A place like ‘Shangri-La’

It was a stretch visiting Northeastern Oregon in three days. It is a 7-1/2 drive one way with a couple side-tracks along the way, we ended our first day after a 10-1/2 hours drive. Regardless, we simply love this area and I don’t doubt that we will come back again.

There are no resorts, no fancy restaurants, and no wineries or golf courses here. All are natural and all are raw. The residents here have claimed that they live in heaven on earth. That magical charm is somehow undescriptive and the few pictures I took cannot justify what you can experience here, in person.

Good Morning

Morning is so quiet and peaceful. I feel that I have to lower my voice in order not to break the silence.  At home, I see early birds, but here, horses. I desired to take a picture of a couple of horses grazing the grass in front of the Oregon ‘Alps’ (Wallowa Mountains), but they seemed always so far away from me.  I am glad that they have the vast land to roam and not have to be restricted inside a corral.

My Red Barn

Believe it or not, I took a picture of this red barn when I came through here more than 20 years ago. That was probably the first picture that I ever framed and complimented on. I was told that I had photographer’s eyes, but I was not tenacious enough to put my work aside…The dream is merely a luxury if it has never come true. I am grateful that I am able to fulfill my dream at this stage of my life.

Iced Lake
Iced Lake

It was 29 degrees outside. Cozy sunray shines on the mountain top and reflects on the lake. Layers of ice formed the texture and framed the lake. The shapes, the lines, and the colors are all so inviting that I could not resist snapping a few. My fingers were frozen and I could feel my quiver, but the cold chill is amazingly refreshing and the reflected golden ray seemed to warm me up.

Winding highways along the mountain range seem to go on forever and the scenery evolves. In this small northeastern corner, you see rivers and lakes, rolling hills and chiseled rocks, mirror-like lakes, and even canyons. I would want to make constant stops along the way, but we were tightly constrained, by time. Some roads were covered with snow (unexpectedly) and we were not prepared enough to have snow tires on.

In a place like this, you would always find something that you have not discovered in the past. There is also something that always draws my attention and stirs my mind:


How do I describe why I am attached to this spot? I cannot. But every time when I passed through this place, instinctively I always raised my camera. Does it look like a passage to the mountaintop where our Divine is presiding?

Morning sun was hovering, but it went astray in the forest. Early fog was floating on the lake. It looks steaming and yet chilling. Does this look like a place where the ‘Polar Express’ train would pass through?…

In Reality

We should have stayed there for a week, but we planned only three days. My husband has driven three full days without stop to provide us this photography opportunity.

This is an episode of our Casual Adventures in Oregon.

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