Joseph. Pretty on the outside...
I went here recently, admired the art and scenery, but was horrified to witness an African-American woman- a visitor, being totally jeered and taunted by locals on main street Joseph. I am not a local, I am Caucasian, and I am not on the "front lines" protesting the littlest things. But witnessing this behavior in front of my two kids made me physically ill. I, of course, pointed the laughing, jeering jerks out to my kids with the explicit idea of demonstrating ignorance in action and how never to treat a human being.
I watched as this friendly woman who I had just met and briefly chatted with at the Chief Joseph memorial, walk into the little ice cream shop on Joseph's main street- leave when the two teen girls working there at the time refused to serve her, then saw her walk painfully down the street after some of the ignorant locals who were sitting outside began jeering and laughing at her, based on the color of her skin. It was lovely.
I want to warn people of color and ethnicity of eastern Oregon because I grew up there. I was thankfully of one of the few open-minded families that resided there, but witnessed countless moments of open, blatant racism. I think it "uglifies" any town or city and think it should be brought out in the open as shameful in order for it to be addressed and hopefully changed for the better in the future.
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Watch out for the deer!
I don't know where to get the statistics for car-deer collisions in Wallowa County, but I guarantee the per capita rate is pretty high. So watch out for deer while driving, especially at night. You'll often see them crossing the highway, and if you see one there's probably more along the road. And remember, it's often better to hit the deer than to swerve and go out of control, creating a worse accident.
Also, don't feed the deer roaming the resort area at the south end of Wallowa Lake. They are not tame, they are still wild animals even though they may be mooching handouts. They can get pretty aggressive. During rutting season in the fall a few years ago, a woman was attacked by a buck and had to have brain surgery. I cringe now when I see people encouraging their kids to feed the deer (though many years ago I did the same thing.)
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