Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hell Sure is Gorgeous!

Being facetious, of course! And apparently flowers bloom a-plenty in Hell -- Hell's Canyon, that is! Unable to wake up at o-dark-hundred to meet for a group ride, we decided instead to blaze our own trail today, this time up to the Hell's Canyon Overlook, a spot we've been meaning to visit for some time. Why anyone would name such a heavenly place "Hell's Canyon" is beyond me, but I suspect it has to do with the ruggedness of the terrain and the early pioneers.

Here's a crude pieced-together-panorama shot. Someday I'll have a proper wide angle lens. Until then, we'll enjoy the wild flowers that carpeted the lush meadows, and the brilliant blue sky. Here are more pix of the views - stunning to say the least! 

 I really wanted to snatch this up and take it home, to reduce to bones and have it mounted properly. It would make a neat anatomical specimen for the studio. But not only did I suspect that hubby would be nonplussed with me cramming a decaying elk leg into his bike-bag, but the Park had a "no tread" and "no take" policy, so I left it to fertilize future flowers. I wondered what the story was behind this leg...the rest of the carcass was nowhere to be seen. 

Three of the interesting surprises on this trip were the cows we encountered on the road (apparently the Park is free-roaming). On a Harley, coming face to face with a large black steer that outweighs you and the bike combined is interesting to say the least! The second quirk of the trip was realizing that the road to the overlook ate up more gas than expected -- and on a bike, the contents of the gas tank are a big deal. Suffice to say we rolled into Baker City almost on fumes! The third hiccup was not knowing that much of the roads to Hell's Canyon and the Overlook were just repaired with tar and gravel, and for a bike that slows the trip to a crawl -- so we got home four hours later than expected! Rolling into our driveway just as the sun was going down, we were tired, but armed with great memories, lovely photos and some good stories for our fellow riders.

Anyway, when I tell folks I'm from Idaho, most people say, "Where?" Then their next question usually is, "Why Idaho?" Well, if these photos, and the others I've posted, are any indication (and they are), they provide a pretty good answer. I'm definitely a NorthWest girl, though I do admit that living in a lighthouse along the Maine coast is equally tempting. As the years go by, I also find myself being drawn ever more to hidden, reclusive places -- those little homesteads tucked away behind hillsides would sure seem more homey with a kiln in the back...

"I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright." ~ Henry David Thoreau

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