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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!

Winter Things to Do Near Joseph Oregon and Wallowa Lake Include Tunesmith Night

Gregory Rawlins performs at Tunesmith Night at Lear's Main Street Grill in Enterprise Oregon in February 2014

Gregory Rawlins performs at Tunesmith Night at Lear’s Main Street Grill in Enterprise Oregon

People are always wondering whether there’s anything to do out here in the Eastern Oregon winter besides enjoy downhill skiing, backcountry skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing and other classic wintertime outdoor activities.  Nothing wrong with any of them, but what do you do once it’s time to come in at dark?

How about intimate music experiences?  Every second Saturday of the month throughout the winter season, the Wallowa Valley Music Alliance hosts Tunesmith Night, a showcase of original music in a warm, friendly environment.  The venue is something between a club and a small restaurant with booths and tables facing towards the stage area where the performers set up with their gear.  Each month, three different singer songwriters are invited to share their original music with a willing audience at Lear’s Main Street Grill in Enterprise.  The format is a round-robin sort of thing–each musician performs one piece, then the next performer has a turn, etc.  After a couple of rounds, there’s an intermission, then the whole thing repeats for the second round.  Each performer brings their own style, voice and instruments–it’s almost like a concert sampler.  As one Tunesmith attendee noted, “It was a blast! Great music!”

So, who might you see performing at Tunesmith Night?  They’re not necessarily just local Wallowa County musicians as Tunesmith Night is a sought after opportunity in the Pacific Northwest singer songwriter community.  Last night’s Tunesmith Night performers were Heidi Muller, MidLo and Gregory Rawlins.  The performers scheduled for the rest of the 2013-2014 season are:

  • March 8, 2014: Bart Budwig, Joey Carper, Colton Elwood Haney with Moorea Masa
  • April 12, 2014: Kory Quinn, Alexa Wiley, Dan Weber

The singer songwriters who performed earlier in the 2013-2014 season include: (October 2013) Travis Ward, Wayne Marvin Callahan, Steve Hines; (November 2013) Bre Paletta and Justin Bennett, Jacob DeBoie; (December 2013) Simon Tucker, Janis Carper, Al Bell; (January 2014) An American Forrest, Edmund Wayne, Rodd Ambroson

Tunesmith Poster for February 8, 2014Location:  Lear’s Main Street Grill, 111 W. Main, Enterprise, Oregon

Time:  Doors open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 7 p.m. (usually ends before 10 p.m.)  Come early and enjoy dinner at Lear’s before the show!

Admission:  $10 at the door

More information:  Janis Carper, Wallowa Valley Music Alliance, 541-426-3390.  Or check out Wallowa Valley Music Alliance events and news on Facebook

Last night we hosted a LaGrande couple here at our Joseph Oregon lodging.  They drove the wintry 90 minutes to the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast knowing that they could enjoy Tunesmith Night, have a great night’s stay only 10 minutes away in one of our cozy guestrooms, and have a leisurely, delicious breakfast the next morning before ambling their way up the road for the short drive home.  How’s that for a quickie Eastern Oregon vacation?

Hope to see you at Tunesmith Night before the season ends!

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!

 

Opera Night Fundraiser and Food on Friday, Feb 28th

Benvenuti!

You’ve got to give Chuck Anderson, our honorable Alpenmeister, some credit for very creative fundraising to support the Oregon Alpenfest celebration.  Even though Alpenfest doesn’t happen until late September, he’s out here in February with an Opera Night!

And what do you get?  Opera classics in practically the most remote corner of Oregon, performed by very talented young people, a great dinner, and the opportunity to get out of the house in the middle of winter.  What’s better than that?

Who:  Eastern Oregon University music major students from LaGrande, Oregon, are performing two hours of classic opera selections.

What:  A fundraiser for Oregon’s Alpenfest, a family-friendly, polka-crazy, Swiss-yodeling event that takes place in late September (Sept 25-29 for 2014) in Wallowa County, Oregon, a place that comes closer than anyplace in Oregon to looking like the Swiss Alps.  The towns of Enterprise, Joseph and Wallowa Lake are all involved in Alpenfest.

When:  Friday night, February 28, 2014, 7 pm to 9 pm,

Where:  Lear’s Main Street Pub & Grill, 111 W. Main Street, Enterprise, OR,

Cost: Admission including dinner is $25 for adults (drinks extra)

Notes: Reservations at Lear’s are advised.  Phone is (541) 426-3300.

Coming from out of town?  Our Joseph Oregon bed and breakfast has plenty of room available.  Click the Book Now link on the left of this blog to find the perfect lodging for your Eastern Oregon opera night or call us at (541) 432-0230.

Ciao!

 

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!

 

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!