A handful of days disconnected in the Willowa mountains

I spend much of my life online, something I once reveled in, but have always sought to balance by disconnecting and going outdoors. This year, 2018, I made the longest solo backpack trip I’ve managed since Ann sagged me on the Continental Divide Trail in 2004. On that trip my longest stretch between resupplies was eight days, an experience that transformed me mentally and physically in ways I never anticipated. Last August I wondered what I was in for this time when Ann dropped me off near Cove, Oregon for six days on my own in the Willowa range. There were much different questions in my head on this trip. How would my mind handle being offline? Does time alone in the mountains always heal and refresh, and how does that happen when it does? I took a notebook to record any answers that might come to me. Here are the pages from that notebook and some pictures from the trip.

Here we go
Indian Pipe
Indian pipes
Red's horse ranch gate
Washboard ridge
Gray hairstreak
Gray hairstreak
Me on Washboard ridge
Washboard ridge campsite
Misty canyon
Bear lake
Bear lake
Large bolete
Rain makes for giant boletes
Promise of sun
Mirror lake and Eagle Cap
Glacier lake and Eagle Cap
Milbert's tortoiseshell
West fork Willowa basin
Glacier peak slabs
Mountain goats
West fork Willowa valley from Sentinel peak
East fork Willowa valley
East Willowa river canyons
Mylitta crescent
Mylitta crescent
Leaving Eagle Cap wilderness
Deadman canyon trailhead signs
Us at Eckles creek viewpoint

2 responses to “A handful of days disconnected in the Willowa mountains”

  1. What a wonderful Christmas present: reading your journal and enjoying the visuals of your backpack trip on Christmas morning! Thank you! And I love that photo of you and Ann at the end. Ann looks so relieved!!

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