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The Surprising People You Can Meet at a Bed & Breakfast

One of the things we love about owning the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast is the opportunity to meet some very interesting people. Our guests come from all over and have such interesting stories to share around the breakfast table. The surprising people you can meet at a bed & breakfast might range from musicians to artists to neighbors you didn’t know lived nearby in your own city, to small business owners, or even someone who might’ve graduated from the same high school as you many years ago.

This week we hosted Brad and Debora Lorang of Lorang Fine Art & Gorge-ous Gifts from Cascade Locks, Oregon. How many times have you driven by the Cascade Locks exit on Interstate 84 going to or from Portland, Oregon, without a stop? I know for us it’s been many times. But now we have reason to stop in after meeting Brad and Debora. And I think the other bed & breakfast guests that had the pleasure of sharing breakfast with Brad and Debora will as well. Their gallery is full of original pieces of art in nine major media collections (metal art, photography, jewelry, sculpture, pottery, mixed media and recycled art, paintings, woodwork and glass art) representing over seventy artists.

Inside view of gallery

Lorang Fine Art and Gorge-ous Gifts in Cascade Locks Oregon

Debora’s focus is photography and Brad concentrates on working with metal. One afternoon he pulled out a tablet and shared images of some of his larger commissioned, custom designed metal installations (made me think of what could we possibly need to add in the Bronze Antler gardens).  Tremendous!

Another aspect, which they shared with other guests around the breakfast table, is how involved they are in the community of Cascade Locks and the surrounding Columbia River Gorge area. Debora makes it a point to promote other Cascade Locks businesses on their Lorang Fine Art website and is very active in representing Cascade Locks with their local Chamber of Commerce. Our Bronze Antler B&B guests who wanted to learn more about waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge learned some insider information from someone local to that area. Where else can you have a casual conversation over breakfast with someone you’ve just met and learn some tips about a place you’d like to visit?

Even our cat, Madigan, the kinky-tailed greeter of the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast, got into the mix. She graced Debora and Brad with her presence in the dining room one evening and even agreed to pose for a photo session and a quick sketch. It was fun watching the transformation before our eyes and Brad deftly captured Madigan’s features in pen on his sketch pad. They were nice enough to leave this quick pen & ink sketch of Madigan and we are sharing it.

Portrait Sketch of Madigan our long haired tabby housecat

Pen Sketch of Madigan by Brad Lorang

The next time you’re contemplating where to stay on your vacation, you might consider a bed and breakfast lodging in your options. The surprising people you can meet could become new friends, or at least interesting acquaintances for a shared meal in a lovely appointed dining room. It’s an opportunity to connect, learn a little something about someone else, perhaps share a little something about yourself, or just be quiet and listen to the other guests around the table. It’s a more intimate experience than dining in a restaurant or even in the breakfast bar of a chain hotel or motel. Take the opportunity and join in!

Get Your Local Wallowa Valley Fix Here

Want more local Wallowa County at your fingertips? Ready to plunge in and know what us folks out here in Eastern Oregon know? There’s a new blog here in Wallowa County, Oregon, that regularly accumulates posts from some of the best and brightest blogs written about this corner of Northeastern Oregon. You’ll find it as “Oregon’s Wallowa Valley” and it aggregates blog posts from some local websites you’ll want to explore:

  • Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast (in Joseph, Oregon, writing about activities, events, and the bed & breakfast, of course)
  • Josephy Center for Arts & Culture (in Joseph, Oregon, and home to a variety of arts classes, exhibitions, events, and the Alvin & Betty Josephy Library
  • Winding Waters River Expeditions (based in Joseph, Oregon, with fly fishing trips, specialty rafting trips, guided fly fishing and more)
  • Plus the added bonus of plenty of fresh content about local places to discover like the M. Crow & Company Store in Lostine, Oregon, or what’s going on in the local music scene from the Wallowa Valley Music Alliance

The blog is sponsored by the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce and maintained by Janis Carper at Second Chance Productions (another Wallowa County based person that you’ll come to know if you spend any amount of time researching this place).

Subscribe to this feed, bookmark this place, or drop in from time to time to find out what’s new!

Is It Smoky In Joseph Oregon?

Updated Aug 31, 2015: The 2015 fire season is upon us in the Pacific Northwest. Here in Joseph, Oregon, that often means that we’re hosting someone else’s smoke. And our upcoming guests are frequently calling with the question, “Is it smoky in Joseph, Oregon?” Well, here’s our take on it plus the web links we use regularly to assess the fire, smoke and traffic conditions:


Southern view toward Chief Joseph Mountain in the Wallowa Mountains in Northeastern Oregon as seen by the Joseph Oregon Weather webcam

Though we can look out the window and see for ourselves, we usually direct our guests to the Joseph Oregon Weather website. The site owner has two webcams trained on the Wallowa Mountains (to the south and to the west), plus a page with the 5-day weather forecast. He pulls some of his data from the National Weather Service Pendleton Oregon station, but there’s also a lot more to read on this comprehensive site.

In terms of actual fire activity, we refer to the Blue Mountain Fire Information site with current information about any fires in NE Oregon or SE Washington, or to the Inciweb website for detailed information about fires that could be causing smoke in our area (also a great source for fire information throughout the United States).

In terms of air quality, the Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has a wonderful air quality index (AQI) map that’ll give you an idea not only of our local air quality, but what you might experience on your way to Joseph, Oregon.

If the question includes road closures or smoky driving conditions, we refer to the Oregon Department of Transportation TripCheck website. Here, you’ll find comprehensive information on driving conditions, road cameras, road closures, etc.
And if you still have questions that might affect your Joseph Oregon vacation, you’re always welcome to give us a call at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast at (541) 432-0230. Safe travels!

Summer Things To Do List No 1 in Joseph Oregon

Dennis and Janice Gillies enjoying a trip on the Joseph Railriders. All Aboard!

Dennis and Janice Gillies enjoying a trip on the Joseph Railriders. All Aboard!


Summer 2015 is upon us and the Joseph Branch Railriders is having a great season. This is one of the newest activities to do in Joseph, Oregon–ride the rails of the Joseph Branch between the towns of Joseph and Enterprise on specially made railrider vehicles. They’re kind of like side-by-side recumbent bicycles. Our guests Dennis and Janice took the 12-mile round trip ride on a railrider on a Saturday morning and came back beaming from the trip. They’re very active people and brought their kayaks to town for a spin around Wallowa Lake, but also wanted to be sure and ride the Railriders while they were visiting Joseph and Wallowa County. They reported that the route to Enterprise was really easy and they could coast a good part of the way (it is slightly downhill). The trip back from Enterprise to Joseph was a slight bit of a challenge (average 1.5% grade), but their railrider guide was there with a powered railrider vehicle to give them a push back into Joseph if they needed it.

For summer 2015, the Joseph Branch Railriders are open for tours Fridays through Mondays. You can walk up to their office at 304 North Main Street here in Joseph, Oregon, to make an appointment (just next to Red Horse Coffee Traders), or call in advance to make reservation arrangements. The tours start a 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. The phone is 541-910-0089 or 541-910-0891. You can bring your own bike helmets like Dennis and Janice did, or the office will supply you with some.

A photo from Dennis and Janice Gillies on the Joseph Railrider June 2015. The path leads through farmland and pastures of Wallowa County.

A photo from Dennis and Janice Gillies on the Joseph Railrider June 2015. The path leads through farmland and pastures of Wallowa County.


Janice commented over breakfast that a trip on the Joseph Branch Railriders was one of the best attractions she’s done for $20 per person.

On the Railrider website and on the Bicycling and Motorcycling page of the Bronze Antler B&B website you’ll find the Oregon Field Guide video about the Joseph Branch Railriders. It definitely looks like a lot of fun and we’ve had guests in varying degrees of fitness enjoy a trip on the rails.

If you’re wanting more of an all-day adventure, for 2015 the Joseph Branch Railriders is introducing an all-day trip from Minam (the place where Oregon Highway 82 crosses the confluence of the Minam River and Wallowa River) up to the town of Wallowa. Riders depart from Minam at 9 a.m. and must return to the same location by 4 p.m.  This journey is size limited to 12 guests and costs $45 per person. Part of the rail line journeys along the Wallowa River, then breaks into the open pastures and fields on the way to town. One of the appealing things about this route is that the ride along the Wallowa River is on the opposite side of the river from the automobile traffic on Highway 82. We’ve yet to have any guests take on this adventure and are looking forward to someone doing so and filling us in on the details at breakfast.

Hope to see you on the Joseph Branch Railriders soon, and thanks to Dennis and Janice for their photographs!

Hells Canyon Scenic Byway between Joseph Oregon and Hells Canyon 2015


UPDATED ON August 19, 2015: It’s that time of year again when our bed and breakfast guests ask, “Is the road open between Joseph and Halfway?” The answer for Summer and Fall 2015 is now “YES!”” The US Forest Service reports that the construction is nearly complete with only shoulder work remaining on the southern 12 miles of FSR39. There are no more construction delays on the center section of the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway (also known as Forest Service Road 39 or the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road).

Thank you for your patience during the 2014-2015 construction periods. Now it’s time to get out on the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway and enjoy the road!

As you’re planning your trip, do remember these important tips:

  • Is there any gasoline along the way? No. The last gas stations are in Joseph and in Copperfield/Oxbow and in Halfway. Note that these are not 24-hour gas stations and, because they are in rural locations, close fairly early in the evenings.
  • Is there cellphone service along the way? Pretty much no.
  • Who can I call for more information? Monday through Friday during working hours, contact the Forest Service Wallowa Mountains Office at 541-426-5546 or Pine Field Office at 541-742-7511. Visit the Forest Service website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/wallowa-whitman/home

2014 Is the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway Forest Road 39 open yet?

US Forest Service image of the Hells Canyon Scenic BywayIt seems like every year in May we hear variations on the same question:

Is the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road open yet?

Is the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway open yet?

Is Forest Road 39 or FR39 or Highway 39 open yet?

For 2014, it’s going to be a little difficult to answer because there’s already major reconstruction of this beloved road going on and it will continue through October 2014.  Fortunately for us all, the Wallowa-Whitman Office of the US Forest Service has a page on their website with press releases on the road’s status.  You’ll find the latest information at this link.  If you have difficulty visualizing exactly where the construction is taking place and where the detour routes are, take a look at the map on this PDF file.

Here’s a synopsis from the May 1, 2014, press release:

Spring 2014: Construction work on the 13-mile North Pine section of FSR 39 has begun and this section of the road will be closed until June 15, which will begin the next phase of the construction, roadway excavation (see next bullet).
June 16, 2014 to June 30 2014: The 13-mile North Pine section of FSR 39 will be closed beginning at 8:00 am every Tuesday morning through 5:00 pm every Thursday evening 6/16/14 – 6/30/14. The road will be open at 5:01 pm every Thursday evening through 7:59 am every Tuesday morning for travel 6/16/14 – 6/30/14. However, it’s important to note that the road surface will be rough as it is still under construction during these open periods.
July 1, 2014 to October 15, 2014: Visitors can expect up to one hour delays on the 13-mile North Pine section of FSR 39 or use the detour. Construction activities will be on-going, so please drive responsibility through the construction zone (see detour route information below beginning July 1, 2014).

Detour Route Information: Forest Service Road (FSR) 66 will be available for use as the detour route depending on snow levels. FSR 66 begins at the junction of FSR 39 and FSR 66 (also referred to as Duck Creek, Fish Lake Road, Twin Lakes Road, or Clear Creek Road) and continues west then south before connecting with Baker County Road 999, just north of Halfway. The detour route is 30 miles in length and is a single-lane gravel road with turnouts. The route is suitable for vehicles with trailers; however it is not recommended for motor homes. Visitors should be aware that the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road and FSR 66 are often closed by snow from late October through late June, and are not passable by automobiles during this time period. Both FSR 66 and FSR 39 are snowmobile routes.

Bottom line:  If you’re planning to drive center section of the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway in 2014, you’ll need patience.  This is particularly important for guests going to/from Hells Canyon Adventures jetboats at the Hells Canyon Dam and for guests coming from Idaho on the back way.  If you’re a motorcyclist, watch the press releases.  Much of the detour route involves gravel roads.

CNN Travel Recognizes Hells Canyon

Jet Boat on Hells Canyon originally produced by Kyle Hill of the Lewiston Tribune

Jet Boat on Hells Canyon originally produced by Kyle Hill of the Lewiston Tribune

If you’re planning your spring and summer travel schedule, here’s a great article from CNN Travel about the tallest, deepest, longest, etc., record-setting places in the United States to visit.  Feature writer Helyn Trickey Bradley has come up with 10 superlative sights for US travel.  Two are in Oregon.  And one is right here in Wallowa County!  She writes:

The Grand Canyon in Arizona may be immense, boasting nearly 277 river miles in length, but for sheer depth, Hells Canyon in eastern Oregon, eastern Washington and western Idaho wins hands-down. . .read more from this article

Helyn suggests a trip to Hat Point Lookout, the highest point on the Oregon side where you can look down deep into Hells Canyon and see the rapids at the bottom.  We also know that you have a fine view of He Devil, the highest point of Hells Canyon on the Idaho side and the reason that Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in the US.  As one of the Seven Devil Mountains, you feel you can almost reach out and touch them when you’re up there.  We try to get up to Hat Point every now and then and have written some blog posts about it before.

The getting to Hat Point isn’t dangerous, but it is a bit more than some people bargain for.  From Joseph, the drive is 26 miles of pavement to to the little town of Imnaha, followed by 26 miles of dirt road to the Hat Point Lookout.  Ask a local and they’ll tell you the first 5 miles of that 26 mile dirt road can be a little unnerving, but once you’re through that it’s home free all the way to the lookout.  Of course, you’ll have to come back the same way you went.  Best to leave the low slung city car at home.

Might you need some local advice when planning this Eastern Oregon vacation trip?  Give us a call here at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast in Joseph.  We’re along the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway and are one of the closer Hells Canyon lodging locations for a trip to Hat Point.  And a resource for maps, guides, and other things to take along for your trip to Hells Canyon.  See you soon!





Wow! Travel Oregon and the Wallowas

Videos and other materials are just starting to roll out about the Seven Wonders of Oregon, a new campaign hosted by Travel Oregon to introduce some remarkable places in our gorgeous state.  The Wallowa Mountains of Eastern Oregon and the surrounding area were lucky (and naturally) chosen to be one of those.  Here’s Travel Oregon’s video about the Wallowas.  She’s not named, but our friend Alice is the rider seen in the footage:

Great teaser footage for the town of Joseph Oregon too!  The featured brewery is our own Mutiny Brewing Company (great beer in a lovely summer outdoor setting looking at these same mountains).  Alice rides the Wallowa Lake Tramway to the top of Mount Howard (wonder if she fed the squirrels while she was there?).  And the vista shot at the end?  Looks to me like the Hat Point Overlook of Hells Canyon.

Blue Camas flowers in Spring on The Zumwalt Prairie of Wallowa County Eastern Oregon

Blue Camas flowers in Spring on the Zumwalt Prairie of Wallowa County Eastern Oregon

All this and a whole lot more that didn’t make the video.  If you need a little help with your trip planning, give us a call here at our Eastern Oregon Bed and Breakfast and we’ll be happy to help you out.

That’s what a teaser is all about–there’s just enough in the video to get your travel juices flowing.  Time to start planning for that summertime Eastern Oregon Vacation!

Hi, I’m Heather!

Heather Tyreman owner of the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast in Joseph Oregon sitting in a coffee shop and smiling for the camera phone.

Heather Tyreman owner of the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast in Joseph Oregon

My name is Heather Tyreman. My husband and I are the innkeepers of the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast here in Joseph Oregon near the shores of Wallowa Lake.  We purchased this Craftsman bungalow in 2000, spent 9 months remodeling, and opened our retirement dream job in June 2001 on Main Street.  And it has been and continues to be a lot of fun!  We enjoy meeting new people, introducing them to our beautiful Wallowa Valley, providing them the best hospitality experience we can, and watch them relax as they slow down to their Eastern Oregon vacation pace.

When I’m not busy with our Joseph Oregon lodging, you’ll find me outside working in the perennial gardens or on my way to rehearsals and performances with regional music groups.  I play oboe and English Horn with the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon East Symphony, Wallowa Valley Orchestra, and smaller ensembles when we can put them together.  The musical life in Eastern Oregon can be challenging but definitely worth it.

In this blog I highlight local events and information as well as stories about our Joseph Oregon bed and breakfast.  I hope you’ll come back often to read the latest–and either come see us in person or enjoy your vicarious Joseph Oregon vacation.

Reserve Your Summer Fishtrap 2014 Rooms and Lodging Right Here Right Now

Summer Fishtrap 2014 at Wallowa Lake Oregon postcard imageAre you attending Summer Fishtrap 2014 at Wallowa Lake, Oregon?  Still trying to decide where in Eastern Oregon to stay for the week?  If you don’t want to stay “on campus” in one of the yurts or in the bunkhouse at the Wallowa Lake Camp and Retreat Center (affectionately known to longtime Fishtrappers as the “Methodist Camp”) and you’re used to staying in nicer bed and breakfasts or hotels when you travel, then allow us to propose a stay at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast nearby in Joseph Oregon.

The writers conference Summer Fishtrap 2014 starts on the afternoon of Monday, July 7th, and concludes at brunch on Sunday, July 13th.  As of today, February 12, 2014, we still have two guestrooms and our fabulous Mirror Lake Suite available for a 6-night stay (nights of July 7-12, 2014, departing on July 13, the closing day of Summer Fishtrap 2014).  What can that mean for you as a Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers attendee?  A really comfortable, air-conditioned, private place to stay at good price.  And we can offer you a without breakfast option in case you’d prefer to take your breakfast meals at the Wallowa Lake Camp.  And since we’re rated 3-Diamonds by AAA, we also offer a 10% discount to current AAA members.  What’s not to like?

For example, these are the prices for lodging and meals during Summer Fishtrap 2014 (taken from the Summer Fishtrap 2014 brochure):

  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 one-bedroom deluxe yurt (includes private bath): $795 per cabin
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 two-bedroom deluxe yurt (includes shared bath): $595 per bedroom
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 bunkhouse (bring your own bedding, bath house nearby): $130 per person
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 Lunch only package (Tuesday through Saturday): $60 per person
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 Lunch & Dinner package (Tuesday through Saturday): $160 per person
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 All Meals package (Monday dinner through Sunday brunch): $225 per person

Here are options at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast (full price quotes with lodging taxes included) in our Ferguson Ridge Room (other currently available guestrooms are higher):

  • Single occupancy with breakfast: $840.56
  • Single occupancy without breakfast: $775.16
  • Single occupancy with breakfast and 10% AAA membership discount: $756.44
  • Double occupancy with breakfast: $943.60
  • Double occupancy without breakfast: $812.80
  • Double occupancy with breakfast and 10% AAA membership discount: $849.26

Garden scene at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast in Joseph Oregon with bench and bottle of wine and wine glass near the bocce courtIt’s true there are some conveniences to staying at the Wallowa Lake Camp.  You’re right there and don’t need to drive home once the evening open-mic session is over.  You’re in the middle of the action.  You’re close to the Bailey Lodge dining hall where meals are served cafeteria style.

But, we’re only 10 minutes away by car at the other end of Wallowa Lake.  You’re in your own space with your own attached private bathroom, with or without your traveling companion (if you have one). Your room is comfortably air-conditioned to your liking  Your breakfast, if you choose to have breakfast, is served in our dining room plated and accompanied by your choice of fruit juices and hot beverages.  And we do our best to accommodate special meal requirements (gluten-free, dairy-free, food allergies, etc.)

And if you’re bringing along someone who is not participating in Summer Fishtrap 2014, they’re right here in Joseph to see and do all that the town has to offer in summer (shops, art galleries, foundries, artist tours, or just hanging out here on our grounds under the apple tree with the bocce court nearby (see the photo).

There are a limited number of yurts available at the Wallowa Lake Camp.  If you miss your opportunity to reserve one on February 20, 2014 (the day that online registration opens for Summer Fishtrap 2014), then you might want to consider spending your nights with us here at our (nearly a) Wallowa Lake hotel.

And who knows what summer 2014 will be like?  You might be very glad you have air-conditioning!

Don’t forget:  Summer Fishtrap 2014 online registration opens on February 20, 2014, at 9 am Pacific Time!