Wallowa Lake to Wallowa Wayside

Friday, June 24, 2016
Disc Trucker

Downhill into the wind. As the day wore on the slope got less and the wind got stronger.

The highlight of the day was the Homeland Project of the Nez Perce Wallowa Band. http://www.wallowanezperce.org/ . They have an office and display in town where I met Amy. Though not a native she was very passionate about talking to people about the history of Chief Joseph and the Wallowa Band, as well as the Homeland project effort to build a place for the decedents to return to the Wallow region. We talked for a while and Amy said I should go out to there land which was very close, so I did. First by myself and sat and had lunch outside of their ceremonial arena, then with Brandy and explored the longhouse, and back out again with Robert. We talked to an electrician who was working on the longhouse and it became clear that this project was started, and kept going, through the efforts of local white people who sincerely wanted to build a place where the decedents of the Wallow Band could gather in their original homeland. I was very inspired by this and left with a good feeling, hoping maybe I could contribute is some way.

The rest of the ride was downhill into a mighty wind. This should have been our easy day, but instead we had to struggle just to keep moving into the wind. Camping was at a wayside along the river. Nice but close to the road.


Ceremonial arena
This structure was built back in the 90's where they've had a gathering every year since then.


The longhouse is still under construction, but nearly finished.


Inside the longhouse
Everything was built according to specific traditions. The center section had soil from sacred ground, which was covered during construction.


View from the homeland project land
View of the Wallowas from the homeland project land.