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Wanderlust: Backcountry Meandering with My Family in the Wallowa Mountains
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Wanderlust: Backcountry Meandering with My Family in the Wallowa Mountains on 11/25/2008 15:02:48 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Wanderlust: Backcountry Meandering with My Family in the Wallowa Mountains

Patricia Combee
(Trailfrog) - F

Locale: Northeast/Southeast your call
Only one word needed to describe this article and photos on 11/27/2008 14:36:53 MST Print View


Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Wanderlust: Backcountry Meandering with My Family in the Wallowa Mountains on 11/27/2008 19:25:57 MST Print View

Looks beautiful! Great pics too...making jello is a neat idea.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
No electronics allowed? on 11/27/2008 22:35:33 MST Print View

You must have snuck the camera along then ;-)


While I think it is cool and all that you have a deep history of family outings I am sorry... the whole "wife stays at home" leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It doesn't set an example by any means that is good for the kids. It is sexist no matter how sugar coated it is.
So when the kids, now grown, marry and are wives themselves do they have to stay at home? Seriously!

Other wise very nice photos of an always pretty area.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Wanderlust: Backcountry Meandering with My Family in the Wallowa Mountains on 11/28/2008 00:57:13 MST Print View

It's stories like this that I personally like reading most on backpacking and why I go backpacking. Talking about gear is okay and can be interesting, but it gets SOOOOOOO boring after a while... the same thing over and over again.

I lived in Oregon for 10 years and fell deeply in love with it, espcially the Cascades. Unfortunately I never visited the Wallowas. My dream is to go back to Oregon one day and spend the rest of my remaining years exploring the wild places there. It is one place that forever stays in my heart.

I've never been able to understand why it is that it is perfectly fine for women to have a "women's night out" or even go on a women's-only backpacking trip, because these are times when the women feel they can relax and just be themselves without having to deal with the anomalies that men bring into the mix, but when men want to do the same thing, it is "sexist". So, does that mean that men should, under no circumstances, ever get together without women? Are men not allowed to just feel themselves and do things they way they feel comfortable with without the ever watching eyes of women? And is there nothing of value that men can teach children from a male perspective, that women cannot teach them? Women feel that they can teach children female values and ways of seeing things that men just cannot, but not men? That is grossly unfair, and to be honest, sexist thinking in its own right.

There are reasons why the number of men who go outdoors far outstrips the number of women. Upbringing and the social mores are, of course, significant in how women perceive their relationship to the outdoors, and the way a lot of the outdoor industry has been set up until now clearly favors the way men tend to look at and do things. But there is also the way a lot of women feel about being out there. Many don't want to deal with the dirt and the heavy packs and the fast pace that many men often want to impose on themselves. That's perfectly fine, and to each their own, but does that mean that men should then give up what makes them happy just to please women who don't want to do those things?

More and more there is a very troubling trend around the world, by women and the media, to completely render insignificant anything that smacks of being male. While I completely agree that the way women have been treated by men until now truly needed reform and men need to make a concerted effort to understand women's issues, I don't think it should be at the expense of men's identity and sense of dignity. Men are still people and have their own ways of seeing things. Not all of it is wrong or damaging. (just like not all of the way women see things is right and healing, either) I'm sure the children in this article learned a lot from the father's rules, including the girls. I'd love to read the rest of the rules!

One of my favorite quotes, "Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it!"

Edited by butuki on 11/28/2008 01:11:40 MST.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
men only on 11/28/2008 11:01:23 MST Print View

Some of the most impactive times in my relationships have come when I've spent dedicated time with "the boys" ("no women") - or my wife ("no kids") - or "the -----" ("no -----"). This theme opens up new dimensions in relationships that deepens them in ways that cannot be accomplished when "everyone's" around because unique opportunities for trust and vulnerability arise.

Combine that with a wilderness experience that declutters the mind and the results can be powerful.

Pete Sandrock
(petesandrock) - MLife
Wallowa, Hells Canyon, & Blue Mountain Ecosystems on 11/29/2008 21:33:30 MST Print View

The Wallowas are the centerpiece of three extraodinarily diverse and rich landscapes that connect the Northern Rockies, Northern Basin & Range, and Cascade ecoregions.

In a dozen miles the topography soars westward from the deepest gorge in the western hemisphere (Hells Canyon) to the nearly ten thousand foot peaks of the Wallowas. A dozen more miles to the north lies the Zumwalt Prairie, the largest intact native prairie in the U.S. and the home of one of the largest breeding raptor populations in North America. To the south lies the largely intact steppe and shrubland high deserts of the Basin and Range.

Oregon's northeastern corner is the home to bighorns, pronghorns, moose, lynx, bison, wolves, and nearly-extinct Snake River sockeye salmon. It is the mixing zone for plants and grasses from the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest.

If you want to learn more, visit, the website of the Hells Canyon Preservation Council.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Wanderlust: Backcountry Meandering with My Family in the Wallowa Mountains on 12/11/2008 02:06:21 MST Print View

I wanna go back to the Wallowas! Last time I was there, about 20 years ago, I found out all about tent site selection and just how non-insulating a soggy synthetic sleeping bag can be when we had a cloudburst starting about 8 pm, which sometime during the night turned to snow. The worst part of it was my then 14-year-old daughter saying smugly, "Mom, if you'd put the tent where I said, we wouldn't have been sleeping in a lake!."

Having learned a lot from this experience, the trip I plan next summer (Lord willing--gotta add that caveat at my age) should be a lot more pleasant but hopefully less exciting!

I do strenuously object to the non-inclusion of mothers. I fully understand the boys or the girls wanting an all-boy or all-girl outing, but to exclude a woman only because she has become a mother seems rather extreme. It makes as much sense as excluding a man only because he has become a father. In my family, I never could get the husband to backpack (one reason, though a minor one, why we divorced). It was I (Mom) who took the kids out backpacking to introduce them to the wilderness. Now I'm taking my grandkids out to give them the same life experience. Once the youngest grandkid is old enough (another year), their mommy is coming, too! We (the two older ones, their daddy and I) already do an annual outing to Washington's Olympic National Park coast. My son "Surfer Daddy" brings his surfboard (he's found a really lightweight one) and wetsuit (not lightweight, especially when wet) and does his surfing thing, while the kids and I play on the beach. Last summer we had a fantastic time exploring the tidepools around Point of the Arches during a minus tide.

Thanks, Pete, for reminding us how unique the Wallowas are! For those of us accustomed to hiking in the volcanic Cascades, the Wallowas are a quite different experience. Even though I've hiked and horsepacked extensively in the Rockies, I still find the Wallowas very different.

Edited by hikinggranny on 12/11/2008 02:26:17 MST.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Wanderlust: Backcountry Meandering with My Family in the Wallowa Mountains on 01/06/2009 21:18:47 MST Print View

My wife and I moved to western Oregon in September. We have enjoyed much of what this amazing state has to offer. Hell's Canyon and environs are on our short list, but there is just too much to see and do. Truly a beautiful and diverse state. Most of our backpacking and hiking has been on the coast or the central Cascades so far. It was a treat to take at least a journalistic visit to the Wallowas.

As to the "No Mothers Rule", I will add a male voice to the disapprove column. I can understand going out with "the guys" and I can even see Dad taking the kids out for some quality time in the woods without Mom. But to ban her year after year seems a little much. My wife loves to backpack so to tell her she couldn't go on a trip with her own children would not go over well. I suppose if she disliked the idea of camping, then there would be a de facto banning if I took the kids backpacking. But, I suppose every family dynamic is different and so if this setup works for Regina's family and they are happy with it then that is what is important.