river, I look above me. I want to do it all, take a backpack and months and months and disappear into the canyon.
|evening from our campsite|
|on the trail|
|This is a herd of hundreds of elk we surprised hanging out by the spring.|
|a few of the herd|
|I love you, Hells Canyon, even if you don't love me back.|
|J and Sierra take it in.|
|This would be a good picture if I had remembered that J put his baseball cap on my head so I could "hold it" while he did something. Dork!|