Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summertime, and the Wallowas

We got away last week to the beautiful Wallowas for a little break. Our family had such a good time and much needed rest, if you call driving 1,000 + miles a "rest". We didn't make it in time to go on the Tram the first day; missed it by about 20 minutes. The next couple days we didn't get to go because it was drizzly and cloudy on and off and we figured it wouldn't be clear enough to make it worthwhile. BUT, Randy took us up into the hills above Imnaha to show us where he and his brother hunt every fall. What beautiful land! I'm one to appreciate the scenery in almost any place I go. (The only place I've had trouble was when he'd take me to the Tri-Cities, Washington and he'd say, "You can see forever" and I'd say "See what?") I guess I don't have a respectful appreciation for endless desert-y type scenery, huh? But the Wallowa Lake, Joseph, Enterprise area, the hill country, it is gorgeous! 'Course I'm sure it doesn't always stay green, but it was a great time for me to see it.
I had gotten online and rented a cabin for us, back when my MIL was so sick, and I told him "We need a break, can we get a cabin?" When we first pulled up to "Huckleberry Meadow", I thought, "Oh now, what have I done? Well, the price was very cheap, so what do you want, but it did have some great vintage stuff in it I wish I could have fit into my duffle bag! Next time, I want to have my own travel trailer, because I kind of like my "own" dirt, AND it takes me a good 3 nights in a place before I'm so exhausted I fall sound asleep. But my family liked the cabin, so that was good. The deer come right up to you! We didn't see a sign or anything telling us not to domesticate them, until we had already let the kids pet them. Seth says the antlers are fuzzy feeling. He asked if he could ride it! That's my kids for you!
The boys and Randy took many rides on the gocarts, which was one of their highlights. It was nice to get to watch the boys trying to beat their dad. The first day I had one boy who didn't know there was a break and the other must not have known there was a gas pedal, but the next day they had it down and had a good race.
The second day when we took off for Imnaha, it was drizzly, but it turned out to be a great day for a nice long ride in the beautiful mountains. We stopped first at the Imnaha store, I guess it must be the original dollar store, because the ceiling is covered with $1. bills! Very rustic place, and they definitely know you're an outsider when you walk in. And the post office would be a great career for someone who doesn't want to sort a whole lot of mail. I thought it was just really cute.
When Randy took us up to where he hunts, the ride topped my long, winding road ride I wrote about in my last post. Another 1 laner for stretches at a time, with a huge and I'm talking HUGE canyon for anyone who can't manage to stay on the road. It was creepy at times, but I wish I could describe how wonderful the view was! I'm sure the pictures won't do it justice, but the rolling hills, had different shades of light and dark, hill after hill, and I was just amazed at what beauty God has created! We saw a couple herds of elk, I wanted to see a bear, but oh well, I've always wanted to meet up with a bear while I'm in a vehicle of course. I've only seen a bear at the zoo.
I could go on and on about what a gorgeous place this is, and you really must go if you ever get the chance. The flat lands below in Joseph and Enterprise and surrounding towns have some picturesque farmland that I took way too many pictures of too. I don't know how many pictures of barns I took, but you know, I've got barns on my mind, because I want that barn with the rec room, the studio, the game room, the guest room, and a little place off on the side for the horses. So I was definitely on the lookout for the barn of my dreams.
Well, I told the kids before I left that the truck does know to stop for garage sales and we did do a bit of that. I found a nice hutch that had some amber glass that I got home and promptly took the glass out of, I think chicken wire, what do you think? And although I grew up hearing my mom mention many times how awful it is that people take beautiful wood furniture and paint over it, which has given me an appreciation for natural wood color, the hutch had to be painted. I got a gallon of butter yellow type paint from Walmart half price b/c it was someone else's mistake, but I liked the color and the price. I've been painting it all week, along with a vanity that I got at a different sale a couple weeks ago. I'll try to get pictures when I get them done. They'll probably go in a sale, they won't fit in my house, but the project has been a lot of fun.
We stopped at this really funky shop and met a really nice lady that we had some great conversation with. The place was called JingleBob Vintiques, and if you are ever in Enterprise, be sure to stop in and say hi to Carla. It turns out she knows the editor of our little local newspaper, grew up with her, and it seemed funny that she would have even heard of Clatskanie! Her shop was just a great fix for junking, looking at antiques, finding all sorts of quirky things. We bought an whole box of greeting cards (thanks Carla for such a great deal!) that were done by the same artist out of her estate. There were many prototypes in the box and we've had a blast just looking through them. I "most of the time" look for things that I'll resale eventually, when I get around to it, but these, I'm not sure I'll be able to part with. At least it would take an awfully long time for them to all go anyway, there were so many of them. Then, she pulled out a box of Valentines. I'm kind of a sucker for Valentines, and Randy does spoil me sometimes, so guess what? I got my Valentines early for next year. That is another fun box I'm enjoying.
She had a lot of the neat shabby, chippy stuff, just a ton of stuff. I could have taken a ton of pictures at her place, but we'd kept her from what she'd been working on quite long, and we thought we'd better get back to the cabin.
There was another interesting place in Joseph, Sandy's, but we had already used up our time we allotted for junking and didn't get a chance to go in there.
In the afternoon, we were getting ready to take the kids trout fishing at Wallowa Lake, but the man at the sporting goods store told my husband of a different hole, so we made another trek into the woods, and I'm telling you it was fantastic! The lake wasn't really big, but the trout were jumping all over the place. You just needed to take the frying pan out there and they'd probably jump into it. Randy kept having the kids throw their fish back, and I'm talking many fish. Then he says, "OK, time to go!" Of course they starte whining, saying they thought they were taking fish home to cook. So, they just about broke his arm mmhmm, and they fished some more. They brought 10 trout back to the cabin, we stopped and got some red potatoes, and oh what a feast we had. I wasn't even sure if I liked trout, it had been so long, but trout are very likeable!
All in all, we had a great time, and the best part, was that the kids just kept saying, "Thank you, Mom and Dad for bringing us here!" "This was the best trip", stuff like that. We looked at each other and laughed and said to ourselves, we either have very grateful kids, or we don't get out much! I personally think we have grateful kids, for the most part.


Florence said...

I love the Wallowas they are beautiful we have gone there with our two youngest daughters at the time and we fed the deer too, right out of our hands. We went up on the tram it was awesome. I think we must be kinderd spirits we have had so many of the same experiences. We will have to meet some day in person.

shabbyscraps said...

Isn't it all worth it when the kids say "thanks for bringing us?" Looks like a great time!
xoxo, Tiffany

Isabel said...

What a beautiful place! Those mountains and that valley. Fills the heart!
Glad to meet another mountain lover :)
Thank you for your visit on my blog and your lovely comment.