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Cake for Two at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast? Yes!

German Chocolate cake with a blue rose on top from Melanee's Cakes in Joseph Oregon

German Chocolate cake with a blue rose on top from Melanee’s Cakes

We enjoy helping our guests plan the perfect getaway–romantic or otherwise–when they stay at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast.  And we enlist as many local Joseph Oregon businesses as we can to procure items for our guests.

Melanee’s Cakes is one of those providers.  Melanee creates all sorts of cakes,  large or small, in a variety of flavors and with great enthusiasm for the decoration.  Small birthday cakes suitable for a couple are pretty popular.  As are special anniversary cakes.  But she’ll create a cake for any occasion and deliver them right here in Joseph, Oregon, so you don’t have to worry about making a surprise.  Let us know what flavor you’d like, what inscription (if any), what type of frosting, and your budget–and let Melanee run loose!

We’ll have the cake awaiting you in your guestroom complete with plates, forks & napkins (although I think we might’ve had a few guests opt for the romantic  “eating cake with their fingers” option).

One of our oft-returning guests, Teri, commented about the birthday cake she selected for her husband’s surprise, “She does beautiful work and her cakes are scrumptious.”  Unfortunately we don’t have a photograph of said cake–it disappeared too quickly!

Melanee’s Cakes doesn’t have a website, but if you’re a Facebook user, you’ll find Melanee’s Cakes on Facebook.  Her latest creation: Superbowl Denver Broncos versus Seattle Seahawks!

 

Winter Things to do Near Joseph Oregon: Ice Skating

Enterprise Oregon Ice Rink

Enterprise Oregon Ice Rink

We just love winter in the Wallowas!  And the Wallowa Valley Community Ice Rink, an outdoor ice rink in nearby Enterprise, is a fun diversion.

Enterprise is only 6 miles away from Joseph Oregon along Highway 82 and the Ice Rink is at the north end of the City Park, just two blocks off of the highway (signs are posted or you can find a map on the Rink’s website).  The rink is available for free skating plus there are pickup hockey games and even assigned time for hockey and for broomball.  The rink is open 9 am to 9 pm daily, weather permitting, with lots of opportunity for free skating time.

The rink is also home to the Baja Canada Hockey League, a group that current features two teams, the Eh’s? and the Ruby Peaks. (You’ve got to have a little bit of Wallowa County humor in the middle of all this).

Because this is an outdoor ice rink staffed by volunteers (and one paid staff person) it’s always good to check the schedule as well as call the ice rink’s recorded line at 541-263-0715 for current conditions.  If you don’t own ice skates no worries–skates can be rented Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm at Treasures, a local shop in Enterprise (541-426-3873).

If need to know the operating rules of the Enterprise Ice Rink, I was by there today and photographed the locally posted sign.  Keep in mind that the phone number for more information is 541-263-0715:

Enterprise Oregon Ice Rink Sign

Rules of the Rink

 

No Joseph Oregon Car Show in June 2014

Oregon Mountain Cruise in Joseph Oregon is the second weekend in June

Oregon Mountain Cruise in Joseph Oregon is the second weekend in June

News flash!  We just learned yesterday that the popular Oregon Mountain Cruise classic car show in Joseph Oregon will take a break for June 2014.  This particular event is one of the big kickoff weekends of summer since it holds the 2nd weekend of June slot right after the Wallowa Valley Festival of Arts

From the cruise’s website:

It’s been 25 years since a group of family & friends from all over the northwest joined together to organize and host the “Oregon Mtn. Cruise Car Show” in Joseph, Oregon.  We regret to inform all our cruisers that after 25 years, we have decided to take the year off in 2014 to re-group, re-energize, re-organize and for some much needed rest.  WE WILL BE BACK JUNE 12-13, 2015.  Have a great summer and hope to see you in Joseph, Oregon in 2015.

Living in a remote area like Wallowa County Oregon means that we live in an absolutely beautiful place, but it also means that there aren’t all that many people here to volunteer for the many events that take place during the summer months.  We’re glad that the Joseph Oregon Car Show organizers got the word out so early about their change in plans so the rest of us can plan accordingly. For those of you planning your 2014 Eastern Oregon vacation you’ll just have to plan for another area car show instead.

And for our Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast guests who booked their guestrooms for June 2014 around this event, please contact us (if we haven’t yet contacted you) so we can make adjustments to your reservations.  Our phone: 541-432-0230.

The silver lining to all of this?  We know, just like the Bronze, Blues & Brews festival every year in August that took a one-year break a few years ago, that the Oregon Mountain Cruise will come back bigger and better than it was in the past!

Never Too Early For Wallowa Lake Wedding Planning

A field of marguerite daisies at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast in Joseph OregonIn the depths of winter there are people getting engaged and thinking about a summer wedding at Wallowa Lake or in Joseph Oregon.  How do I know?  Because, when I take a look at the analytics behind our Joseph Oregon bed and breakfast blog, there are people searching for terms like “joseph oregon wedding” and people reading blog posts I’ve written about where to get married near Wallowa Lake or where to get married in Joseph Oregon.

So here we are, nearing the end of December 2013, and already we’re seeing quite a few bookings at our Oregon romantic getaway for summer 2014.  Wedding nights in the Mirror Lake Suite are going to be popular this year.  And housing the wedding party or wedding guests in our other three guestrooms is gaining traction as a popular idea too.

Part of this trend might be due to some changes in lodging in the Wallowa Valley.  Joseph Oregon hotels?  Still aren’t any.  And the Wallowa Lake hotel is still the Wallowa Lake Lodge.  Here in Joseph, Belle Peppers Bed and Breakfast closed its doors to guests in December 2012.

What’s a bridal couple to do?  We have a few recommendations:

1.  Most important! Check your dates with the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce (541-426-4622).  If you want to plan your wedding around a major event like Chief Joseph Days Rodeo (always the last full weekend in July), then your wedding guests might have difficulty finding lodging unless they get busy now and book their rooms. Or plan your wedding near the big events but not during them.  And, from Memorial Day through the end of September, there’s something happening nearly every weekend in Wallowa County!

2.  Lock in your wedding venue soon.  See the categories listed on the left side of this blog post in the template area?  Click on “Wallowa County Wedding” or “Joseph Oregon Wedding” and you’ll get immediate access to a variety of blog posts that I’ve put together about potential wedding venues in this part of Eastern Oregon.  Some of these venues, like the blue barn, book out far in advance.

3.  Consider a trip out here to meet with florists, caterers, photographers, etc.  There are some wonderful local folks capable of putting on a spread of local foods, capturing lovely images of your wedding, providing fresh flowers, serving as a great rehearsal dinner location, etc., or even designing your personalized wedding rings (and you’ll need to plan a long ways in advance for that!)  Don’t think you have to bring it all from the big city!

4.  Don’t stress, but do plan.  And you’re welcome to give us a call here at the Bronze Antler B&B at 541-432-0230.  Bill & I are ready to help you however we can.  After thirteen years of owning and operating our Joseph Oregon lodging, we’ve gotten to see a few weddings along the way and are happy to share.

Good looking athletic sled dogs in Oregon

Sol Neelman photo for Portland Monthly Magazine Dog Stars of the Eagle Cap Extreme

Sol Neelman photo for Portland Monthly Magazine “Dog Stars of the Eagle Cap Extreme”

Wow!  The Portland Monthly Magazine is featuring an article this month on the “Dog Stars of the Eagle Cap Extreme” and what a good looking bunch of athletes they are.  Of course, these are photos of the dogs from the January 2013 event–many of whom will be back for 2014.  The next Eagle Cap Extreme, Oregon’s only qualifying sled dog race for both the Alaskan Iditarod and Yukon Quest, will take place in January 2014.

But these dog photos (and the people and scenery in them too) are wonderful.  Sol Neelman, weird sports photographer turned canine image capturer for this shoot–really caught the essence of what it’s like to be out on the trail in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the middle of snow.  Are we biased?  Probably so as we had the opportunity to speak with Sol around his photo shoot in Joseph Oregon.

If you’re planning to attend the Eagle Cap Extreme in 2014, better line up your lodging soonest as we have very little opportunities left at our Joseph bed and breakfast.  And we’re centrally located and walking distance to Race Central.  The 2014 event dates are January 22th through 25th with the teams starting on Thursday and Friday early afternoons and returning Thursday evening through Saturday afternoon (depending upon the race).

Our bed and breakfast cat, Madigan, has been known to review the Eagle Cap Extreme. Of course she’s biased too–and plans to spend the 2014 event asleep on our bed (though she might wake up during the Vet Checks on Wednesday when all those dogs are barking on Main Street).

And there’s the banquet dinner on Saturday night at the Joseph Community Center with awards, great food and “Tales from the Trail”.  You can learn more about the schedule of events on the Eagle Cap Extreme website.  All events are free and open to the public except the banquet (tickets available at Race Central in Joseph Oregon).  Find your Joseph Oregon lodging and book early!  If you’re a dog lover this is an event you won’t want to miss!

What is the Nearest Airport to Joseph Oregon

Planning to fly to Joseph, Oregon?  If you have your own plane you can land right here at the Joseph State Airport. And we provide complimentary transportation to our Joseph Oregon lodging for our pilot guests so you don’t need a courtesy car.

But if you’re going to fly commercially, you’ll need to think about renting a car once you land.  We’re only two hours away from the closest commercial airport in Lewiston, Idaho, but that might not be the least expensive airport depending upon your start point.  We typically recommend that our guests take a look at Kayak.com and insert each one of these airport codes to see what works best.

Here are the most convenient commercial airports with directions from Joseph and relative driving times by car:
  • Nez Perce Regional (LWS) Lewiston, Idaho (2 hours north)
  • Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) Pasco, Washington (3 hours northwest)
  • Gowen Field (BOI) Boise, Idaho (4 hours east)
  • Geiger Field (GEG) Spokane, Washington (4 hours north)
  • Portland Int’l (PDX) Portland, Oregon (6 hours west)
  • Seattle-Tacoma Int’l (SEA) Seattle, Washington (7 hours northwest)

There’s also a small airline that flies regularly between Portland, Oregon or North Bend/Coos Bay, Oregon, and Pendleton, Oregon (2 hours west).  Plus they service other communities around the Pacific Northwest.  You can learn more about SeaPort Airlines at their website.

Pilot Chris Taylor and his wife flew out of Joseph State Airport early one morning in August 2013.  Share their experience through their video and enjoy the scenery!

Luxury Joseph Oregon Car Show Lodging

Still looking for a luxury lodging option during the Joseph Oregon Car Show?  The local car show, also known as the Oregon Mountain Cruise, celebrates 25 years of classic cars on June 7 and 8, 2013.  And have we got the lodging for you!

Canopy bed in a guestroom with snowy mountains visible through high windows.

Mirror Lake Suite at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast

The Mirror Lake Suite, our romantic getaway Oregon lodging right here in Joseph, is still available.  This room competes against finer regional hotels in terms of style and amenities. And better yet, it’s located one block away from downtown Joseph so you can walk back and forth to the car show throughout the Show’n’Shine and to the Saturday night dance at the Joseph Oregon Community Center.

Features include:

  • Private entrance leading directly to the parking area. And you can see your beauty through the suite’s windows framed against the Wallowa Mountains.
  • Light, airy bedroom with 14.5′ vaulted ceiling with plenty of spaciousness.
  • Private attached bathroom full of spa-style fixtures.  Steam shower (with its own chromatherapy lights and radio), combination Japanese-designed Toto Neorest toilet/bidet, and a very sanitary pipeless jetted Sanijet tub to melt away the hours spent strolling the car show in downtown Joseph.
  • Dedicated air conditioning (need we say more?)
  • Flat screen TV with attached Blu-ray DVD for watching your favorite movies (bring your own or watch ours).
  • Wi-Fi access throughout the bed and breakfast.

On top of all that, all the common amenities and services we offer our guests. And, the Oregon Mountain Cruise entrants line up their cars early Saturday morning right in front of our bed and breakfast on South Main Street so you can quickly get into the proper order for the Show’n’Shine parking.

Were you looking for ” Joseph Oregon hotels ” or ” Wallowa Lake hotel ” when trying to figure out where to stay?  We’ve got you covered.  It’s our last available room for the car show weekend.  Take advantage quickly before it’s gone.  AAA members receive 10% off too!

 

2013 Oregon Mountain Cruise Car Show in Joseph Oregon Turns Silver

Two classic cars celebrating the 25th Silver Jubilee of the Oregon Mountain Cruise

Oregon Mountain Cruise is the second weekend in June in Joseph Oregon

This year the Oregon Mountain Cruise celebrates its 25th anniversary.  And here at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast we’ve just confirmed that we still have three rooms open (lucky procrastinators–now’s your chance).

If you need any persuading as to why you should choose our Joseph Oregon lodging, here are a few good reasons:

1.  Our lodging provides hotel quality accomodations walking distance to the car show (only one block from downtown Joseph Oregon).

2.  You can spiffy up your car right here in our parking area on Saturday morning right before you pull into the lineup (which takes place right in front of our bed & breakfast right here on Main Street).  Hose provided.

3.  As of today, April 21st,, you have your choice of three lovely rooms:  the Mirror Lake Suite is our luxurious alternative to a Wallowa Lake hotel or any Joseph Oregon hotels.  We’ve been told it’s right up there with the penthouse suite at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.  The Chief Joseph Mountain Room offers a broad view of the mountains to the south.  For the budget conscious, the Sawtooth Mountain Room  offers superb views of the Wallowa Mountains and the largest bathroom on the second floor.  All of our rooms have their own attached private bath (no sharing and no going out in the hall to find the bathroom), plus air conditioning.

4.  AAA member?  As a AAA-rated three-diamond property, we offer a 10% discount on room rates to card carrying AAA members.

5. Extra bonus:  If you stay with us in 2013, then you have first priority for the 2014 car show weekend.

Don’t wait to make your reservation for the nights of June 7 & 8, 2013.  And if you’re coming with a car club, tell your club members so you can all enjoy the convenience of our in town location!

 

Uphill Skiing Anyone? Or Ski Mountaineering in Eastern Oregon?

Shrink wrapped smoked chicken

Shrink-wrapped smoked chicken from Mt Joseph Family Foods in Joseph, Oregon

Wall Street Journal writer Tess Weaver recently wrote about ski mountaineering for the Wall Street Journal (published February 27, 2013), noting that skiing uphill is gaining in popularity around the United States and might even make the 2022 Winter Olympics.

You can find plenty of that kind of activity out here near Joseph Oregon.  And you won’t have to worry about purchasing a lift ticket or competing with downhill resort skiers.  The Wallowa Mountains are a tucked away corner of Oregon with no organized ski resort (although the local hill, Ferguson Ridge, does attract a mainly local crowd) and plenty of backcountry skiing conditions.

We recently hosted a group of Portland Oregon skiers who used our Joseph Oregon lodging as their jumping off point for a multi-day ski trip.  They arrived late, but got a very good night’s rest, a hearty breakfast, and time to shop for some local essentials before heading out to McCully Basin to build their snow cave for the next few nights of lodging.  There’s nothing like a smoked “flat” chicken from our local grocer, Mt. Joseph Family Foods, at the end of a long day of uphill skiing!

If you do want to take on the rugged Wallowa Mountains, we suggest you spend some time with the Wallowa Avalanche Center’s website and study the snow conditions.  As one person who commented on Tess Weaver’s article said, “In Italy “sci alpinismo” as the sport is called here is widely practiced, but not on crowded downhill slopes! The biggest attraction is the opportunity to enjoy pristine alpine scenery alone or with a few friends and be able to experience a more challenging deep powder snow descent off groomed trails. Understanding and managing avalanche risk is a key requirement to enjoy the sport safely. Mountaineering training is required and it is not advisable to just buy the equipment and take off no matter how good your athletic ability.”  Definitely true here in the Wallowas as well.