Hiking Eagle Cap


The first time I went hiking, I was 22 years-old and the mother of a one-year-old. Tim took me to the Eagle Cap. It rained the entire first day. My hair, which was braided, still wasn’t dry two days later.

My father-in-law, bless his heart, had told me to beware the bears. Since I had never been outdoors really — listen here, I grew up in Georgia, where roaches and snakes abound — other than being on  a beach, I believed my father-in-law and was terrified the entire trip about them bears.

I didn’t know the Wallowas werent like the Smokies. Black bears aren’t the problem — mosquitoes, however, are in abundance.

I’ve been back a few times with Tim and a few times with some girlfriends (the cheater’s way) on horseback.

What about you? What’s your favorite hiking memory? Got any photos or videos you want to share with us?

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  • Rebecca Hartman

    Hi Karen,
    I have been hiking and backpacking since I was 16 (back when you went in with no GPS or cell phone!) so I have way too many favorites to pick just one. But last week I was hiking around the Newberry Caldera in southern Oregon and walked smack dab into a cinammon phase black bear cub! I got a great picture after I recovered from my very reasonable concern that his momma was gonna jump out of the bushes and kick my butt! Have fun up there.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Oh, gosh, Rebecca, my father-in-law would have blown that up to be a 7-ft 700 pound cub. 🙂

  • A St. Paddy’s day “hike” to Mt. Defiance in the Columbia Gorge years back. At the trailhead, elevation 200 feet, it was spring. Wildflowers in bloom everywhere. At about the 2200-ft level, I strapped on my snowshoes and climbed the rest of the way to the 4400-ft level on snow. 7.5 miles in. Light snow overnight. Absolute winter wonderland where I was next AM. Bright sun, snow-covered trees. Not a human footprint anywhere unless I made it. From my campsight, I could look down to the Columbia River 8/10 of a mile below me. Light snow flurries thawing in the sun produced this little rainbow over the blue river in the middle of a blue sky and a few puffy clouds. From spring into winter and back into spring all in one gorgeous trek.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Beautiful Roger but I’m a fairweather hiker. I need a meadow full of flowers and plenty of sunshine. No snow. 🙂

  • Somehow I don’t think you are going on this trip, miss Karen. Am I right? I’m such a detective… your twitter box says you are going to the big city tomorrow. I reckon you’ll have as many chances to run into wildlife there as you would have had in the Wallowas.

    What was your question? Ah, no haven’t been on any overnight hikes. I prefer to off-road it in a 4×4. You can carry more food that way! Ha.


    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Yes, Detective Darlene, I’m in Portland the next few days. I was not invited on this hike. It’s a father-daughter thing.

  • In the back-country of Yosemite is Hetch Hetchy Lake/Dam, which is supposedly beautiful. Never been there mind you b/c my sister and I decided to hike there (9 mile hike?), but about a mile into the hike, we came across a rattle snack lying across the path. We were not sure if it was dead, so I, being the one with all the brains, decided to throw a rock at it. I missed by a mile and the snake did not move. I walked 5 feet closer and decided to throw another rock. This one just missed and the snake, which was very much alive, decided it was mad enough to chase us. I have never run so fast in my life.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      hilarious. I am sorry. I know it’s mean to laugh but who tries to hit a rattlesnake with a rock???

  • Mary C

    Karin – I have many interests that get all consuming (flying, dancing, reading among them) but….hiking is something I have been doing ever since my first hike with my husband-to-be in the 60’s. When i retired I wanted to go every week and was lucky to be in on the formation of a group in the Tri-Cities (WA)that does just that – we call ourselves Fun, Fit and Over Fifty. I am in Minnesota this month taking care of a grandaughter who has had surgery but just before I came here, I hiked the Cash Prairie Trail to Burnt Mt and Shellrock Pk. It borders the Wm Douglas Wilderness in the South Cascades. It is one of my favorites – starts at 6000 ft with lots of wildflowers and fantastic views. It is off Hwy 12.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      I need to join with you all! Hope your granddaughter heals fast — sure she will with you there tending her.

  • Deb and I love hiking. Sand dunes in Michigan are lots of fun, up against the big lake, of course. Nice video. Have to make the most of the warm weather while it is here!

  • I used to do a lot of hiking at the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan. Lots of fun and talk about some steep hills. Climbing a hill of sand is pretty challenging! Of course I love the hiking trails at Cumberland Mountain State Park, too! Speaking of that – tonight is fried catfish night!