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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 09/01/14

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Home arrow Wallowa Life arrow Canyon Notes

Canyon Notes

Wallowa County’s mountains are as good as any out there

spent eight days on the road last week touring the Inland Northwest and wow, what a country.

Praying for loved ones of fallen Arizona hot shot crew

This past week one of the fellows I met on the Institute of Journalism and Natural Resources journey around Montana kept us updated on the temperatures at his home in Phoenix, which were to rise to 118 degrees.

The road beckons: Off to Big Sky Country

I’ve loved to travel since before my memory began recording my personal history. My mother says when I was a toddler all she had to do was jingle her car keys and I’d come running like a Pavlovian-trained dog. 

Finding moments of traffic Zen

I’ve always been a big fan of back roads/streets and making my own routes. Hurricane Creek Road from Enterprise to Joseph (and in reverse) has become a favorite route where the distraction of summer traffic is avoided.


Summer triggers a yearning to get out on the open highway out the road less traveled

Last night I asked a friend about his trip to Southeast Oregon. The only story he told was getting stuck in the middle of a thousand-head cattle drive on the highway.

Storytellers heading this way

The life of a general reporter is by nature varied. Sports seasons, event seasons, holidays … right now we are heading into summer season with a jam-packed county calendar that trails well into October.

Sports is a good beat if you can get it

As much as I love making fun of sports announcers and their hackneyed sayings like “veritable plethora” and “big time big,” covering sports is a lot harder than I imagined.

Smokey’s influence

got to see Smokey Bear Monday and was awash in a flood of childhood memories.

Sounds of the season

A friend of mine talks about the noise of farming outside his home office window in the summer. He says when he looks out onto a thousand acres of fields dotted with deer he thinks, “At least it’s not a housing development.”

Season of anticipation

The willow trees are yellow in the Wallowa Valley and I have to admit it takes me by surprise. Each year I go through a period of doubt that the trees will ever blossom and leaf out — so when they do, I am in awe.

Finding a happy place amongst the Boston Marathon mayhem

By noon last Wednesday, the nation was reeling with confusion and fear. At the Wallowa County Rotary Club meeting that day, President John McColgan said, “Let’s hope for a better week.”


Middle age: Learning the lessons of gratitude and humility

As a kid I never listened to sermons much and thank goodness I’m an Episcopalian, because our typical sermon length is only 12.5 minutes long. However, as an adult I do like a good sermon, particularly one that relates to real life.

Luddite at heart

I have a confession to make this week. I am a Luddite. 


CANYON NOTES: Steelies usher in spring

I don’t drive the Wallowa Canyon as much as I used to, which is a good thing, because now I tend to pay attention more to the river than the destination. 


Fathers are important

In a mad rush to return to Wallowa County last week, my parents picked me up from the airport and in two cars, we sped east for a reading at Fishtrap’s Coffin House in Enterprise.


Becoming older to the cadence of Paul Harvey

This weekend I had the pleasure of being mauled by the nephews. I asked them, “Do you remember trying to cook me last time I visited?” The 8-year-old said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

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