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I like to read about geology, but the story of the ground beneath our feet is much more visceral when it’s smeared all over your clothes.

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Wallowa Lake is difficult to take for granted.

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Renee Patrick started her epic walk through the Blue Mountains in the sweaty heat of July, and she finished it amid the nostril-freezing chill of an alpine autumn.

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The malady afflicts me every January, as certain as the handful of fir needles the vacuum cleaner fails to inhale after the Christmas tree has been dragged to its ignominious end.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has made it possible for some people to spend a couple of nights this winter in a snowbound log cabin high in the Elkhorn Mountains.

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Beavers are reclusive and elusive, but they can’t do much about that telltale tail.

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Jerry Yencopal’s once-in-a-lifetime bighorn sheep hunt was very nearly stopped by a black widow spider.

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This year, I thought smugly, I had the Christmas tree problem solved before Halloween.

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State biologists have confirmed that the outbreak of pneumonia that has sickened and in some cases killed bighorn sheep in both of Baker County’s herds was caused by the same strain of bacteria.

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I like to walk where, on a majority of days in any given year, I would splash.

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ENTERPRISE — Following a trend set in recent years, anglers fishing the Grande Ronde and its tributaries for steelhead can expect a season of sparse returns and a disproportionate number of un…

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LA GRANDE — There are hundreds of hiking, fishing and hunting spots in Oregon. But only a portion of them are accessible to people with disabilities. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife…

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A little more than a week ago, pedaling a mountain bike probably was the fastest way to descend the slopes at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort.

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We went searching for the Singing Rock on the sort of October day when both the cloying heat of summer and the nostril-clenching chill of winter seem more fantasy than recent or looming reality.

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MEDICAL SPRINGS — A drive down a familiar road these days can feel less like a trip through friendly territory and more like doomscrolling. The red and blue propped up in every other yard, on …

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Certain three-word terms can cause goosebumps to erupt on my forearms and my mouth to go dry.

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Ken Emerson’s family might have been the last people to spend the night in the Porcupine Guard Station, and it all happened because he was a bit too confident in his Ford Bronco’s off-road prowess.

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Eight months after a bacterial illness was confirmed to be spreading through one of Baker County’s two herds of bighorn sheep, animals in the other herd are also getting sick and, in a few cas…

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The first step onto a trail has a bit of magic in it, no matter how modest the measurement of a single stride.

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The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is proposing to increase fees at 28 campgrounds and to charge fees at 24 other recreation sites, most of them also campgrounds, that are free now. The chang…

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Pandemic or no, it still comes down to powder.

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If the Woodley Rocks were in a national park, a paved trail would wind among the peculiar pinnacles and you’d hardly be able to get a photograph that didn’t include a couple of giggling kids w…

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We rounded the corner and suddenly the great peak, until that moment hidden by the rumpled topography, was straight ahead.

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At Bates State Park they don’t roll out the red carpet for you, but they do roll it up.

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“… ouzels seem to show excellent taste in their choice of surroundings.” — Charles Batchelder

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In the Eagle Cap Wilderness, social distancing is better measured in miles than in feet.

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FILLMORE, Utah — Tonight, I’m writing my column at the last minute from my motel in Fillmore, Utah. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry, neither had I.

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Collapsing my tenkara rod, I reflected on the brilliant California golden trout I had just released back into the trickle of a mountain stream dropping from a series of high lakes in the Ansel…

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The word “Porcupine,” printed on the map in bold black letters, piqued my curiosity.

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“If I’d hesitated another moment I could have had a bear and T-bone steaks,” joked Oregon hunter Dan Turpin. It was opening day of deer season and he was hunting in the Ochocos.

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For much of my life, the upper Umatilla River has served as a place of refuge. As a child, my parents drove our 1955 Mercury station wagon from Weston to the heart of the Umatilla Indian Reser…

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Not long ago I was hiking up a timbered slope in the Wallowas to a big field of talus I’d noticed on satellite imagery. “Ground-truthing,” you might say, something I often do when I spot an in…

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The Pacific Northwest is uniquely wonderful, in no small part because it actually has seasons. Now, fall has long been my favorite season and even though it marks the end of my unfettered play…

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The first two of this week’s plants are about 4 to 6 feet in height and growing in wet soil along the southbound Interstate 84 exit ramp to the Mt. Emily road. The other two plants are bloomin…