Cornucopia

During our time here in Eastern Oregon, we have been in search of new and beautiful hikes. We have a guide book that we really enjoy, but many of the hikes we like are not in that book. We have searched online through blogs and websites, but there are not that many people who document their favorite hikes, at least not in Eastern Oregon. So, we thought it would be nice to document the hikes we go on to let others know of some of the great hiking options Eastern Oregon offers. 
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Where: Cornucopia, about 12 miles outside of Halfway, Oregon

Distance: About 4.5 miles round trip (to the waterfall and back)

Difficulty: Easy

Today we traveled to the ghost town Cornucopia for our hike. This town was once a booming town when gold was found there in the 1880s. The town was bustling with miners for years, until the mine finally closed in 1941. It has been sitting as a remembrance to that time ever since.

DSC_0393 DSC_0395 DSC_0399Right before the cutoff to the town, you take a right turn on a road that leads to a packing station. About 100 yards down the dirt road is a place to stop and park. From here we followed an old mining road that trails the river. The run-off from the snow made it difficult to find the trail at first. We followed the direction from the GPS and the descriptions in our guide book, but realized that we needed to cross what we thought was the river to the trail. Once we found the trail, we followed the path chasing the curves of the river, crossing over a few foot bridges, all the while keeping an eye out for the cascading waterfall.

DSC_0412 DSC_0420 DSC_0427 DSC_0437 DSC_0435It was interesting to see remnants of old mining equipment just left throughout the trail. The old rusted pieces of metal were burnt orange and darting out throughout our hike. This trail is positioned in the southern part of the Eagle Caps. About 5,000 feet up into the forest. IMG_3949

Overall it was an easy hike, once we found our way. It is about a 4.5 mile hike round trip. Our hike ended at the waterfall. The trail continues on, so we had to off-road it to the edge of the cliff that overlooks the falls. Unfortunately, with all the brush and placement of the trail, it was difficult to get a great view of the falls. The best place we found was at the top of the falls, watching the water plummet 40 feet into a blue pool below. The pictures really do not do it justice, unable to show the strength of the water, as well as the beauty. DSC_0444 DSC_0442 DSC_0448

A camping we will go

We have been waiting all winter long for summer, nice warm weather, the snow to be melted, and a chance to go camping. Since Bri had a four day weekend, we knew this was the perfect opportunity. All week the weather got warmer and warmer. By Thursday the outlook said it would be sunny and 88 degrees. So, we headed out. IMG_3833

We knew the mountains closest to us would still have snow and temperatures that drop into the thirties at night. With Asher, we knew we wanted to find a place that would stay relatively warm at night. So, after a little bit of searching, we found a campsite that looked nice in Ukiah, Oregon. This little town is about 2 hours Northwest from us. There are two ways to get there, taking the main freeway and then cutting across (not a very pretty drive), or to take the backroads through the Blue Mountains (a very pretty drive). We weren’t sure about the snow and if the backroads would be cleared yet, since we know the road up and around Anthony Lakes is not yet open for the season. We decided on the safer route. IMG_3851

Earlier Friday morning we noticed that the weather forecast had changed to 30% chance of rain. Now, the weather forecasters never seem to care about even trying to be accurate when predicting the weather in Eastern Oregon. So, we never can rely on the weather forecasts. It didn’t seem like it would rain when we packed up, so we continued without a care in the world. Well, the moment we pulled out of the garage, the drops began to fall.

It poured until we got there. Then it stopped as we pulled into our campsite. We quickly put up the tent, set up our bed, and got Asher inside before it once again began to rain. It rained without a break until about 7:30. We spent a few hours playing Phase 10, reading, and keeping Asher occupied with toys and selfies. We sure were glad Ash is only 6 months old, having a toddler would be a completely different experience. We probably would have packed up and gone home. IMG_3813IMG_3800

Luckily, the rain really died down after 7:30. We were getting worried we wouldn’t be able to eat dinner. We were able to get out and make dinner, and Zach even got a chance to do a little fishing before the day ended. We finished the evening with a movie on the laptop (which was smart to bring, since it was too wet to make a fire). IMG_3822 IMG_3830

This morning we got up, Zach started a fire, while I made us breakfast. Ash and I even got to watch Zach do some more fishing (even if the fish weren’t biting). There wasn’t any hiking around our campsite, so we decided to head home via the backroads after asking a forest ranger if the roads were clear. IMG_3854

Only in Oregon, would there be highways that are not paved. So, for about 40 miles we traveled a windy, desolate, one-lane gravel road. At times there were giant potholes and fallen trees in our route. It was a beautiful ride. We passed over a few summits, followed a fast-flowing river, and saw many mines. At the end of the road we reached Olive Lake. This was a surprise to us because we were originally planning on camping here with some friends, but the snow blocked the entrance a week ago. We knew they were going to try to get in anyway, so we decided to stop to see if they did. The snow had diminished a lot in the last week, so we easily made the trek up to the lake. It is a beautiful lake that we can’t wait to camp at this summer. IMG_3849IMG_3852

We ended the trip with a stop in Sumpter. They have a huge flea market here every year. We haven’t been since we came out for our interview two years ago. We met up with some friends, walked around, and got some kettle corn. All in all, it was a successful trip full of fun, friends, family, and funny faces!IMG_3846

just keep drivin’

So this past weekend we went on drive up Marble Creek Rd. Ever since Zach got his Explorer, we have been waiting for the weather to get nice and the snow to melt so we can go drive up some crazy dirt roads. We have been wanting to take this trek up Marble Creek Rd to a couple of trailheads. So, since it was such a nice day on Saturday, and I wanted to try out my new hiking shoes (my birthday present from Zach), we packed Asher and Kona in the car and headed out.

DSC01501It was a nice drive, we even rolled down the windows to feel the nice cool breeze as we traveled up the mountain. As we journeyed farther and farther, the roads became more uneven and bumpy. To the right of me the mountainside lined the road. To Zach’s left, the road plummeted to the valley below. I uneasily sank my fingers into my door handle, while Zach cheered in excitement all the way up the mountain. We jolted from side to side as we rounded corners, fought through brush, and escaped big holes left from the winter weather.

DSC01519About three miles from the top (and the trailhead), we finally reached the snow. At first it only covered one side of the road. So, Zach was able to grip the road with the two right wheels and power on through. But, as the snow widened across the road we weren’t sure whether to keep trudging along or to turn around. We decided to see what our four-wheel drive could really do.

DSC01504Well . . . we realized that although it can do a lot in snow and on the dirt roads, this road which is covered in hard, thick, ice would not let the Explorer grip. So, after quickly getting stuck, we decided to stop there. We got out, ate our lunch, and went on a little hike up the road a little farther.

DSC01499DSC01507Although we did not meet our destination, it was worth it to watch Kona run through the snow and enjoy some time out in the forest. And of course we could not leave without attempting to take a family selfie (although can you call it a selfie if there are three of us?)

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Asher’s Baptism

Asher was baptized a few weeks ago. We have been so busy, I haven’t had a chance to put the pictures up until now.DSC_0370

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We had some family here for the weekend, so Asher was the center of attention all weekend long. The grandparents and great grandparents had a great time playing with him. DSC_0363

It was a great service. Pastor Jon did an amazing job, and Asher laughed all the through it. I’m not sure who was actually listening to Jon since Asher was stealing the show! Good thing it was all about him. DSC_0345DSC_0392It was a great weekend, but I think someone needed some time to recover!

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Easter

He is Risen Indeed!

Asher had a wonderful time at church for his first Easter.

Here are some pictures of us from today.

easter1 easter2 easter3This one will be saved for when his first girlfriend comes over for dinner, high school graduation, or his wedding slideshow. easter4

month five

month5.1Somebody is five months old today!

This happy guy is enjoying rolling around on the floor, seeing how high his voice will go, and talking to the happy baby in the mirror . . . oh, and we can’t forget, drooling all over mommy and daddy.

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a day off

We enjoyed having a day at home to take pictures, put away outgrown clothes, organize new ones, play, and watch the olympics. Can’t every day be President’s Day?
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