Getting to Joseph, Oregon to see the Wallowas is no easy feat. The drive from Bend, Oregon is 350+ miles...one way. But the second Jake and I drove into Enterprise, a small town just a few miles northwest of Joseph, it was all worth it. First stop: Terminal Gravity Brewing, the brewery and pub were great. We got there about 15 minutes before they opened at 2 p.m. so we did a quick circle around town as to not look like complete alcoholics -- we're from Bend, I'm surprised the breweries aren't open for breakfast! We were still the first ones there when we got back but almost immediately car after car pulled in. I wanted so badly to take a picture of a cowboy who rolled up the gravel road in his perfectly aged pickup truck to grab a couple cases of beer; using my better judgement I decided to take a mental picture instead.
Living in a mountain town with spectacular views of the Cascades year-round, you'd think it would be hard to be impressed by any other mountain views. Enterprise, but more so Joseph have postcard-worthy views that I hate to say it... made me temporarily forget about what we have at home. The Wallowas seem to jut up out of nowhere. Wallowa Lake offers the type of natural beauty that makes you feel lucky just to be near it. Even the locals, who see sunrises and sunsets there every day, don't seem to be jaded just yet. Everyone we talked to didn't feel trapped in the slightest to be living in a town with just over 1,000 people, hundreds of miles from any big cities. And why should they? With this view, would you?
We stayed in a teeny tiny cabin near the east side of the lake because it was cheaper than any hotels. It turned out to be really convenient and and we slept in until 8:30 which compared to our usual schedule was a victory in and of itself.
Speaking of animals...let me show you where some of the cows live in Joseph.
Can you believe that? As soon as I saw them I thought, 'This belongs in the Portlandia episode about Collin the chicken'... "Are they happy cows? How many days a year do they have unubstructed views of the Wallowas?" Disregard that overplayed ad, happy cows come from Joseph, Oregon, not California. With that view, I'd live in this barn:
If not the barn, this tree would make a stellar base for an incredible treehouse.
Have you ever been to Joseph, Oregon? Seen or hiked the Wallowas? What should I do next time I go back?