We are growing! But why?

In 2019, our youngest flew the nest and I’m not going to lie, it was hard.  Maybe a bit more than hard.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to follow our kids to every game, school event, school field trip, etc., and some would say that I’ve lived my whole life around our kids, and I wouldn’t disagree honestly.  In fact, WLVR was formed as a sideline job that would help me be an active Mom and keep the kids with me at all times.  And, luckily, I’ve been fortunate enough to have excellent staff that helped me get to anything and everything I’ve wanted to do.  I’m blessed to be able to say that I’ve done it all, being supported by wonderful staff, and understanding owners…..with the last “little” graduating, some would say that I should slow down a bit, but honestly, I think its the perfect time to GROW!

So grow we did…..we had the awesome opportunity to take over another company’s portfolio and there were so many reasons to say YES and we jumped at the chance.  But, I firmly believe that one should only grow for a good reason and to only jump when you know that you can still do a great job for old as well as new Owners in the program.

So why did I decide to grow?  It was was pretty simple….I have excellent staff and these were excellent homes.  I believe that adding these 10 (ish) properties to our portfolio is only going to keep our excellent staff even busier and keeping loyal customers happy by helping keep these 10 very popular homes in a rental program.

So grow we did….and I’m really excited.  We have added more middle management, evaluated all of our policies and procedures and all the inner workings of WLVR and evaluate ways we can be better as a core group.   I think every year we just continue to get better….

But I’m biased….because I am blessed to be surrounded with the best of the best…from the phone gals to middle management to domestic engineers to owners to garbage/yard staff…..I’m surrounded by the best people around and I’m blessed!

Chief Joseph Days past and present….



Chief Joseph Days is one of our biggest weekends of the whole summer.  The town FLOODS with extra people and almost every street you travel on has either a few tents in the yard or multiple homes or camptrailers parked in the driveways.  It’s a time for family reunions, lots of fun parades, and about all the rodeo events that one could possibly imagine.

Last night at the rodeo, we saw an arena record be broken, and even Trevor Brazille came and roped in our little community rodeo.  Apparently, we aren’t a “little community rodeo” afterall!

Throw back to the picture above in 2016 when our daughter Sarah was a Princess for this rodeo.   We spent the summer following her around rodeos in Idaho, Washington and Oregon.  I loved my time with her and her horse.  These are memories that I’ll forever treasure and watching her grow as a teenager into a young lady, handle herself in immense pressure situations, soften to the young littles that looked up to her with total awe, will be forever engraved into my heart.  She’s a special young lady and no words will ever adequately describe my immense pride in the human that she was and is.

It’s not too early to start planning for CJD 2020.  Check out this website for pictures, history, tickets, etc.    http://www.chiefjosephdays.com/

Happy Chief Joseph Days everyone!  Until next time, Cindi



June events in Wallowa County!

It’s kick off season for events that happen at Wallowa Lake, Joseph, and Enterprise and the little towns around us.  Here is a sampling of events that you can enjoy if you are visitor to Wallowa County in June!

Every Saturday the Wallowa County Farmer’s Market.

Every Thursday Fishtrap presents a different author, specifically Ursula LeGuin, and several poetry writing workshops.

June 2:  2nd Annual Imnaha Flea Market, Wallowa County Humane Society “For the love of Buddy” walk, Flora School Days, Annual Joseph Art Walk, Eagle Cap Excursion (wine and chocolate train–which makes me wonder why I’m writing this instead of living this!), Josephy Center Opening Exhibit of dams, fish controversy, music at Wallowa Lake State Park, Range Rider live music.

June 7:  Courthouse concert series, Terminal Gravity live music.

June 8:  Oregon Mtn. Car show, Wallowa Mtn. Quilt Show, both in Joseph, and Terminal Gravity live music.

June 9:  Oregon Mtn. Car show and Quilt Show continue.  Wallowaology Joseph Canyon Outing, Get Outdoors Oregon Day, Blue Mtn. Fiddle Show.

June 16:  Alpine Meadows Golf Triple 6 tournament, Eagle Cap Excursion Spring Train Robbery reenactment.

June 23:  Walk on to stop diabetes, Summerfest in Enterprise, Mountain High Broncs and Bulls.

June 29:  Maxville Gathering, Watershed Festival, CJD Ranch Rodeo, Eagle Cap Excursion Train I LOVE AMERICAN VETERANS’ ride, TwentyOne Feet Training, CJD Ranch rodeo continues.

For more information, please check out the Wallowa County Chamber Events page at: http://www.wallowacountychamber.com/events/calendar/    CLICK ON THE LIVE LINKS FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION!

Moral of the blog?  You won’t log for anything to do while you are here.  So, come and see us!   Until next time, Cindi

The 2nd set of “10 things you must do here!”

Your second installment of the “Top 10 things you must do here” would include:

1.Book some time on the Joseph Branch Rail Riders.  Enjoy a slower trek and give your body a workout at the same time!   View their trip options at http://jbrailriders.com/

2.  Spend some time at the newly renovated JOSEPH CITY PARK!   This huge addition to the city of Joseph will keep your Littles busy for hours!  Water feature, climbing, slides, you name it, they have it!  Needless to say, with the many hours you spend here, you all may just need a nap afterwards.

3. Spend some time touring some of the best food stops in Enterprise and Joseph.  A few of our personal favorites are Arrowhead Chocolates (who won’t love a spoon full of delicious chocolate while you wait for your drink?) , El Bajio (ask for the sangria!), Red Horse Coffee Traders (really really really good chai and coffee), Ruby Peak Naturals (my favorite is the turkey pesto sandwich)  and Sugar Time Bakery (who not only has delicious desserts but just expanded into a delicious venue for soup and sandwiches).  Check out our “Pub and Grub” section here:  http://www.wallowalakevacationrentals.com/local-area-guide.asp?cat=7555

4. Take a short (or long) jaunt with Wallowa Lake Pack Station.  Under new management, this company has changed a few things up offering a short around the grounds for your wee ones to a few hours to a long day to several day rides options.  Their Wranglers are knowledgeable and their stock is safe.  Check them out here:  http://www.wallowalakepackstation.com/

5. Visit the shops in Enterprise and Joseph and experience old fashioned customer service.  Some of our favorite shops are BeeCharmed, Deb’s Fashions, and Wild Carrot in Enterprise, Copper Creek Merchantile, Moonlight Graphics, Tempting Teal and Beecrowbee in Joseph, just to get you started!

6 and 7.  Spend some time in the little town of Imnaha.  Eat at the Tavern (kids are welcome!) and then drive up the river and enjoy the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway.  Lots of curves, beautiful scenery, so plan to spend all day doing this road trip adventure.  Get gas in Joseph, though, no gas stations available on this trip.

8. Visit the Bookloft in Enterprise to pick up area relevant books as well as best sellers.  Visit with Mary who own the sweet little shop and sit down with your newest find in her little cafe in the back for coffee and muffins.  You won’t want to shop at Amazon when you spend some time in this little bookstore!

9. Drive around and participate in the personal Barn Tour.  Wallowa County has some of the best barns and the scenery is stunning as well.  Most of the barns are still in working ranch families so you’ll get to enjoy their way of life for a while too while you see them from the roads.   http://www.wallowacountychamber.com/25-things-to-see-do

10. Visit the Wallowa Band Nez Perce Intrpretive Center in Wallowa, Oregon.  The Nez Perce Center is the home of the Wallowa Band Nez Perce Homeland Project. Hear the tragic story of Chief Joseph as he led his people from the Wallowas along the Ne-Mee-Poo trail to escape the U.S. Army.    http://www.wallowanezperce.org/

Life is better at the lake…….

There are a few things we ❤ here at Wallowa Lake Vacation Rentals.

Hearts….you’ll notice that Jada has a fondness for finding ❤ in nature with her posts.  If you see any in your travels while you are at Wallowa Lake, tag us so she can enjoy them too! ❤

Contests…..we run a lot of contests on our Facebook page.  In fact, that is what brought you here today…..but, we won’t spoil the fun quite yet….keep reading!

Small businesses….we are so excited to feature businesses each Saturday.  We don’t just pick these willy nilly, we pick them because we love them.  They embody what we think is so important to be a successful business….great customer service, great products, great experiences!

And, finally!  We ❤ drinks.  Jada will be your chai girl, while Jan is more of a crystal light girl, and me?  Well, I ❤  coffee, wine and margaritas (but not at the same time).  So, what better way to enjoy our favorite beverages of choice than with these little babies!  12 oz tumblers, insulated, with a lid.  Perfect for your hot or your cold drinks.  Pure perfection! ❤


Congrats to Kolby Wakefield!  You were the lucky winner.  PM us your mailing address and we’ll mail you your winning treat!

These are for purchase if you love them like we do!  $20 and it can be waiting in your cabin, or $25 shipped to your home to bring the lake to you!

Enjoy!   Cindi ❤




10 things you MUST DO when you stay at Wallowa Lake!

1) Ride the Wallowa Lake Tramway and enjoy the views of 3 different states once you reach the top.  Hike the over 2 miles of trails or dive into their Razorback Burger and top it off with the mountain berry cobbler and huckleberry ice cream from the Summit Grill at the top!

2)  Rent a paddle board and/or kayak from Coy who will deliver your vessel to your rental home.  Enjoy a whole day rental on the lake for what most pay for 1/2 day.  Take your time paddling around the lake on YOUR time frame instead of being rushed to fit it all in.

3)  Visit the Mt Pines Adventure golf, Candy Shack, Matterhorn Gift Shop, Scoops Ice Cream all located in the resort community of Wallowa Lake.

4)  Visit the shops in downtown Joseph Oregon!  Purchase a pair of Old Gringos from Tempting Teal Boutique, try one of the delicious turtles from Arrowhead Chocolates or visit with the folks at Sports Corral to find out what is the popular bait with the fish.

5)  Experience the Eagle Cap Wilderness with your guide Brian from the Wallowa Lake Pack Station.  Let Brian and his crew of knowledgeable wranglers and trusty steeds take you into the mountains on 2 hour, half day, or all day horse rides.

6) See why James of 6 Ranch Fly Fishing firmly believes that “I’ve never regretted a day spent fly fishing and I suspect neither will you.”.   Fish the same private owned and managed waters that has been in his family for 5 generations.

7) Visit Terminal Gravity.  Experience their locally brewed beer perfectly coupled with anything on their delicious menu.  A personal favorite is the Eagle Cap IPA and the baked mac and cheese.  To. Die. For!

8) Throw calories to the wind for Sunday morning donuts at Vali’s!  Worth every bite because these aren’t your normal store bought donuts….these are tender….crisp exterior.  Flaky goodness.  Bet get your order in early, because each donut is lovingly made by Michael and Dionne and people aren’t afraid to stand in line to get them.

9)  Hike Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site.  It’s 62 acres of perfection.  Easy hikes for all types will take you by Knight’s Pond, by a small running stream and lush meadows.  Wildlife are naturally attracted to this sweet spot, so keep an eye out you may see birds, foxes, and lots of deer.

10) Take in one of our many events in our county.  The opportunities are diverse.  Hells Canyon Mule Days one weekend, Juniper Jam the next.  Chief Joseph Days Rodeo one weekend, Quilt show the next.  Your time spent in Wallowa County is what you make of it.  Rest/Relax or Visit/Partake.  Regardless of how you spend it, you will never be sorry for life to just slow down a bit.

Shop Locally, IT MATTERS!

I was cruising Pinterest last night and came across these really great posts about shopping locally.

“When you buys something made by a person, there is something special there, and you do feel it.  The consciousness with which a thing is made is often more important than the thing itself.”  J. Donald Walters

“Did you know that if each of us spent $100 a year more on local businesses instead of chain stores, it would put an extra $3 million a year into our economy, not only that but it would create thousands more jobs every year.  #supportlocalbusinesses”

“Put your $ where your heart is….buy local”

and my personal favorite “When you buy from a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home.  You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom to put food on the table and a help a dad pay a mortgage or student pay for college.”  Megan Young

Some interesting facts….When you buy local, you will often see the owners of these businesses running the counters.  They stock or make local products and buy local services.  These same local businesses support local events, sports teams & charities 250% more than big corporations.  Buying local keeps 4 times the money in the economy compared to shopping at chain stores.

I plan to do all of my Christmas shopping locally this year.   How about you?

Until next time, Cindi

Feed The People

We used to send out Christmas cards to our Clients.  Not the prestamped ones either.  We would spend hours and hours handwriting the cards, then addressing them, and mailing them.  Our list started out small and I could get it done in a day, but then over time, it got so large that I would have to hire people to help me get them done.

Then, I received one from a person who I do business with and an idea came to me.  It was really nice to get a card, but it wasn’t personal, it was just a “thank you for your business” and stamped with the names of the people that worked there.  While it was nice to receive, I wondered how many they sent out, how much each card cost, and did receiving that card make me feel warm and fuzzy?  Well, it did and then it didn’t.  Then, a thought came to me:  “What would happen if we sent out an email Christmas card to our Guests and use the money spent on cards as a donation to our local food bank!  Would people appreciate that they were helping to feed local families from different parts of the country or would they prefer to receive a hand written Christmas card?”

I took a leap of faith and sent that email out and then promptly went to the local food bank and made a donation in the name of Wallowa Lake Vacation Rentals & their Guests and it felt sooooooo good!  Warm and fuzzy!  Mission accomplished.  That year, the food bank was at an all time low for monetary donations and it felt good knowing that we (you and I!) were giving to these families and making their holidays better.  Warm and fuzzy!

Again, we will be doing this for our local food bank.  But, we are adding to it this year.  For every new Facebook like we receive between now and December 7th, we will add $1 to that total.


Until next time, Cindi

Partnerships are a good thang’

We spend a lot of time in the day trying to come up with ways to make things better, run smoother, work smarter not harder, etc.  And, we had a great idea of a new partnership that we could offer to our customer, all the while promoting another business that we love, and providing another great service to you!

We are very pleased to announce that we have teamed up with Sugar Time Bakery of Enterprise to bring you cinnamon rolls delivered to your cabin/home so when you walk in the door–what do you smell?  Yup, fresh, gooey, lil-bit-o-heaven, cinnamon rolls.

And, these aren’t your tiny little ones that you could eat 2 or 3 of and feel like you maybe ate one?  We are talking monster rolls.  Huge, beautiful, homemade rolls drizzled with a powdered sugar frosting, all fresh to greet you after a long travel to our beautiful area.

Gotta go now….I am drooling and just remembered that I have one of these that I “must taste to check quality” and a hot cup of coffee that need to partner up.

Until next time!  Cindi