Ten years ago next month, Mr. Squash and I said our wedding vows in the Minam River located in Northeast Oregon's Eagle Cap Wilderness. You can read the entire story on my sidebar. Having just returned from a short trip to the Minam in celebration of our anniversary, I thought it would be fun to show you how we got there this time! And just let me say that it has been a most wonderful 10 years of marriage to Mr. Squash - I look forward to many more!
Now that we live much closer to the area, we thought it would be fun to fly in from Enterprise, Oregon. This is the airport - flight office, control tower, bathroom, living quarters upstairs - all rolled into one!
We flew in with Joe Spence, a very nice fellow who could probably fly in blind for the amount of times he's made the trip. Thank goodness his sight is just fine, though! Joe has probably flown all sorts of things into the Minam - chickens, dogs, building materials, household goods, huge propane canisters, not to mention lots of folks from all corners! Here is our plane above - Joe is gassing her up for the 15 -20 minute flight.
Here is the waiting room along with our bag and fly fishing rods!
After a short taxi down the runway amidst fields of alfalfa, wheat and hay....
...we successfully lift off over Enterprise. That is the Wallowa Mountain Range in the distance - we'll be flying over the lower portion to the right.
Isn't this gorgeous? The yellow field is Canola. This whole area is sparsely populated and mostly farmed with cattle and hay.
We've just hopped over the first of two ridges before the canyon where the Minam River flows. Look at that pristine lake - and they're even farming every bit of land here!
Here is the Minam River - click on the picture for a better look.
Uh, oh.....we have whitecaps on the river! At this point we wonder it is will be low enough to fish!
How cool - the shadow of Joe's plane on the trees below!
This is the runway at the lodge! Joe said it was completely flooded by the river as little as two days prior! He was very glad to see they had mowed a path for him to land!
Mr. Squash jumped right out of the plane next to the "Pilot's Lounge", geared up and ready to fish! (Well, not really, but he could have!) Yes, he's wearing a firearm on his belt. Some pilots camped down by the river a while ago said they had heard cougar screams, so it pays to be protected. Oh - and he's not fishing with two rods - one is mine!
This is the lodge from the runway. You can tell how much rain there has been by how green everything is and the very tall grass! Our cabin was on the far right.
I'm sorry to say fishing was pretty much non-existent! The first day we walked down to the river in front of the lodge. After a few casts we realized the water was too deep and fast to fish. We'd never seen the river this high in July! So on day two, we geared up and hiked a couple of miles to the other side of the river and down another mile or so to see if there were any good spots on that side. At this point you are in National Forest Wilderness.
Lupines along with lots of other spring-blooming wildflowers were abundant. Hey - did I just say Spring? Yes - the forest still thinks it is!
We usually love to fish this area of the river - it's full of deep pools where the trout love to hide. Look at it now - nothing but raging water and whitecaps! We could not get any closer than this.
Carrie gave me some flies for Christmas last year. I told her I would be using at least one of them on this trip - the nymph on the left. I used it nearly the entire day before I decided to try another nymph. The flied caught my vest, but not any fish - and not for lack of trying!
This is the lodge dog, Cisco. She was SO sweet. Every morning she would greet us with a "whole body wag" and cute little noises! We love Border Collies - perhaps someday there will be one at the Squash House!
There may not have been any fish to catch, but we were rewarded with an incredible view of the moon on our last night! We'll return again this year and hope that the fish are home!