Wallowa Lake Family vacation – Day 2

Day 2 – Tram ride up Mt. Howard and exploring Joseph

Everybody woke up early on Sunday morning. We waited as long as we could before venturing out, hoping somewhere that sold coffee would be open. Joseph was definitely ‘awake’ when we got into town and we found a place to get me an americano and Kug a diet coke.

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Several people we talked to mentioned the tram, so we wanted to check it out. We drove out to the south end of the lake where we found campgrounds, restaurants, shops and a number of family activity places – putt-putt golf, bumper boats, etc. We found the tram and decided to take the ride. The gondolas are small, just big enough for 4 adults. The trip up takes 15 minutes and you’re moving at a pretty good clip. It goes up 3700 vertical feet along 25 towers. At the top Griff noticed a couple kids with bags of seeds. We asked a waitress at the restaurant there and she said that it’s for feeding the squirrels – so we got a bag. Griff couldn’t wait to try out the seeds and we soon discovered that the chipmunks are very brave and greedy. The bigger ones had no fear of us and came right up to eat out of Griff’s hand. The smaller ones were only a bit hesitant. There are several lookout points a short walk away. We hiked up to the Royal Purple lookout and the critters just about mauled us. I sat down with a bit of seeds in my hand and I immediately had two of them in my lap. This was one of the highlights of Griff’s trip.
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We had lunch at the restaurant there, the Summit Grill. It was an amazingly long wait for our food which was nothing special. Afterwards we hiked up to the Highlands and Summit overlooks and then took the ride back down the mountain.
Img 5713 EditImg 5799 EditBy that afternoon, Kug was jonesing pretty bad for a book to read. She had only brought plant catalogs(!) We headed into town and hit the used bookstore. We had dinner at La Laguna, a Mexican restaurant with outdoor seating and a big water feature – an excellent combination for a peaceful meal with the boys. It was still light when we got back the the cabin, so we went for a walk down the trail along the ridge.

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