Let's see... where did I leave off? BREAKFAST! That was yummy.
It was hard to leave my awesome room at the Bronze Antler. So so so hard. Could have stayed there over and over again. But, the adventure continues.
Joe & Vicki came over for breakfast. Mike who owns the tram showed up. I packed my things into my new duffle bag courtesy of Polar Stuff (the bag is called Dufflaluffagus, I got it in Olive its ridiculously cool) and shoved my things into my car - because Joe and I were heading out to see the lake, the mountains and anything else he could come up with.
We went to Chief Josephs grave site. Joe is so knowledgable. It's truly amazing how much information he has stored in that mind of his. I hope one day I can retain everything the way he does. Like, right now - I'm having trouble recalling the story of Chief Joseph. This is my fault because I waited to write my blogs. Thats what being busy and having ADHD does.. ops. I will read up, once I consult Joe. But what I can remember: Chief Joseph wasn't originally buried here. He was moved here. I can't remember why. He lays beneath his mountains and next to his lake. There are gifts strewn about his gravesite. At first I thought it was garbage, but its little items that people made to decorate his grave. It was interesting to be at his grave. I can't tell you why exactly, because I suppose I just don't know.
We moved on.
Joe explained to me many things about the formation and geological history of the Wallowas. I still am completely fascinated with it. These mountains are so important. They are so overlooked and unknown, and it baffles me. I'm sure everyone surrounding these mountains are maybe glad - but dang. I can't even explain how magical they are. You just have to see it for yourself.
Joe told me we were to hike to the top of a moraine. I had no idea what this word was. Now I know. It is the pieces of rock and dirt sheered off the mountains themselves long long ago by glaciers... they piled high and stayed stacked that way for years upon years. These moraines here in Oregon, in this exact place, are some of the most perfect examples of moraines in the world. & I got to hike to the top of one! It was steep. I had my Danner boots tho, so I made it to the top no problem... well... it could be considered a problem if you count me running out of breath a few times before making it to the top... but I still made it. haha! The view on the way up kept getting better, if you can believe it. I kept stopping and turing around and just gazing at those wondrous mountains. If you claim to be a mountain person - you know, a person who prefers the mountains over any other terrain - I can't urge you enough: visit the Wallowas. The peace you find here is unparalleled.
Joe pretty much made me "work out" the entire time I spent with him. Haha. We hiked up, hiked down. He decided to take me to where the wolves live. It is off-season so no one is around. The scenes are just incredible. What more can I say. We walked through the snow, following snowmobile tracks. We found animal prints through the snow. He shared SO much knowledge with me. I wish I could remember all of it. After trekking through the snow, we headed back and down the mountain to get lunch.
After that, we went to my car to get warm clothes for me because we were headed up the mountain via tram. We met up with Mike, the owner of the Wallowa Lake Tramway he rode up to the top with us. Joe & I then headed out on our own on snowshoes. We were at the summit of Mt. Howard, covered in feet of snow. We walked to "the edge" and looked out at the Wallowas from a whole different angle. It was... I'm still trying to find words. The snow covered peaks of an enormous mountain range, the deep canyons beneath them. It was truly majestic. It was quiet and serene at the top. I could have stayed there all day, looking out at the bright snow and wondering what it would be like to live right there, on that peak overlooking the fantastic mountain range before me.
But, we had to head back. It was nearing my departure time to my next city. We made one quick stop by Arrowhead Chocolates & I picked up a few chocolates that sounded divine (and they were. oh my gosh I adore their chocolate). We got back to my car, I loaded my things, gave Joe a hug and thanked him. My thanks still wont be enough for all he showed me and shared with me.
I went onward, toward Baker City. The drive was beautiful. Long and filled with open fields, small towns and mountains in the distance. I made it in good time to The Geiser Grand Hotel, was escorted to my incredible room, the Cupola Suite. It was beautiful. Relaxing and enormous. I couldn't wait to take a bath when I was done for the day. haha! I went downstairs and met with Timothy Bishop & the owner of the Geiser Grand Barbara. They were so excited to have me! Tim took me down the street to Barley Browns for dinner where he had two friends waiting there to meet up with us.
We ate delicious food there, and afterward headed next door to the Barley Browns Brewery. It opened June 1st of 2013 and it is amazing inside. I love the design. The brewmaster Eli Dickinson was there to show me around the brewery, I got to try their BABF Gold winning IPA the Pallet Jack straight from the enormous metal ... thing... I forget what its called. It was awesome tho. SO yummy as well. Then we headed out to relax and have drinks at the bar. It was fantastic.
After Barley Browns I walked down to Petersons Gallery & Chocolatier with the owners Davey & Alyssa Peterson. Its a lovely space with artwork from local artists with a sweet little chocolate bar at the back. They are doing updates and making it more exciting - I can't wait to go back and see the new additions. They also gave me a little box of sample chocolates! So yummy. I loved their sweets!
I headed back to the Geiser Grand and took a nice warm bath to wind down after the long busy day. Yummmm I love baths. Then I hit the hay and awaited day light to start day 3...