From the Blog

Oregon Style Honeymoon: The Far East

Our next day of driving was from Prairie City to Joseph, Oregon. 209 miles. As we took our leave from the lovely, but weak-ass coffee town of Prairie City, we looked back to get a view of the Strawberry Mountain range. You can’t throw a rock in Oregon without hitting some dramatic scenery. Okay, well you can, as we discovered later in or trip, but please just follow along.

You can click on the panorama below for super huge.

More photos ahead…

So like, eastern Oregon is remote. You can drive for miles out there and not see too many towns. La Grande is a biggish city, but it’s like, really remote. But then you get off the Interstate 84 and you drive towards Elgin, and it’s smaller and even more remote. And you keep driving, and there’s no place to go but to the end of the road, to Enterprise and Joseph, which are super duper remote, where the asphalt stops at the foot of the Wallowas.

Our destination for the night was 30 miles outside of Joseph, in a cabin 3 miles up the river from Imnaha, population: 16. The remotest of remote.

Or, if you prefer, a satellite map below, showing the canyons and mountains.

Imnaha is about 2000 feet down into a canyon. The drive was a long, slow descent.

Then once we hit the “town” of Imnaha, we turned down a gravel road and followed the Imnaha River for a few miles.

Awful purdy.

You guys, this cabin was AMAZING.

The owners lived and worked here, raising a couple kids. Now they rent it out as a vacation property.

This place is a jewel. Everywhere you put your eye, there is some charming detail, some useful antique, some thoughtful little nook, or some kind of animal skull from the range. This cabin is the cumulation of years of real functionality and someone’s deft artistry.

Perched right on the Imnaha River, with the walls of the canyon stretching up thousands of feet above.

Dave even did a little fishing. He didn’t catch anything. But I’ve been in the mood for trout ever since.

We walked in and I felt my brain unbutton a few notches. My brain is usually pretty tightly squeezed.

You could not have asked for a Hollywood set that was more perfect.

I want to furnish a sleek city loft with all rustic cabin furnishing. I want a log bed, Pendleton blankets, a rustic farmhouse kitchen table, rough hewn cabinets, and maybe a wooden fish sculpture or two. You might think I’m joking, but I’m really not. Velvet deer paintings. I’m not kidding.

Monsters were all relaxed and happy too. We still needed to come up with a name for these guys.

We stayed in the cabin for days and didn’t leave. No internet, no phone, no noise, no music, no neighbors for three miles, and at night, when the lights were off, it was the darkest darkness I have ever experienced. With the clouds, there were no stars. With the canyon walls, there was no sky. With the light off, there were NO LIGHTS. It was completely pitch black. So I needed to use my phone as a flashlight just to get to the restroom in the middle of the night.

You may notice from these photos that it was a little gray and overcast. It actually rained for two of the days we were in the cabin. AND WE DIDN’T CARE. We stayed indoors. They had a lovely library, and we read Washington Irving, Agatha Christie, Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe. I worked on a crochet blanket that is my guilty “downtime” pleasure that I never get to work on because I don’t have downtime. We brought a lot of our own books too, and we actually read them. Hours and hours.

We never thought it was going to rain. The locals told us it was unseasonable. We could not have been happier.

But we did eventually get out of the cabin to see the Wallowas and Hell’s Canyon. That post next.


  1. How was the coffee?

  2. @Elkosteve We brought our $21 a pound Arabian Mocha Sanani from Peets with our own cone filter brew cup. Coffee was delicious. We brought the areopress also, which @MarySue commented on in the last post.

    Coffee was delicious, and strong, and dark. Just how I like my men.

  3. That sounds so freaking perfect! I love the photos of the cabin. I backpacked near there a few years ago and that country has such an amazing feeling. The monsters look incredibly happy, too!

  4. Soooo, how does one go about renting that cabin?

  5. That looks so very awesome. I love Hell’s Canyon, too; it’s one of my favorite places to go camping. I kind of wish it were closer, because driving 8 hours to go camping for a few days is just not ever going to happen. Boo. :(
    What about “Iggy” and “Squiggy” for the monsters? They’re so cute!

  6. Quark and Beppo? Give me some time, thinking names.

    CUTE cabin!! Sounds like just what you guys wanted! And coffee too!

  7. I like Quark and Beppo. If you guys don’t use those, can I have permission to use them for upcoming monsters?

  8. Lisa, I give you permission to use those names, as Meredith’s sister and as Grand Master Overload Of This Here Blog.

  9. Log cabin vacation homes, ftw! On my list of ‘favorite things.’

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