by Lynn Allen
Love your site to pieces! I'm a native of Eastern Oregon, La Grande more specifically, but lived in Corvallis and Beaverton for a while as well. The Blue Mountains around La Grande offer great scenic opportunities, also the Wallowa Mountains and the Eagle Caps. Great skiing too.
If you can go to Wallowa Lake sometime and take the tram up to the top, you'll be treated to the Swiss Alps of America. It's amazing up there. It's the steepest tram in the US, I think. It is the native homeland of the Nez Perce Native American Tribe and Chief Joseph is buried near the lake. The town of Joseph is a mini-artist enclave as well. The movie "Paint Your Wagon" was filmed in the Eagle Cap Mountains near Baker and there's some awesome scenery in that area. Wild West -- Oregon Trail history abounds in that region.
The Grande Ronde Valley where I grew up is lovely with farms and orchards all over the valley. My great grandfather was one of the original settlers of the valley having crossed the Great Plains on the Oregon Trail. My dad grew up on one of the farms and saw lots of change in the area.
My dad brother and I went on a fishing trip in the Wallowas once, traveling by horse all through the mountains and over the top of the mountain range. At one point -- waaaaay at the top, -- we could see both the Baker Valley and the Grand Ronde Valley. I will never forget the splendor of that huge, gorgeous mountain vista.
Not all of Eastern Oregon is desert. It actually has quite a mix of terrain and scenery, and I hope you can explore it more. This time of year the weather can brutal with lots of snow and wind at times in the mountains, but winter offers some spectacular photo ops as well. Just be prepared for weather if you decide to brave it. In the summer it is so beautiful and pleasant – winter, not so much.
I'll look for some photos of the region, but I wanted to be sure to post today. I'm excited to see a site about my home state.
I hope this helps fill in some of the information for Eastern Oregon. If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of the region and love to go home for visits. I’m in Colorado now, another state with spectacular mountains, but as the saying goes, “There’s no place like home.”
Formerly of La Grande OR
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