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Backpacking the Wallowas

City Slicker

Backpacking the Wallowas

Sunset over Eagle CapSunset over Eagle CapIn July of 2017 I had the opportunity to go backpacking in Oregon's Wallowa mountain range. I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time and couldn't wait to take in the beauty of the mountains. We got off to a bad start when first we got caught in terrible Portland traffic and were two hours behind schedule by the time we escaped the gridlock. Things went from bad to worse when my car blew a tire just outside of Pendelton. We were lucky, though, no cars were directly behind us and we were able to pull safely over to the side of the road to switch to the spare. Instead of staying in Joseph and getting an early start on the trail the next morning, though, we had to stay in town until a repair shop opened up.

 

We finally reached the trailhead at around noon the next day, hours behind schedule. It was a beauitful day, though, and we were excited to put our troubles behind us and hit the trail. The first three miles climbed 2500' up grueling switchbacks. We each had heavy overnight packs weighing about 30 lbs, and I was also carrying about 5 lbs of camera gear. I fell behind the group because I kept stopping to take pictures and before I knew it I was alone just as a thunderstorm rumbled its way overhead and opened up with a deluge of rain. 

 

Thankfully by this time I had reached the top of the elevation gainl and was well sheltered under some trees. The storm passed and I was able to continue on my way. I didn't catch up to my friends that night. I was too far behind, so I was forced to make camp on my own. I got lucky, though, because the storm had left behind some clouds that caught the colors of the sunset in blazing glory. I was able to get this amazing shot. 

 

The next morning the sun came out and I was greeted to a field of wildflowers and butterflies. I will always remember this trip because despite the difficulties I had an amazing time and got to see a lot of beautiful things.

 

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