Rambling Rodericks travel blog

The "town" of Flora & its wheat fields

Flora School is slowly being restored & preserved

From Flora, the distant Wallowa Mtns.

Nez Perce overlook

Snake River Canyon campsite

Chief Joseph's gravesite

One of the interesting grave items left at the monument

On the same day we drove to Lostine, we also drove north toward the Washington border, but not quite as far as the area where Dad and Bruce would go Grouse and Chukkar hunting. We spotted a sign for a hamlet called Flora, and turned down that road. It's amazing how remote these places are, and yet families are living, working and thriving (well maybe not in a monetary sense). This area is getting into the southern Washington Palouse wheat growing land, and wheat is what we saw in the fields.

Flora once had a school and church, garage and post-office. Now the buildings are only reminders of what once was.

And speaking of what once was....there is an overlook along side the road on the ridge atop the canyon which shows the area where Chief Joseph and his band of Nez Perce “first peoples” would reside for the winter. During the summer they lived in the more open valley areas down by Joseph and Enterprise, where they could gather plants and hunt for deer, antelope and smaller game. In winter, they sought shelter, protection from the winds and heavy snows, among the tall pines in the narrow canyon valleys along the Snake River.

The story of the final days of the Nez Perce is another of those stories typical of treaties broken by the US government, land taken from the natives, and forcible moves to areas of basically, “internment”. The Nez Perce tried to escape to Canada, and many of them did. But the government tried to stop them and brought many of them back to the area established for their “final solution” residence – the reservations.

Chief Joseph himself was buried in what became a town named after him. But his grave was oft vandalized, so he was, as in life, removed to another location for the final residence of his remains.

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