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La Grande Observer Paper 07/23/14

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Home arrow Wallowa Life

CJD: An opportunity to celebrate the Old West

Last month I mentioned to a fellow at the Institute of Journalism and Natural Resources that I would return home in time for the first hay cut. The public radio reporter said, “First? We are on our third in the Tri-Cities.”

Getting in the saddle

Jaci Weishaar, left, instructs student Sierra Upshaw during a horse-riding lesson Wednesday at Victory Acres Farm in La Grande. Weishaar has operated Victory Acres for the past six years and offers lessons to beginners and experienced riders. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)

Her motto is simple. “Live your dreams.”

And that’s exactly what Jaci Weishaar is helping people do.


Haunted by Big Sky country

A friend recently bought a new car. She said, “I had never seen any of this make and color until I bought mine. Now I see them everywhere.” I feel like my summer is going that way. Every time I turn around there’s another Montana reference.

Wallowa Countyís 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.

Conquering McKinley

Mt. McKinley has a summit elevation of 20,320 feet. At some 18,000 feet, the base-to-peak rise is considered the largest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level. (Courtesy photo)

Local climbers summit North America’s highest peak 

There’s an old saying that states every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.


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.

Hiking an Eastern Oregon gem

The North Fork John Day trail never strays far from its namesake river. The wilderness trail is lined with wildflowers. (Lisa Britton/WesCom News Service)

The North Fork of John Day offers trails for hikers of all skill levels 

If you relish the poetic silence of the forest primeval, the North Fork John Day trail might disappoint, and perhaps even annoy, you.

There’s plenty of forest, to be sure.


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. 

Trekking the Zumwalt

Panels are used to inform hikers about the trail and things to look for along the routes. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

Open vistas, wildlife draw hikers to grassland preserve near Enterprise 

The Zumwalt Prairie is bursting with spring wildflowers and bumble bees under azure skies dotted with cotton ball clouds.

The 33,000-acre preserve surrounded by working ranchland is a testament to both the natural ecosystem of the prairie and its ability to sustain creatures as large as elk, as small as insects, and the interconnected web of flora and fauna.


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.


Wallowa Lake kokanee numbers on the rise

 WALLOWA LAKE — Wallowa Lake has gained a reputation in recent years for state- and world-record size kokanee.


Eastern Oregonís backcountry

Looking south from the Elkhorn Crest Trail west of Baker City, snow still blocks large sections of this high-elevation trail, but lower trails in the Elkhorns, Wallowa and Blue Mountains are snow-free, although few have been maintained this spring. (Lisa Britton/WesCom News Service)

Many low-elevation trails are accessible this time of year for hikers 

The good news, if you like to hike, is that snow has already melted off at least the lower sections of most mountain trails in Northeastern Oregon.


Local archers compete at nationals

Tim Dyer of Moscow, Idaho, draws his bow back at the Grande Ronde Bowmenís range on Mt. Emily Sunday. The GRB hosted an International Bowhunting Organization world qualifier. (Submitted photo)

REDDING, Calif. — Three local men competed at the National Field Archery Association’s national shoot recently and found some success.


Hiking the Elkhorns

Plant enthusiasts will have a chance to explore high elevations when the Native Plant Society of Oregon has its annual meetings in July. (Gene Yates photo)

Native Plant Society plans busy weekend for those willing to hit the trails of Eastern Oregon’s local mountains 

There is a lot to draw people into the mountains of Eastern Oregon.


Clay swims, bikes, runs to Oregon Trail title

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR — Dominic Clay has been trying to beat Michael Rushton for the past three years, and last Saturday, Clay finally crossed the finish line before Rushton.

Clay won the Oregon Trail Sprint Triathlon at Wolf Creek Reservoir, finishing in a time of 1 hour, 4 minutes, 53.1 seconds. 

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