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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

 

Winter Things to do Near Joseph Oregon: Visit the Zumwalt Prairie

When most of our guests visit The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve here in Wallowa County, they do it in the spring and summer to see the wildflowers and (hopefully) the raptors, deer, elk, and other wildlife that populate the prairie in warmer times of year.  It’s a very photogenic place.

Bill on The Nature Conservancy Zumwalt Prairie Preserve in December 2013

Bill on The Nature Conservancy Zumwalt Prairie Preserve

The day after Christmas we had no guests in the house, so Bill & I decided to take a drive out to the Zumwalt Prairie to see if we might be able to hike one of The Nature Conservancy’s designated trails.  Fortunately, Patti’s Trail (2.3 miles), one of the public-access areas designated on The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie map, looked to be feasible given the time of day, the temperature, snow pack, etc.  We were hoping to see some of the elk population now that the rut is over.

It turned out to be a beautiful day for a hike for these two bed and breakfast innkeepers, though nary an elk showed its shaggy cape.  And the birds were few and far between although there was a hawk that led us from fence post to fence post.

But it was quiet, other than the constant breeze coming from the south, and it was very sunny.  We’d taken the snowshoes along but didn’t need them on Patti’s Trail–just enough snow to need boots or Bogs.

The drive from our Joseph Oregon lodging can be a little harrowing in winter compared to summer.  Guests with trucks or higher-clearance all-wheel drive vehicles will most likely be fine.  Most of the Zumwalt Road is not paved and, like many rural Oregon locations, is something to be undertaken with plenty of respect for the conditions.

Here at our Joseph Oregon bed and breakfast we keep maps, binoculars, etc., to help our guests enjoy the surroundings.  Hope to see you sometime in the winter!

 

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.

Sunny Winters in Joseph Oregon

We handle a lot of phone calls from prospective guests who want to know if the winters are sunny in Joseph, Oregon.  I’m guessing a lot of these folks are from the Seattle, Washington, or Portland, Oregon area, where we hear that the sun shines but the winters are pretty gray..

The answer:  Yes!  Our winters are definitely sunny!  Because we’re in Eastern Oregon we don’t have the clouds that seem to hang on the western side of the Cascade Mountains.  It seems as though we have only a handful of non-sunny days throughout the winter months.

Joseph Oregon Weather camera on Christmas Day 2008

Joseph Oregon Weather camera on Christmas Day 2008

Probably the best place to get a view of how sunny it is here is to take a look at our favorite weather website, Joseph Oregon Weather  The webmaster keeps two cameras trained on the Wallowa Mountains–one to the south and one to the west–that’ll give you an up to the minute view of the current conditions.  Into time lapse photography?  The Weather Movie on the same website gives you the view of how the day is progressing, or you can watch yesterday’s weather movie for a complete view.

Here at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast our large insulated glass picture window in the dining room is perfect for a view of the sunny winter weather without experiencing the cold.  Sometimes our breakfast guests opt to bring their sunglasses to the table.

And there’s plenty to do around here in winter.  Or nothing.  Your choice.  Type “winter” into the blog search box and you’ll find our posts about things to do in the winter around Joseph, Oregon.  Here’s one to get you started.

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!

 

Professional Photography at our Eastern Oregon Lodging

Bocce court in the pre-dawn light at our Joseph Oregon lodging

Bocce court in the pre-dawn light in Joseph Oregon at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast

Marcus Berg, owner & professional photographer at Unique Angles Photography, is returning to our Eastern Oregon bed and breakfast in early June to update our portfolio of high quality images.  Sure, we can always capture images on our digital camera or our smartphones and they’ll look fine on the Facebook page, but it’s also important for the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast to have high quality “dense” images for magazines and other print advertising.

We’re excited to have Marcus out with us for a few days.  I know it’ll be a lot of work.  A good photo shoot involves lots of preparation.  Beautiful flowers, a variety of props to dress up the guestrooms, a varied menu for food photography–and then there are things we can’t quite control like great weather for exterior photos.  The last time Marcus was here, he & I were up before the dawn to capture images of the bocce court in the north perennial garden of our Wallowa Lake lodging.  Little did I know that watering the bocce court the night before meant I’d need to quickly spray down the rest of the gravel walkways at 5 am!

If you have a chance, take a look at our website photography and send us suggestions on which photos you think should be updated,  What images should we capture that aren’t on the website?  What would best depict our romantic getaway Oregon style?  Send your ideas to info@bronzeantler.com and we’d love to incorporate your ideas.

Amenity Provided: Free and Secure Wireless Internet at our Joseph Bed and Breakfast

Wireless Internet Access at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast in Joseph, OR, is provided by Eastern Oregon Networks, Inc (EONI)One thing that separates the bed and breakfast community from many other lodging options (especially hotels) is free wireless internet. There is no additional daily charge at most bed and breakfasts for wireless internet. And certainly not here at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast!

Here at our Joseph Oregon lodging we just upgraded our internet service by making some changes to our existing infrastructure.  We did this to make our wireless internet service easier to access, faster, and to specifically address an issue raised by a guest in a review on TripAdvisor about our Eastern Oregon bed and breakfast.  The guest wrote:

[T]he WI-FI is too fussy. The coverage is spotty and the need to log on for each session is annoying. Also, there is insufficient capacity to watch the news or a movie. Since there is no TV at this location, better Internet access would be appreciated.

We originally installed a very secure login process to ensure that neither guests nor innkeepers would get hacked, nor would we be vulnerable to someone pulling up in our parking area, hopping on our wireless, and downloading inappropriate information.  But times have changed.   In response, we’ve now changed our security settings so that the guest uses one password one time only to cover all “sessions” here at our Wallowa Lake lodging.  The internal changes made to our signal routing have increased our download speed by about a factor of four.  And we are reevaluating the position of our router to maximize performance throughout the property (which is already very good inside the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast building).

One thing about living in a very rural location is that internet access isn’t the quite same as it is in more populated communities.  Could we have DSL?  Not currently.  Cable modem?  Not available.  And probably won’t be in the foreseeable future.  Our internet signal is entirely wireless–including how it is delivered to and leaves the property.    We met the criticism head on and look forward to this guest returning (the guest also indicated that it wouldn’t be the last visit to the Bronze Antler).  We want to demonstrate that we take constructive suggestions seriously.