Date(s) - 09/16/2016 - 09/18/2016
Our tour will set out from the PRINEVILLE STARBUCKS PARKING LOT — NOT in Bend. Don’t worry, there’s only one Starbucks in Prineville, on 3rd Street about 1/2 mile east of the Prineville Courthouse, behind the Dollar Tree Store. Goody bags, water, and large print maps will be provided and included in the overall cost. Drivers meeting at 8:30 a.m., departure at 9:00 a.m.
We’ll have two groups, with a maximum of seven cars in each, leaving Prineville at 9 a.m., for an incredibly beautiful 350-mile tour through mountain and canyon country all the way to Joseph. We’ll follow Route 26 east from Prineville to Mt. Vernon, then north on US 395 to Ukiah. After lunch at Ukiah, northeast to La Grande/Island City, then north and east to Wallowa, Enterprise and Joseph, arriving about 6 p.m. There will be rest stops approximately every 70 miles, including a brief stop at the John Day Fossil Beds Monument between Prineville and Mt. Vernon and Hu-Na-Ha Riverside Park in Elgin.
We’ll be staying at the historic Wallowa Lake Lodge, built in 1923 on the shores of Wallowa Lake (the new, modern wing was added in 1926). Not to worry—the rooms have modern bath/showers, double beds, and other amenities. We will have dinner at the Wallowa Lodge on Friday evening, and breakfast Saturday morning. The Lodge will provide separate parking with wash facilities for our cars. Kayaking and other water sports are available at the State Park Marina next door.
On Saturday, we will have a guided tour of the world-renowned Valley Foundry at 11 a.m. The discounted tour price is $10/person and will take about 1 hour. The Foundry is 1.5 blocks from Main Street and will provide all-day/evening separate parking for our cars. Lunch and gallery-hopping will be on your own, with a tour of Stein’s Distillery at about 2:30 p.m. for a taste of their small-batch offerings. For those tired of shopping but not of driving, there’s a spectacular drive north of Enterprise on Route 3 to the Chief Joseph Canyon Overlook. Route 3 offers a beautifully-paved open roadway for the first 30 miles to the Overlook, after which the road becomes an endless series of 15-mph switchbacks down into Grande Ronde River Canyon on the way to Lewiston.
Dinner will be at Vali’s Alpine Restaurant at 7 p.m., a well-known family style restaurant about 1/2 mile from the Lodge. Porsche parking provided, of course. Vali’s is a single-course set menu, different each day. Saturday night is rib steak with all the trimmings.
Sunday breakfast is at the Lodge, after which you’re on your own for the return trip to Bend. If some different scenery is wanted, one alternate route leads west from Long Creek to Monument and Kimberly. From there, Oregon 19 leads south to meet Route 26 at the Fossil Beds or west to meet Oregon 207, rejoining US 26 at Mitchell.
COSTS: Two nights lodging ($110 + 6.8% room tax) is $234.96. Meal costs are not yet finalized but will be approximately $15/person for lunch in Ukiah, $25/person for dinner at the Lodge, and $35/person at Vali’s. Some wine will be included at both the Lodge and Vali’s, with individual cellar selections extra. Final prices will include a 15% gratuity per dinner. Breakfasts and lunches are a la carte and not included in these prices.
Reserve a place by sending a check for $250 payable to Karon Johnson, 61250 King Solomon Lane, Bend, OR 97702. Remaining fixed costs will be stated in advance and payable on the day of departure. So far, Bren Hirschberg has offered to lead Group 1, and we will sweep Group 2. If you would like to lead or sweep, please let us know as soon as possible. Group 2 will depart from each stop about 5 minutes after Group 1, to maintain some interval between the cars and ease congestion on these mountain roads.
Questions? Call Rob at (541) 389-1968, cell (541) 639-6301. For further information, look on www.wallowalake.com, www.valleybronzegallery.com, www.steindistillery.com, and valisrestaurant.com