( Chuck) We left the Seattle area on the 28th of September. It was a very good visit with the families and we look forward to doing it again. Our first stop was Toppenish, WA Legends Casino. We woke up the next morning to a clear, distant view of Mt. Adams and Mt. Ranier. Our next night was Pendleton, OR Wildhorse Resort Casino. While at Pendleton we ventured into town for an afternoon and found it a very nice western town. We missed the big event of the year by several weeks. The Pendleton Round Up is a rodeo that just celebrated it’s 100th year. 17,731 fans fill the stands to watch their favorite cowboys lay it on the line. Someday I would like to attend a big rodeo like this. We visited the Pendleton Woolen Mill and Hamley & Company Western Store downtown. PWM weaves and sells premiere woolen blankets and clothing, Hambley’s is famous for their saddles, western wear and a large collection of western artworks.
Our next stop was Joseph, Oregon. It is a little town at the base of the Wallowa Mountains, elevation 4,150 and population of 1,054. It has become known as an artist town. There are three bronze foundries and numerous galleries and tourist shops to browse. We found the town to be very laid back and not at all busy, which was to our liking. October is no doubt the end of the season and for us a good time to visit.
We drove from Joseph to Imnaha and back on a round trip yesterday. It was a good drive through ranch country near the Hells Canyon Rec Area. Some of the ranches were a little worse for wear and they were many miles back in the high country.
|Along the Imnaha River Road|
Today we went to Wallowa Lake. It is a beautiful natural lake. This area is the home of Chief Joseph of the Wallowa band of Nez Pierce Indians. He refused to sign a treaty with the US government. He felt that he did not need to be assigned land that belonged to his people. Due to this and other hostilities, the government sent General Howard and the cavalry to subdue the “non treaty” Indians. This led to a 1,600 mile fighting retreat through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. His goal was to reach Canada and safety. This goal was lost forty miles south of Canada in the winter battle of the Bears Paw Mountains in October 1877. It is a sad tale of lost freedom.
Our weather is warm and bright sunshine. We may find rain coming and tomorrow may be moving day a little south of here to Baker City. There is a great Oregon Trail museum which we enjoyed last year.