Stein Distillery Eagle View Inn Railriding Hells Canyon Joseph Oregon
This is part 9 and the final post of our trip through eastern Oregon. If you would like to start at the beginning in the Alvord desert click here.
We love road trips. Especially synchronistic journeys where we set off with very little idea of where we are going, what we will do or where we will sleep. The idea is to allow life to guide you, be open to the opportunities that arise and recognize the signals that life gives you.
This has been one of my favorite road trips. It took ten days to cross the eastern part of the state. One could likely do this trip and see everything that we saw in maybe half the time but we were in no hurry. That being said I could easily have spent another week in certain parts maybe hiking around the high desert and most definitely backpacking in the mountains. We will have to return someday, I hope. But that is part of the journey. We are here now and the truth is, we may never have the opportunity to come back.
Our final lodging destination for this trip will be the Eagle View Inn. The small motel sits atop an outcropping with a jaw dropping view of the Eagle Cap wilderness. In the morning the alpine glow on the mountain was outside our window and the room did come with a small continental style breakfast.
We were supposed to go railriding today but we got rained out, it was also 39 degrees. So we postponed the trip and took the day to explore the area. As always this trip has written itself and back in Union we had tasted the spirits from Stein Distilling here in Joseph. We stopped by the tasting room and the manager there told us Dan, the owner was out on the farm milling corn. He gave us directions, another one of those turn right at the old fence type of directions, and we set off to try and find him.
At this point I am pretty sure we have spent more time on dirt roads then on pavement. We would be finding dust from this trip on our vehicle for months to come. We found Dan and took some video of him milling corn for his spirits. You can see all of that in the video further down this post. We made plans to meet him back at the tasting room to try the spirits and pick up a few bottles. Again on this trip every person we met was kind and generous and more then willing to share their products, rooms and meals. I guess it is now true, “will work for whiskey”!
The tasting room is located in Joseph, Oregon. Joseph is a very cute little town full of bronze sculptures and an amazing view of the Wallowa mountains everywhere you look. It has been referred to as ‘the little Switzerland of Oregon’.
The next day it was time to go Railriding! Railriding is a unique activity. There are parts of the old railroads that are no longer in use and an innovative couple have designed bikes that ride on the tracks. They offer tours here as well as on the Oregon coast that last about a half a day.
We rode for a few miles and had lunch at the end of the tracks before riding back through a canyon along a river. It is a beautiful and relaxing experience as besides the pedaling there is no reason to have to think as you are on the rail road tracks so all we did was look around at the scenery.
It was the final day of our trip through eastern Oregon and we had one last quick stop before heading back to Portland. Hells Canyon is around 1,000 feet deeper then the Grand Canyon and sits on the border of Oregon and Idaho. This would be another place we would need to come back to and spend some time backpacking, I think. It does look hot down there, and of course if you hike down that means you eventually need to hike back up.
The video above has all the footage from this part of the trip. It was an epic adventure. I do recommend making the effort to take the trip out here to eastern Oregon. I also recommend spending as much time as possible. We could have done the trip faster but in the end I wish we had stayed longer.
Thank you eastern Oregon and to all the people who helped sponsor our way through this trip by giving us a place to sleep, feeding us and making sure we always had plenty to drink. It was a very special trip.