Week 257 - From Bend to Joseph, Oregon - 07-17-2011

From Bend to Joseph, Oregon

The road from Bend to Joseph, Oregon is one of the most beautiful drives in America.  It winds through a number of small towns ending in Joseph.

Prineville and Baker City are the only two large towns on the route. Both have between 10 and 11 thousand residents. Following US 26, this view of Prineville comes as a surprise as you climb over the crest of the mountain leading to the city.

Just beyond Prineville is Lake Ochoco County Park.  You can camp just above the lake with these beautiful views.

Further down US 26 is the cute little town of Dayville.  The Mercantile is across the road.  We stopped for a burger at the Dayville Cafe. After a good meal, we met Carl and Sallie. Carl is from Dallas, Texas and Sallie is from Amelia Island, Florida. They are brother and sister and were riding their bicycles from Amelia Island, Florida to Astoria, Oregon.  Their trip was 3,200 plus miles and the funny part is, they average more miles per day than we do.

There are a couple of ways to see America and we enjoyed learning of each others adventures.

We stayed at the John Day Elks, our 76th Elks Lodge that we have camped at.  On a walk in downtown John Day, Ellen is looking at what?

At the 50 foot totem pole erected by Ray Potter to advertise his Strawberry Wilderness Fine Art Gallery.

Continuing on from John Day is this rest stop just five miles east of Prairie City.

Leaving US 26 and turning onto Oregon route 7 proved tragic for this tractor trailer.  We saw no sign of the semi, so we assume the driver was okay.

In La Grande, Oregon is the Ladd Marsh, right next to Eagle Hot Lake RV park.  This photo is in the park.

This view shows the marsh with the Hot Lake Hotel in the background. The hotel built in 1864, now functions as a Bed & Breakfast, museum and spa.

We spent four days getting from Bend to Joseph, pictured below. This cute little town is full of bronze statues, boutique shops and restaurants.

Joseph sits at the base of the Wallowa Mountains and is just 2 miles from Wallowa Lake.

Even the Alpine Auto shop looks like a boutique business.

Some call this Oregon's Swiss Alps.  The five peaks are the inspiration for 5 Peaks RV Park where we stayed for five days.

5 Peaks RV Park has 5 sites.  We met owners Marty and Marcy and we will be re-designing their website.  The new site should be up by August 15th.

Wallowa Lake was a natural lake that was dammed by farmers in 1917 to raise the level another 28 feet.  This summer, there was lots of water shed. These two girls are sitting at a picnic table in the middle of a stream caused by overflow of the lakes inlet stream.

Wallowa Lake with  Wallowa Mountains backdrop.

This is the view from the north side of the lake.

Main Street of Joseph is loaded with nicely restored, or new buildings with character matching this delightful town.  We ate at Embers on Friday night with live music.  5 Peaks RV Park is just one block from Main Street. On Saturday night, we just opened our back window and were in view and ear shot of another live band on the back of a semi-trailer flat bed.

We present just a handful of the shops on Main Street.

We loved seeing the Ten Commandments carved in stone in front of the food market. Nice town, nice people, nice message!

Joseph is not on anyone's path. You have to being going there to get there. But, it is totally worth it. We stayed five days and really enjoyed our time. We will return someday, but not by accident.  If you get to Central Oregon, take the trip to Joseph. You won't be disappointed.

Love, Pete and Ellen

Photos from Jul 2011

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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