Wrapping it all up

Hey everyone! We had some technical difficulties with adding content because I ran out of media space (in other words I had too many pictures on here), but I think I have figured it out and I should be able to share the rest of our adventures with you!

We’ve actually been back in the states for a few weeks now, but here are the pictures from the last of our time in Akita Prefecture. This mainly includes our time in Akata village and our final presentations.

The AIU Library is GORGEOUS! We spent a good chunk of time here working on papers.
The AIU Library is GORGEOUS! We spent a good chunk of time here working on papers.
We also spent a good deal of time riding in these buses.
We also spent a good deal of time riding in these buses.


Ryoko was trying to hide her face, but it just made the picture that much more fun!
Rice fields for days!.


John mentioned that he wasn’t in a lot of pictures because he was always behind the camera, so I thought we needed a picture of him.
There was this really cool bridge that we walked across to see the waterfall after lunch.
This house was really cool and had a thatched roof.
We got to talk to a local farmer who was growing flowers.
We had a long discussion with him along the road and he answered all of our questions.
We then got to go down into the field.
There were a bunch of these adorable little frogs that were so small.


Then we went to an asparagus farmer’s field where he talked to us about his farm.
His asparagus farm.
He hopped down and showed us his plants.
A cool rice field behind some houses in Tenjin.
We had some down time and walked down to the river.
They had cemented in the rivers after WWII.
More Rice.
A Little Shrine in Tenjin.
We went to a farm where they raise cattle.
We also went to some more shrines/temples. .
There were these cool oragami birds that I really thought were neat
The water basin outside the temple.
This was the water reservoir above Akata that provided water to the irrigation systems.
There was also a pilgrimage in Akata where people go to 33 different locations and each has a poem along the way.
We also visited a graveyard where they have family graves.
This was another shrine within Akata, that was the oldest in the area, but it was interesting and different because it also had a Buddha statue in it that mixed Shinto and Buddhist religions together.
Outside the shrine.
The ceiling had this really cool dragon painting.
The Buddha statue.
After that we also came to this much larger temple.
This temple was really big and had a surprise inside that we weren’t expecting.
There was a huge many faced Buddha statue!


There was also a lot of cool paintings and other statues.
The next day we went to a waterfall in the forest and harvested mountain vegetables.
There was a cool old mine.
A bunch of bats flew out of it too.
Mountain Vegetables
Endo San with the mountain vegetables
Ryoko 🙂
Baseball Game back at AIU
We had to celebrate 4th of July, so we got a bunch of snacks and played cards in Ryoko’s room! 🙂 It was a ton of fun!


Traditional Dance Ceremony
Lion Dance
We also helped to weed an asparagus field
Ditch Line.
The Asparagus field
Making Pizza
We also made pizzas in Akata’s pizza oven
Holly playing on the playground
Andy joined in too!
Yasu and his pizza with Ryoko being silly.
John baking his pizza
Christian and Andy picking blueberries
Holly and Andy with their host family
My host family took Ryoko and I to the sea to see the sunset.
Final Presentations
Final Presentation
Andy's Birthday
Our final presentations were also on Andy’s birthday! Happy Birthday Andy!!! 🙂
Presentations in Akata
We also went back to Akata and gave our presentations again to our host families and the people who took the time to talk to us.

10404331_999636680048423_2845069483663500391_nAll of us with our host familes 🙂

Rainy day at the airport. Bye Japan!


I hope you’ve enjoyed our journey as much as we did! Thank you for following along on our adventures and for allowing us to share our experiences with you!





Adventures in Japan!!

Hi All,

Sorry for not posting for a while, but we’ve had a very eventful week. So this post is going to be a short summary of our journey in Japan thus far.

After being here for a little more than a week it’s been a fun, but busy schedule. We have visited several rural communities in Japan including Kayagasawa, Arawa, Tenjing, and Akata. So far we’re spent most of our time in Akata and have really gotten to know the community well.

In all the villages we have heard from several community leaders and local citizens, and have had a number of exciting adventures.

Our first day out, we went to Mt. Takao and did observations similar to the ones we did on Fitton Green. The view was fantastic and we walked up to the Torii gate, but only went part of the way. During that outing we had lunch a farmers restaurant. I think we all ended up having the special soba noodles. We also had a chance to talk with the owner of the restaurant and hear about how she started the place. We were served tea and watermelon at her house, and that was the most juiciest, sweetest, and delicious watermelon that I’ve ever had!

July 6 and 7, we spent that time in Tenjing. When we arrived we met the community leaders and then went up to a waterfall at Mt. Chokai. We couldn’t go all the way to the top of the falls, but we stopped at a lookout point and the view was great!

That night we had a dinner party the first night and there was so much wonderful handmade food that the local women made. It was definitely a feast! We gave a short introduction presentation on who each of the students were and then we had the chance to mingle with the community members.

We stayed the night at the Chokai-sou hotel where we relaxed in the onsen, hot springs. In the morning we woke up a gorgeous view of Mt. Chokai, and had a nice breakfast. Then we met the owner of a small beef industry and interviewed him about his business.

The rest of the time we have spent in Akata, which is near Yurihonjo City. We visited several temples and shrines in the area. The best was probably seeing the Akata daibutsu (Giant Buddha), which is one of the three Hase 11-faced Buddhas. The others are located in Nara and Kamakura, and those will be the places I will visit the next time I’m in Japan.

On another day we visited the Akata waterfall and some students explored a little bit of the abandoned mine that was on the hillside. We then harvested sansei, which is one of many edible wild plants. After lunch we even got to see the new food processing facility and saw how the sansei was packaged. It wasn’t the plant that we picked that day, but another woman’s harvest.

The following day each group was separated. I was part of the forest group, and we went up into the mountain to a logging site that Kato Timber Company was working at. They demonstrated how they fell trees and it was so cool to see the process in action. We also ended up hiking to the top of the mountain and saw the amazing view!

In the final days of our time in Akata, we had a fully packed schedule. On Saturday morning, we helped pull weeds out in the agriculture corporation’s asparagus field. It felt really rewarding helping out in the community, even though it was only a small task. Then in the afternoon we made pizza in the pizza oven next to the community center. We were taught how to make the dough, roll it, and then create our own pizzas. They were so good, and I wish I could have had more but we needed to save our appetites for the dinners we would be having later that night.

For the later part of the evening and night, all the students were split up in pairs and were spent with our host families. I was paired up with Kasumi, and we spent our time with the Taguchi family. They were so gracious and welcoming. That night we had a great big dinner with sushi, boiled pork, mountain vegetables, and an array of other dishes. In the morning we had another delicious meal and then we went out for a bit, and then picked some blueberries on their farm. It was so nice getting the chance to have the homestay that I didn’t want to leave, but alas, they drove us back to the community center where we met up with the rest of the students. It has definitely been a memorable experience and I can truly saw that this has been a wonderful experience for all the students!!

Yesterday we also went to the AIU Summer Festival and some of us participated in the games like the watermelon smash, and water ballon fight. There were also student performances all through the night. But the best thing was seeing the Kanto festival in the evening. All the performers were so skilled and it was just a neat experience.

We’re not in Kansas anymore!

We’re a few days into field work here in Japan, but first I want to congratulate America on two special days while we’ve been away; Happy Independence Day and Congrats on winning the Women’s Soccer Final (against Japan). We caught the introductions to the game just before we left for the field, so naturally we sang along to the National Anthem and had all the Japanese students in the lounge giving us funny looks!

We’ve had a few jam-packed days here in Akita Prefecture! We started off our fieldwork in Japan by travelling to Mt. Takao and practicing our observational techniques. This is similar to what we did on the first day of class when we discussed the view from Fitton Green Natural Area. From the mountain we could see the surrounding landscape which consisted of many rice fields, some small villages, and the Omono River. We also looked around and found an old Sumo ring and further up the hill the entrance to a deep shrine. We walked part of the way up to the shrine, but due to time constraints couldn’t go all the way to the top.

Map at Mt. Takao
Little offering shrine at the top of the stairs.








People put coins on the shrine as an offering.
Sugi Cedar Trees
Stairs leading up to the shrine.
One of the guardians (there is one on each side) that represent the beginning and the end.
Holly cleaning her hands in the spring.
The stairs leading up to the shrine
Cedar Forest.
Sumo ring in the middle of a field.



There were these large rocks that had poems by famous poets and a biography on the back.
There was this little covered lookout on one of the little hills.
View of the valley.
Another Picture of the valley.






Following our trip up Mt. Takao, we went to a local farmer’s restaurant. For about $10 we each got a huge tray full of food produced from the owner’s garden. She even had a factory downstairs where she made her own noodles! It was really good and a great business opportunity for her to utilize her skills and help the local economy.

Tons of food.
She also sold some packaged goods
Holly’s meal


Following our meal, the owner invited us back to her house (next door to the restaurant) and told us her story. She explained to us about how she came to create the restaurant and some of the challenges that she had to overcome in the process. She also served us a fresh watermelon out of her garden that was very juicy and sweet! 🙂

Her house was really nice! This is a little garden outside her window.
A collection of dolls.
They had shrines inside the house to honor their dead ancestors.
We all sat around this table and listened to her tell us about how she started her business


Following lunch we also visited a couple more villages, Arawa and Kayagasawa. Here we met with the community leaders at their community centers. In Arawa we also walked along the streets and compared the current shops with a map from the past. There were a lot of shops that had closed down or changed and homes that had been abandoned and torn down. We did get to go into a shop where they were making tatami mats which was really interesting and cool to see.

Making Tatami.
Tatami weaving.

At the end of the village, we went into a shrine where we got to talk with the priestess.

We had to wash our hands and mouth with water before we could go up to the shrine.
The Priestess next to the water basin.
On our way up to the shrine
Inside the shrine


Lastly in Kayagasawa we talked to the village leader and looked around a little before heading back to Akita International University for the night.


We’re in Japan!

Hello all!

Thank you for your patience in waiting for our latest updates! We lost about 16 hours when we flew across the Pacific, and have been really jet lagged, so finding time to tell you about what we’ve been up to has been challenging!

On Tuesday morning our class all got back together again, after a 3 day break, at the Portland Airport. We then flew a 10 1/2 hour flight to Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan. It was a really long flight, but we got to enjoy a broad assortment of entertainment including many movies, tv shows, games and music. I made the most of it and caught up on some newer movies I have been too busy to see. I managed to fit in 4 movies: Into the Woods (which Holly also watched and has been singing snipets from since we got here), The Maze Runner, Cinderella (the new live action version), and Big Hero 6 (which I am pretty sure is in my top movies of all time list). We also figured out how to utilize the game system so that we could play trivia against each other and had a digital Texas Hold ’em Poker game between Maya, Christian, Ryoko, and I. We also got served Dinner, Ice Cream, and Breakfast on the plane, which were all surprisingly delicious for airplane food.

Outside Narita Airport


We finally landed in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon (most of us didn’t really sleep on the plane, so we have been a little confused as to which day it is). We caught a bus from the airport that took us through Tokyo to our hotel.

Bus Ticket
Bus Ticket to our Hotel
Outside the Hotel

After we got all checked in (it was a really nice hotel in Shinagawa) we ventured out on the subway system to Shibuya where Ryoko took us to a traditional Japanese restaurant, and ordered a variety of different dishes for us to try. It was an interesting experience. We had sushi, a cooked open face fish, some yummy potsticker things called gyoza (don’t quote me on the spelling, but I think that’s what they’re called) and some little crunchy shrimp that you eat whole that were salty and were kind of like potato chips.

Dinner in Shibuya



Little Shrimp

After we left the restaurant, we went to Shibuya crossing to see all the lights and people. It was a fun experience, but we were so tired from travelling (and the fact that it was 4 am back home) that we didn’t stay very long. We did get to see the famous Hachiko dog statue at the train station though!

Shinagawa Station
TGI Fridays outside our hotel
Busy Crosswalk
Shibuya Crossing
We also saw this guy in Shibuya dragging toilet brush cleaners shaped like a turtle? Yeah, we weren’t really sure either, but it was funny enough to be picture worthy!

The next morning we had breakfast at our hotel. It was one of the nicest hotel restaurants I have ever seen. They had a buffet style breakfast, full of a wide variety to foods, most of which I had never seen before. We tried a little bit of a lot of different things, but the best part was the view. The entire restaurant was surrounded by a beautiful garden. The part we sat in was right up against a pond where we could see Koi fish and a Heron landed there during our meal too.

The Heron on the edge of the pond
View from our tables
Koi Fish

After breakfast we went back to Shinagawa station and took a train to the Haneda Airport, and then flew to Akita airport. Akita International University sent a bus to pick us up at the airport and bring us back to the school. When we arrived at the school, we were given our room assignments in Komachi Hall, a freshman residence hall, where we are each staying with a Japanese student studying at AIU. My roommate is Tomomi and she is really nice.

We made it to AIU!
Interesting stone formation in Akita

A big thanks to Holly for letting me utilize her pictures!

Down Day and Presentations

Another guest commentary from Maya Giddings;

June 25

It’s been a more relaxing day here today. We stayed at the camp and after a long day of preparing our presentations, we have finally completed our time in Wallowa. This morning we all focused on our presentations, while also having some fun in between!

We had a blast meeting all the ranchers, and guest speakers. A big shout out to Nils, and Jim for showing us around and making us feel welcome. Also to all the homestays that hosted us! Our time here will not be forgotten and neither will all the memories that were made.

Tomorrow we’ll start the long journey home, and hopefully not catch too much traffic on the way back. Well, until Tuesday when we leave for Japan!!


From Tiffany:

I hope you all are enjoying reading about our adventures. Our time in Wallowa County ended with great presentations from both teams and some great discussion.

We would also like to thank the Wallowa Lake Methodist Camp for hosting us for a week and feeding us delicious food!

We learned so much in our short stay in Wallowa County and can’t wait for our adventure to continue on to Japan early tomorrow morning!

I’m excited for what is to come and to share our experiences through pictures and stories as we go across the ocean!


Biomass, Salmon, Microhydro, Lostine Tavern, and Alternative Heating

Guest commentary from Maya Giddings:

June 24

Starting off bright and early this morning. We went to the biomass center and took a tour around their facilities. It was a small mill, but it was impressive how many products were made here. Using low value timber, they create three different products including posts and poles, wood chips for fuel, and pre-packaged, dry firewood. They were creating a new product called Whole Fire where there is only a log with two holes cut into it. It comes with pitch sticks, so you can start a fire almost immediately and also use it as a stovetop.




Following this stop, we went to the Nez Perce Department of Fisheries Resource Management, where they track and help manage salmon and other types of fish that swim up the Lostine River to spawn every year. Next to the rail of the weir, we saw some salmon just chilling out. It was really neat seeing all the fish there! We also got to hear a lot about the history of the fish from the Nez Perce perspective.

Fish wier

Shortly after that, we headed out to Vern’s house where he has a small hydroelectric plant (called a microhydro) on his ranch. For this, he creates power and then the energy is put onto  the grid. Vern get credits for the electricity that he produces and the excess energy credits he doesn’t use at the ranch is put aside for low-income families. In addition to this, his wife has a greenhouse, so their home is almost self sustainable.

For lunch we all gathered at the Lostine Tavern in Lostine. All of us had a delicious meal that was made from local food produced in the county. There was also a big beet cake that Yasu ordered and some of us had to help us finish before we left.

poem at lostine taver
An interesting poem found in Lostine Tavern


In Lostine we also checked out a local market, that used to be a general store, but is now more of a cover for an online, high end business. store

We also went back to the Wallowa Resources building in Enterprise and learned about their pellet stove heating system and plans for incorporating a similar heating system to a network of buildings downtown.


Bonus Picture of John Learning Japanese





Community Programs and Well-being

On Tuesday, June 23rd, we had a full day of learning about community programs within Wallowa County. We started out visiting the Stewardship Center, the old hospital building that Wallowa Resources purchased and now rents out spaces for various community resources and programs. We visited the Building Healthy Families program and the Alternative School. It was interesting because we got to hear all about their programs to help children as well as the 4 day school week that the schools within the county operate on. On Fridays, the children have the day off from school, but they have opportunities for extra curricular programs including a robotics club, a natural resources program put on by Wallowa Resources, and sporting events because they have to drive quite a ways to get to the other schools that they are competing against.

Next, we got to go visit the new hospital that was built in Enterprise. The CEO and administrator, Larry Davy met with us to tell us about what the hospital meant to the community. He was actually a very nice and funny guy and seemed to be passionate about the work he was doing. An interesting technological development within the hospital was the ability to utilize telemedicine, or robots within the hospital and clinic that allow a physician in another location to control it, giving the opportunity for specialized examinations without high transportation costs. He also talked about how he believed that the health care system within the United States was only disease care and didn’t really make people healthy. He is working on incorporating preventative care into their work and putting a lot of effort into educating the community saying “the better we do our job, the less patient volume we’re going to have” and “the most ethical thing we can do is to reduce the need for disease care” (Davy).

Following our time at the hospital, we visited the Community Connections program. This facility operates a number of community systems catering to the elderly, veterans, and low income individuals. They operate a food bank 5 days a week, offer energy credits and firewood for low income families, offer transportation opportunities including a public transportation bus, medical transportation, a shopping bus and veteran transportation, provide meals to senior citizens 3 days per week, and run a meals on wheels program. Overall, this facility offers many different programs to help people that are struggling within this community get by.

Next, we went back to the Stewardship Center, where we met in our groups and planned out which other individuals within the community that we wanted to talk to. My group (the food and agriculture group) decided that we had heard a lot from well off individuals, but hadn’t had the chance to hear from any of the lower income community members. We decided we would walk around Enterprise for a while. We stopped in at a local thrift shop and talked with some of the local volunteers, visited a local bookstore, and met with an individual that was sitting on a bench along the road. We got to hear a little different perspective on the county from these individuals and get a better understanding of the lives of the not so well off people that live in the area.

Upon returning to camp, we decided to go for a short hike before dinner. Ryoko and I decided to bail when we got to the wilderness area, returned to camp and watched Mulan (because Ryoko had never seen it). Included below are the groups pictures from the rest of their hike:


downed tree







river (2)













Following the adventures, we had dinner back at the lodge and then met around a campfire as a class to check in on everyone’s progress and be sure that everyone was on the same page. It was nice to get to hear everyone’s progress towards their papers and see how we were all interpreting the information that we had been receiving into individual syntheses.

Our brave fire starters
fire (2)
Andy starting the fire

Food and Agriculture Day

We had the opportunity to go visit with a couple of local farmers/ranchers and hear about their practices and what makes their products unique. We went to the Hawkins Sisters’ Poultry Operation, where we met with Mary Hawkins, and then to 6 Ranch, where we got to talk to Liza Jane and Adele.

At the Hawkins Sisters Farm, we got to see Mary’s operation, which takes place on less than 10 acres of her family’s 300 acre farm. She told us about how she has been enjoying trying to learn to raise chickens for the last 3 years. She creates her own feed for the chickens from local wheat, barley, and field peas. Through this process, she is able to add additional value to the local products that are grown here in Wallowa county.

Mary’s son hugging a chicken!
Ryoko got to hold a chicken.
Holly was SUPER happy that she got to hold a baby chick!
It’s a horse, of course!
Maya holding the chick


Dogs, Horses, and Chickens, Oh My!

It was really interesting to get to listen to Mary talk about her entrepreneurial aspirations to expand her business and make a profitable, part time production. She is enjoying the puzzle that is figuring out how to produce locally. She also sells her products to locals, local restaurants, and to some places in Portland, Oregon. She is currently planning on expanding her business to include a processing facility, where she will be able to process her own chickens as well as being able to create opportunities for more small scale chicken farmers in the area.

Following our tour of the Hawkins Sisters’ Farm, we got to go visit 6 Ranch and learn about their operations. This ranch is a century ranch meaning that it has been in operation for more than 100 years. It has been in Liza Jane’s family for 130 years. Liza Jane is a fourth generation rancher, and her daughter Adele is following in her footsteps as a fifth generation rancher. The family raises grass fed Corriente Cattle, which is a slower growing, smaller breed used for rodeos. They then participate in the “eat it to save it” program to keep this breed, which is one of the oldest breeds around.

In addition to their cattle production, the family also has many side projects including a farm stand, a greenhouse, u-pick herb garden, dog and horse training, conservation & restoration projects, and a guided fishing and hunting business called “Cast and Blast”. It was really interesting to see the diversity and passion that they brought towards their business.

Corriente Cattle

Following the tour of the ranch, greenhouse, and farm stand, we got to go across the street to see the river restoration project that they were implementing. They had previously incorporated meanders to another stretch of the river on their property too, so we got to walk along the river and see how the improvements that they had made. I really enjoyed this part of the day because it ties very closely to my Forest Engineering and Civil Engineering major. When we walked along the river, we ended up having to trek through some swampier sections, so we all ended up with wet feet, but it was really fun.

Hi Ho Hi Ho
Holly and Andy Hard Hat Local Chicken
River Restoration


There’s a bald eagle nest in that tree across the river
Boulders placed in the river

We then ate lunch in the shade by the river, and traveled to Joseph to visit the Josephy Center where we got to here a history of Wallowa County from Rich Wanschneider. He taught us a lot about the Nez Perce tribal history in the area.

Mt. Howard Gondola Trip and Hiking

These last few days have been extremely informative, but we are all starting to feel the effects of stuffing so much into our brains in such a short time span. We have had full mornings and afternoons of meetings with locals to learn about the history, the natural resources and the food and agriculture of the area. On Sunday, we had the opportunity to ride a gondola up to the top of Mount Howard. It was a beautiful view and Nils Christoffersen accompanied us and gave us a ton of information.

In the Gondola
View from the Gondola.
Holly and Christian in the Gondola


We made it to the top!

Once we got to the top of Mount Howard we went for a hike around the trail loops, stopping at various locations to discuss what we were seeing and some of the history of land use within Wallowa County.

Look at that background!
Taking notes
Farmland in the background
Nils Christoffersen
Group picture
Holly and Ryoko taking notes
Nils, Maya, and Andy
mt howard
Look over there!

mountain nancy christian Nils

Canal Fire
Wallowa Lake
Listening to Nils
Enjoying the view.
Yasu and Andy
I’m really not sure why I took this picture, but we must have been talking about this tree
I mean, just look at that view!


Eagle Caps.



At the top of the mountain, we also got to experience the entertaining chipmunks that were clearly very used to humans feeding them food.

Please may I have some food?
Holly’s new friend

Following our adventures, we came back to camp, relaxed a little bit ate dinner and had a productive group discussion to go over all of the information that we heard from Nils.

Wildflowers, Water Systems, Farmers Markent, Broncs and Bulls, and Wallowa Lake Camp

A lot can happen in just a couple days! We have had two days full of fun, engaging events here in Wallowa County. First of all, before I really get started I would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! John Bliss, one of our instructors and Nils Christoffersen spent the day with us instead of their own children, so they deserve a Happy Father’s Day.

Yesterday started off at the beautiful bunkhouse owned by the Krebs. We were very well taken care of and had a great night. The view of the stars was amazing at night. Out here in the middle of a large open plain with not another building in sight, you could see so many more stars! (I tried to take pictures, but it didn’t do it justice!)

Krebs Bunkhouse
Krebs’ Bunkhouse


Inside the bunkhouse.

In the morning we set off up the hill from the bunkhouse along a little gravel road. We were told by Clint Krebs to count how many different species of flower we found on our way up the hill. We wanted to make sure we kept track of them, so we picked one of each new species we encountered to try to make sure we weren’t double counting. How many do you think we got (I’ll give you a few pictures to give you some time to think!):

View from one side of Krebs’ Ranch Bunkhouse
Another great view from the top of the hill.

Got a guess? We picked and counted 30 unique wildflower species! We thought that was pretty good for only a little hike up the hillside, but when we got to the top Clint informed us that there are 172 different species out there (at that we didn’t feel quite as accomplished).  We gave our Wallowa County bouquet to Ayumi Sensei.

Our Bouqet

Along the trek up the hill, Clint pulled up in his gator and gave a few of us a ride the rest of the way to the top, which was pretty fun too!


When we got to the top of the hill, we got to learn about how Clint grazes his cattle on the native grasses. Many of the grasses on his land can have up to 3000 ft of roots. He explained to us about how the biodiversity within the prairie allows the plants to share nutrients and grow better. Clint considered his property to be overgrazed if any one of his plants gets bitten more than once. If they are bitten once, they are challenged and feel the need to grow more, but if they are eaten down too far, they lose their ability to photosynthesize and die. in order to keep this from happening, he moves his cattle once every 5 days.


We then went down the other side of the hill to the Krebs’ main house and took his Hummer around his property and some surrounding area. We got to see some beautiful views, and learn about some of the new water systems that Clint is putting in.

Out towards Idaho.
Beautiful Mountains.
Clint Krebs talking to our group.
Seven Devils Mountain Range.

Out on this section of his property, Clint had just finished installing a 290,000 gallon reservoir, and was planning on installing many miles worth of underground pipes to transport the water to his cattle.

After leaving this section of his property, we drove through some of the surrounding landscape owned by neighbors and the Nature Conservancy. Clint does rent some grassland from the conservancy to graze his cattle on. Along the way we talked a lot about the local wildlife including elk and wolves within the county. We also saw mule deer and a coyote.

mule deer
Mule deer captured by Kasumi

Next we went to an area where Clint was working on another water resource project. He received a grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) to help with his project. He had buried a 1500 gallon tank, and water collecting boxes that gather the natural seep of water in the soil instead of allowing it to continue running underground down to the river. The water that he is gathering is enough to water 150 head of cattle each day, from an area that looks pretty dry. He then uses solar panels to power a pump that moves the water up a hill to his water trough.

Water collector
Water Collection Box

Ryoko water system  Water system






Following this eventful morning we then went into Joseph and went to the farmer’s market. We got some lunch and had the opportunity to talk to some locals.

Ham wraps from the Mushroom Man…
Some local vendors.


One of the people we talked to was selling goat milk soap:

Goat milk soap
Goat Milk Soap

After exploring the Joseph for a little while, we went to Enterprise for the Mountain High Broncs and Bulls Rodeo. We had a lot of fun and it was a cool introduction to some community and social values of rural communities. It was interesting to see the Japanese students seeing this type of event for the first time.

Kasumi bull

Kasumi rodeo


We then came to the Wallowa Lake Camp where we will be staying for the next week and had a wonderful dinner.

Wallowa Lake Methodist Camp

Dinner methodist camp


After dinner we had a great group discussion, and went over our notes, and questions that people had throughout the last couple of days. As it got later, we of course got a little bit goofy and also had a little fun! 🙂

Group Discussion in the lodge.
Puppet fight
Puppet fight!