Chief Joseph Days
Yesterday I arrived in the small town of Joseph in Wallowa County, in the remote north-eastern corner of Oregon. I came with friends from California and we are visiting another friend who lives here. The main event is ‘Chief Joseph Days’ - the annual Rodeo named after the Indian Chief (Naz Perce tribe) from which the town gets its name. There are 4 days of rodeos and lots of other entertainment over a week or so. Joseph has a population of about 1000, but that number swells considerably in the summer months, especially during the time of the Rodeo.
Today started with the children’s parade through town which we went to watch, and spent a little time wandering around the quaint western town. A little later we drove out to take pictures of this beautiful barn on the outskirts of town. Wallowa County is known for its red barns and you can do a self-guided tour - there are over 30 of them.
This afternoon we took the tramway up to the top of Mount Howard which rises above the Wallowa Valley (See first Extra photo). The tramway is the steepest 4-person aerial gondola in the US and takes 15 minutes to rise 3,700 feet (1128 meters) to the summit (8,000 feet (2438 meters). We had a delicious meal at the restaurant at the top and then spent some time walking along the trails, taking in the spectacular 360 degree views, being entertained by the very tame chipmunks and enjoying a variety of alpine flowers. I could have spent all day up there! It was cloudy but that meant it wasn’t too crowded or too hot today.
Sadly we had to make our way down because this evening we were going to the rodeo. I believe this was my first ever visit to a rodeo. It certainly was action packed and entertaining and very patriotic. I loved it! It was hard to take good pictures but I got a few - see second Extra photo.