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LA GRANDE — Eric Valentine was hiking a Hells Canyon trail, a place nearly as familiar as his own yard, when a weed beside the path changed his life.

And might well have ended it.

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Eric Valentine served as circuit court judge for Union and Wallowa counties from 1983 to 2003.

adMeg on Snake river trail, May 4, 14

Meg Valentine hikes the trail above Hells Canyon Reservoir in a previous spring. Her husband, Eric Valentine, slipped off the trail in the same area on May 6, 2023.

Hells Canyon

Meg Valentine hikes through a field of balsamroot in Hells Canyon during a previous spring.


Eric Valentine talks to one of Troop 77’s Scoutmasters from his hospital bed in Boise on May 15, 2023. Nearly two dozen members of the troop were out on a canoe trip in May 6 when they were flagged down and able to help Valentine after he fell down a slope in Hells Canyon.

Eric Valentine 2018.jpg

Eric Valentine has enjoyed hiking in Hells Canyon and elsewhere in Northeastern Oregon since he moved to La Grande in 1970.

Original Article: Source