We first heard about Joseph – the cute artsy town tucked away in the Wallowa Mountains – from someone I (Leigh) work for that lives in Portland. We looked into it and it seemed to be a place we would enjoy so we added it to the plan. Even better, it is a little off the beaten path so we were hoping it would be a little unique.
Dry Camping in Joseph
The RV park in town was booked for the weekend, but they told us about the area behind the fairgrounds that has dry camping for RVs. That worked out just fine for us and we pulled in Friday afternoon and got set up.
Saturday morning we picked out a hike and set out into the woods. It was a really pretty morning for a drive and the fresh air was welcome. We started hiking and man, it was STEEP. We kept going, thinking it would get better, but it didn’t. After about a mile we decided to abandon the hike and head back to the Jeep. Austin wanted to do another hike, but my preference won out and we headed to town for lunch.
Downtown Joseph is super cute with bronze sculptures lining the street. Joseph is home to the Valley Bronze Foundry and they do great work. After we ate lunch, we walked all through the town and checked out the farmer’s market. This was a smaller farmer’s market, but it is one of our favorites we visited anywhere! There was a potter there whose work we really admired so we bought Christmas gifts for our moms and a pair of bowls for ourselves. They had donut peaches and candy cane beets too – we had never had either! We bought those along with a week’s worth of fresh vegetables.
To balance out the healthy vegetables, we then walked down to an ice cream shop for a treat. Yum! We then walked back to the RV where Austin settled in for an afternoon nap. The weather was perfect for it!
I was overdue in needing to defrost the fridge, but in order to use the hair dryer I needed either an electric hookup or the generator since our inverter isn’t powerful enough for it. Well, we went to fire up the generator and we didn’t have enough gas! (There is a safety built in where the generator won’t work if you have less than 1/4 tank of gas. This prevents you from running out of gas in the RV due to generator use.). So, that project will have to wait.
On Sunday we set out for a hike in another area – this time down by the lake. This was a much more successful outing. We hiked to a waterfall that was really pretty. The trail was covered by the water rushing over it, but we weren’t quite ready to call it a day so we kept going! I don’t think many others had continued on due to the crazy amount of spiderwebs we walked through. We were glad we did as we enjoyed the views as well as the adventure!
Moving to a Campground
When we got back to the RV from our hike, we happened to check the campground in town and they had a site open up for the next two nights. The Rodeo Road Fairground site where we were was fine, but since we were paying $20 a night for dry camping in a not great spot we didn’t hesitate to book the campground. Especially since we couldn’t use the generator to defrost the fridge! So, we moved to the campground that afternoon and settled in.
While at the campground we did a lot of cleaning, defrosted the fridge and fired up the smoker! We had a Boston Butt to go on the smoker, but when Austin went to put it on he thought it smelled funny. I agreed, but we didn’t know for sure if it was bad or not. The main concern was that our fridge had been so severely iced over that we were afraid that it had gotten too warm in there. We decided it wasn’t worth the risk and Austin was at the grocery store right when they opened to get more meat since he already had the smoker fired up and ready! Luckily we did manage to get plenty of meat to smoke and had a delicious dinner as a result!
We really enjoyed our time in Joseph and this ended our time in Oregon. They have a big rodeo every year that is a pretty big deal, but due to covid it was cancelled this year. We will have to plan our return trip around that!