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The Gearboat Chronicles

Fox Alert on the Iwetemlaykin Trail

Best Short Hike With Baby Foxes: Iwetemlaykin Trail

Heading to Wallowa Lake, pull in at the trailhead on the right, take the short tour and don’t forget your cute repellant because there’s baby foxes all frolicking around right now.

Captain Baird and I were driving by there and fantastic Mr. Fox sauntered across the road right in front of us, then zigzagged through a deer herd. I’ve never fumbled to open the camera on my phone quite that fast and got it ready just in time for the fox to be done posing for National Geographic photos and be way off in the distance. Here’s what that looks like:


Paraphrased from the State Parks website: Iwetemlaykin is the Nez Perce name for the area of the Wallowa Lake basin. Pronounced ee-weh-TEMM-lye-kinn, that translates to “at the edge of the lake.” The property is adjacent to a Nez Perce National Historical Park, site of Old Chief Joseph Gravesite and Cemetery.

 Speaking of the Wallowa Lake Basin

Lay your eyeballs on this panorama shot. Goldang but that’s a pretty patch of water.


Imnaha Highway Cleanup

Last chance to throw some garbage out your window on the mile of road Winding Waters helps vacuum and keep tidy. The crew is gathering this week for some spring cleaning of the ditches. We hit the guardrails with some Febreze, Windex the reflectors and wash the gravel. You know, just a general overhaul.

We’re so used to Leave No Trace ethics that the first year one of our new guides was scrubbing the painted lines off the asphalt but Cody at ODOT didn’t appreciate it. Now we just touch up the fogline with glittery nail polish left over from the Rivah Sistahs trip.

Other Things Seen in Wallowa County: The Center of a Tootsie Pop

 This is what I like about living here. I was wandering around my noxious weed farm of a back yard while my dog did a sniffing inventory of every grass clump, talking away with my sister when I had the distinct notion I was being watched. Whoooo was it? I had to look up.


 Hands-on Learning

Wallowa Elementary students took a tour of the Enterprise Hatchery a few weeks back and helped out with the spawning chores. Interesting to see the process and the kids dove right in. Weren’t afraid of slime one bit.


Rafting season is approaching. I can hear the pitter-patter of Chacos and flip-flops in the distance. Take a tour of the cool specialty trips lined up this season, from deluxe eats with Plate & Pitchfork, history on the Grande Ronde with author Vince Welch to the live music tours in Hells Canyon and on the Lower Salmon.

Gonna be a great summer.