Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Poppies in Joseph, ORToday we left Joseph – but we’ll be back!  This gorgeous, friendly little town is now has a prominent position on my list of “Places I Would Spend a Month In Summer”.

Our day started very early.  Knowing we had a pass to climb, and then a descent into the 90+ degree temperatures of southeastern Washington’s Palouse, we planned to leave no later than 9 am (our usual departure time is around 10 am).  I was out of bed at 5:30! 

We did one last walk to the south end of town and back, stopped in at Wildflour Bakery for breakfast pastries to go, stopped for a friendly conversation with the owner of the sporting goods store (“I stopped to by fish eggs – yes, fish eggs – and end up buying the store!”)… and then it was time to fire up the rig and head north, regretfully saying goodbye to 5 Peaks RV Park (click here to read our review).

Here are a few more photos from that lovely little town and its surroundings; mouse over any photo for a caption.

Bronze Horses-1 Lupine in Joseph
Daisies at 5 Peaks Indian Paintbrush garden

Joseph is at 4,150 feet elevation, and it was 66 degrees when we headed north out of town.  All of Wallowa County looked beautiful, sparkling and green.  At Elgin, we turned north towards Walla Walla, Washington, climbing to around 5,200 feet, surrounded by pines. 

Caution Brewery-1As we began our descent, the view changed dramatically.  Gone were the distant, snowcapped peaks, the lovely, emerald fields and wildflower strewn prairies we have enjoyed so, replaced by dry, brown, barren hillsides.  Here, irrigation is the key to a verdant landscape and as we left Walla Walla behind, irrigated fields became few.

The Palouse of southeastern Washington is an interesting, ancient landscape, scoured by immense floods in times long past.  It is an area I would love to explore in spring, or in fall – but in July, we just want to get through here with the minimum number of overnight stops.

By 11:30, we had the generator running and both rooftop air-conditioners going (mostly to exercise the generator, but keeping the inside of Scoopy totally cool is a bonus).  At 12:30, 165 miles from Joseph and a WORLD away, we pulled into our stop for the night, Tucannon River RV Park (click here to read our review), a welcome oasis in the barren landscape.  The thermometer reached 95 degrees at 2 pm, and 75 at 9 pm – for us, a very sudden summer!

Train over the Snake River

Above: a very long train on a very high trestle across the Snake River in the Palouse.


  1. Great story on such a beautiful little town... Sorry you're in the heat now! We decided to stay in North Florida this year and are really sorry now that it is so darn HOT!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  2. Joseph definitely sounds like a place we could spend some time. The bakery would certainly become a major stop for us.

  3. You have put this on our list of "places to spend a month in summer" as well. Thanks

  4. What a difference in scenery! I like that long train shot.

  5. ALL your pictures were great! That Wallowa area has always intrigued us, especially me (Jerry) as it was the place my mother grew up. She told stories of the area, and fired up my imagination. Spend a month? Maybe!

  6. Great photos showing the contrast between the two areas. It can sure get hot in a hurry there in the Palouse

  7. I Have been reading your Blog W@e Call It Home. There sure is a lot of Information their, and i want to thank you for posting it.The trip that i take will check your blog and see were their is a good place to stay on our travels. Odel has your clicking gone away now and how is the leg doing?

    God Bless

  8. My husband and I grew up and worked in Southeastern Washington until our retirement. You are right; it is HOT, HOT, HOT in the summer, very windy in the spring (like 60-70 mph) with sandstorm (my high school newspaper was called "Sandstorm") and winters are very cold. The fall is wonderful with mid-70s degrees and the vineyard smelling strong of grapes. Great time to visit all the wonderful wineries in the fall.

  9. Beautiful shots, especially the lupines. Make sure you go to Palouse Falls.

  10. Beautiful!!!!! I would sure like to see that trestle with a train crossing....I think you were at the right place at the right time.

  11. @Diana: We DID see Palouse Falls! I have a photo of it that I will put in the next blog. Due to this year's wet weather, it was thunderous - I even did a short video. What an anomoly in that landscape! Thanks for the link.

  12. @Diana: We DID see Palouse Falls! I have a photo of it that I will put in the next blog. Due to this year's wet weather, it was thunderous - I even did a short video. What an anomoly in that landscape! Thanks for the link.

  13. @pweaver: You know, I don't think you would have to wait too long to see a train cross that trestle, as trains go through there pretty regularly, I think. On the other hand, it takes a couple hours to get there from anywhere you've ever heard of! :) Yes, we felt lucky to see that.

  14. Great pictures Laurie. So sharp and clear. I love the train one.

    You've sure put Joseph on the map for me. I'd love to see the list of places you'd stay for a month.