‘End of road’ stays active even in winter

By Observer editorial January 26, 2011 02:39 pm
Wallowa County folks seem to understand that if you live at the end of the road at a relatively high elevation in a mountainous land, you’ve got to give people a reason to visit and venture outdoors — especially in winter. And that goes even if the end of the road falls in one of the most beautiful areas of the state. Wallowa County keeps the events coming, even in winter.
This month is a great example of that. Although much of Wallowa County’s business community rolls up the sidewalks early in the fall, life goes on. So
to break the winter doldrums, Wallowa County rolls out events like the Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Races, the Winterfest and this year played host to the Oregon State Snowmobile Association state convention.

All of these events are intended for people to have fun and to show that, yes, life does go on in the winter. In fact, Wallowa County, though remote, can easily bill itself as a winter wonderland.

Wallowa County deserves to be commended for all of the life it brings to the region in the winter. Union, Baker and Umatilla counties have the big advantage of existing along the Interstate 84 corridor. Wallowa County, because of its location “at the end of the road,’’ as locals have described it for years, has to offer enticement to locals and visitors alike to get them to venture off the main highways, especially in winter. The beauty and serenity of the county are especially alluring, but winter presents a significant challenge even to a county that has as much to offer visitors as Wallowa County does.

Events like the sled dog race and Winterfest, as well as making a bid to host the snowmobile convention, let people know that Wallowa County is open for business all year ’round.