We camped for a few days during the latter part of June, in the Wallowa Lake Lodge in Northeastern Oregon. A little comfort isn’t wasted on us seniors. Our major objective was to check out the flowers on the Zumwalt Prairie and the “Oregon Alps”. We saw large patches of Pink Fairies “Clarkia pulchella”, collected by Lewis and name for Clark, several species of blue penstemons and some Mariposa Lilies “Calochortus macrocarpus” along with some other prairie flowers.
Cousin Larry and his wife and my wife and I hiked up Chief Joseph Trail near the lodge looking for Mountain Lady’s Slipper orchids “Cypridium montanum” and there were some growing along the trail. We also saw some Bead Lilies “Clintonia uniflora” and some Pink Wintergreen “Pyrola asarifolia”.
We went on up the trail and we were looking for some Yellow Columbines “Aquilegia flavescens” and managed to find some. We came to a fork in the road and of course, we took the one less traveled. Our wives meanwhile, had stayed on the main trail. We didn’t go very far before we were entertained by an approaching thunder and lightning storm. We were wearing hats but we didn’t have our coats and we took shelter under the pine trees. While were standing there an old doe came down the trail and she stopped about twenty-five feet away to look us over. Apparently, she didn’t like our smell because she let out a big snort and high-tailed it out of there.
Meanwhile, Larry and I had gotten as wet as we were going to get and we headed back down the trail to the car. The ladies got there first but they didn’t have a key so they waited out the hail storm in an outhouse with a metal roof. After the rain let up, they walked back to the lodge. We had a key and we took the car. I think we were wet enough that we could have stood in the lake to dry out but we didn’t drown and we didn’t rust. It has occurred to me after that trip that there might be some merit to carrying one of those light weight disposable ponchos in my camera bag or perhaps, even two or three.