Tag Archives: Camping

Creation, Youth, And The Three Rs

Sorry, this isn't a picture of Peace Valley as I did not have a camera with me on this trip...however this is a picture of Idaho somewhere. =?

As mentioned in my last post, this weekend was the first (and hopefully ‘annual’) PRV youth retreat. We traveled about 30-miles north of Crouch, Idaho, to a place called Silver Creek Plunge, which was, appropriately enough, in a valley called “Peace Valley.” 😀

There were 12 of us on the retreat – seven young adults ranging from 12(?) to 19, four leaders and a two year old. Granted, the two year old thought he was much, much older and kept insisting that he be allowed to join the others in their activities. The teenagers, for their part, did an awesome job at including him in their activities; without, I might add, any requests or comments from us – they simply just loved hanging out and playing with him! (how cool is that! I love our church family!)

Throughout the weekend we talked about creation and how God is continually active in creation, whether that be humanity, fauna, flora, dirt or rocks. St. Paul tells us in the first chapter of Colossians that all “things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” was make through and for Jesus. Furthermore, not only was it made by the Creator, but it is sustained by Him – meaning, that He didn’t just make things and then went on vacation. Nope, He is right there in the midst of everything working and fighting against the injustice of the evil one, till that day comes when enough is enough and all things are renewed and evil is destroyed once and for all (oh, that it may come soon!).

Yet, I digress from the main topic…

Weaved into our chats about creation was the theme of our, humanities, responsible to ‘tend the garden.’ The very first job given to Adam at the beginning of the world was to take care of the land and help it produce good fruit (Gen 2:15). Accordingly we, as Adam’s descendants, are to take care of the land and animals and help them flourish.

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“God of Wonder” Youth Camp

I am looking forward to a great youth camp this weekend. We are taking a group of young adults into the mountains for an amazing time of worship, teaching, fun, and fellowship. Some of the folks have never camped out in tents, so it should be quite the adventure. =P

During the weekend we are going to be talking about God has displayed His creativity within creation as well as how we are to response as stewards of the environment. As you all know, this is a theme that is close to my heart! (and I didn’t even pick the theme – our youth leader did!!!)

Sagehen Reservoir

Every summer there is a steady stream of cars driving north past the house headed to Sagehen Reservoir. And every summer I have driven the other direction as I’m not one to [car] camp near other folks (unless they are a few miles out from the trailhead in the middle of the wilderness, then I will talk to them all day long – as my brother found out this summer).

This year however we decided to join a co-worker, his family and some of their friends for a few days camping at Sagehen.

Hanging out around the campfire

As it turned out, all four families (ours included) were adoptive families – three of which were also foster care families. This common bond opened up a plethora of interesting and insightful conversations.

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Historic Baker City

Last weekend was a breath of fresh air.

It was a time of relaxation and friendship as my wife and I had the opportunity to get away and spend a weekend together without our son (Thanks Dad and Mom for babysitting!!) – or any of the stress of being a pastor or homeowner (amazingly enough the later is actually harder!).

The first evening was spent camping next to Philips Lake about twenty miles west of Baker City, Oregon. The next morning we got up lazily and wondered into town to visit the really cool Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

It was amazing standing in the wagon ruts of the 170 year old Oregon trail thinking about the thousands of people who walked before us headed to a new life.

Continue reading Historic Baker City

Fly Fishing The Payette

Let the record be set – I am not an avid fisherman. Growing up my father tried his best to teach me the skills of casting and catching fish on our Icelandic camping trip. We hired a 4×4 camper van Iceland based to drive to the best spots – however, the odds where stacked against me as I usually found myself in the water instead on the bank holding a rod. (This would be why I took up SCUBA diving!)

Even with this history, there was something that kept drawing me to fly fishing. It seemed so graceful and active all at the same time. No longer are you sitting on bank with a beer in hand waiting for a fish to bite. Nor are you zipping around on your boat casting and reeling and casting and reeling…..

With fly fishing it is a smooth graceful cast – dodging vegetation and the line eating trees – up stream with the peaceful, relaxing pause as the fly floats downstream in the current. Theeeeeennnnn repeat. Over and over as you stand among the clear mountain streams and rivers praying to the Lord Most High.

Well…at least that’s what happened yesterday morning about ten miles north of Crouch on the Middle Fork of the Payette River. Undecided[@more@]

It was wonderful! We drove up into the mountains late Sunday night hunting for a place to camp. Finally about 10 or 10:30 pm, we arrived at a narrow 4×4 trail that led up to a beautiful campsite next to a rushing stream coming off the mountain sloops. We had put an air mattress in the bed of the truck before we left the house to use at the camp. To be honest I was a little worried that it would rain on the drive over and make the air mattress damp. Luckily that didn’t happen, but I’ve been thinking of getting a truck cover (like those on https://www.peragon.com/truck-tonneau-covers/ just in case I decide to take a mattress in the back again In the end it was all worth it, we were able to go right to sleep with the help of our air mattress.

Early the next morning (Monday), I awake to the rising sun and the chirping of the birds. It was wonderful! Laughing

I grabbed my fishing gear and headed down to the river to see what I could catch. At first it was very disappointing as there wasn’t a fish in slight. Wondering up and down the river, I began to ask the Creator if He would at least let me see a fish – I don’t have to catch it. Just seeing that there was something living the water would be enough!!! (Bear tracks on the bank suggested that there was living beings on the shore!)

Casting once again into the waters, I let the fly float down stream before flicking it upwards….only this time, something was wrong. Sigh. I had caught a rock….only if it was a rock, why was it moving?!

Glory be to the Lord Most High! He had allowed me to catch a beautiful rainbow trout!! (never mind the fact it was only 6 inches long). In fact, this fish was the very first fish I had caught using a fly rod. Much happiness! Laughing


I released the trout as it wasn’t big enough to eat, then went on to catch two more small trouts….granted it could have been the same one as it was in or near the same location. Tongue out

East of Hells Canyon, South of Seven Devils

Cuprum, Idaho (Hells Canyon)You would think it would be hot – considering the landmark names. But it wasn’t.

Of course, it wasn’t has if hell froze… it was more of a steady chill mixed with a smoky haze.

Hmmm… maybe I’m overdoing the name thing? Undecided

Ok. I will stop.

This weekend (Weekend = Sunday-Tuesday) we went camping on the southern end of the Seven Devil Mountains. It was a ton of fun! I was able to forget the stresses of life while hiking, fishing and hanging out with my bride and her parents.

After two nights camping, we drove down the Kleinschmidt Grade into Hells Canyon. Kleinschmidt Grade is a narrow, windy, dirt road that drops a vertical mile from the East side of the canyon. The side of the road were lined with thick high bushes with hard twigs that were brushing against the side of our campervan. This certainly made scratches on the van. The condition of the road did not help either as we were wobbling the entire route. Luckily, after I got a good Campervan Insurance quote, I decided to insure our van for all sorts of repair works. The route was originally an old mining road build in the late 1800’s to help transfer the copper ore from the mountains to the Snake River at the bottom of Hells Canyon.

Needless to say, it was a beautiful drive – at least the parts I saw when I dared to take my eyes of the road!

Note: the above photo was taken in a small mining camp called Cuprum at the top of Kleinschmidt Grade. The batteries on my good camera was dead so I snapped a quick picture using my cell phone..