Lake Wallowa State Park, Joseph, Oregon

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We found one of Oregon’s beautiful state parks at the end of road outside of Joseph. Wallowa Lake State Park is in a valley surrounded by the Wallowa Mountains and Wallowa Lake with a narrow road that brings you into the park.It was a very tranquil area.We stayed in the park four nights but could have stayed much longer.It was one of those places that just held you.The lake was beautiful to sit by, the mountains were gorgeous to just look at and there were resident deer that wandered through the park that were entertaining to watch as they tried to get apples from a tree.We were able to ride our bikes and do a little hiking along a creek that flowed into the lake.Because it was surrounded by the mountains hiking was limited.

 Joseph was a neat little art town. It is known for the life size bronze sculptures that lined the streets.Of course, we didn’t think of taking one picture of these sculptures but they were impressive.We had decided to have lunch in Joseph one day because it also had many restaurants.We were both hungry for Mexican so we walked into the La Laguna Family Mexican Restaurant.As we went in we realized we were the only people in the building.We didn’t know if we should turn around and go out or bite the bullet and sit down.We decided to stay and were so glad we did.We had this fabulous homemade cabbage salsa and the food was the best Mexican food we have ever had.So it was another lesson learned – follow our instincts and go for it.

 Hells Canyon is what drew us to this part of Oregon. Everything we read about Hells Canyon made it sound like a must see.It was compared to the Grand Canyon with a mile deep canyon and the Snake River running through it.So we made a day trip to find Hells Canyon.We had been warned before we got to the state park not to take our 5th wheel on Hwy 39 but to take the long way around to the state park and take Hwy 39 after we dropped the RV.That was great advice.Hwy 39 was the road that took you to the observation look-out for Hells Canyon but it also was part of a loop that took you from Baker City, which we had just left, and Joseph.It was a horrible road.From a side road out of Joseph to the look-out was 24 miles of switch-backs, straight drop offs with no shoulder or guardrails, narrow road that was a very stressful 2 hour drive and we had to come back down to get back to Joseph or drive 150 miles around the loop.To make matters worse, Ivy was have anxiety attacks and Hells Canyon wasn’t worth the trip.Ivy decided she didn’t like the cattle grates that are in the road for open range which we went over many.We tried many things to distract her when we knew we were going to go over one.I even got out of the truck and carried her over one.So by the time we got to the top, I could have cared less about Hells Canyon.I just wanted to be back at the peaceful state park.So we had a stressed driver, a crabby passenger, one dog that just slept and one dog that was going nuts.It wasn’t a pretty picture.So Hells Canyon was a hell of a day for us that we don’t want to repeat.

 We sadly left Lake Wallowa State Park heading towards Portland. We spent a couple of nights in a very nice County Park in Boardman.The RV Park sat right on the Columbia River.Nice picture out our back window but it was to cold and rainy to sit outside.

We are heading off to the “Gorge” area east of Portland.

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