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The Gearboat Chronicles

Winterfest in Joseph

Cabin fever is a well-documented disorder. Treatments include the board game Monopoly. The card game Solitaire. Quilting. Whittling. Shooting rampages. That sort of thing.

County Fever is an almost identical ailment, just on a larger scale. Victims show signs that may include staring at travel brochures, muttering, and facial tics. “Getting out,” is a phrase to listen for when diagnosing County Fever.

Wallowa County is an absolutely wonderful place to live, any time of the year. Except perhaps January. Also February. And early parts of March. Sometimes April. And the first week or two of May, depending on weather.

Don’t listen to me. I’m in the grip of fever as I type these words. It takes over. Fools with your mind. Makes you do crazy things. Things like wear Hawaiian shirts when it’s cold out. Makes you go online to see if someone with a timeshare bungalow in Tahiti wants to trade for a cabin the Wallowas, just for a week or two.

There are remedies. You need to be active. You need to stir. Go skiing. Upgrade your Netflix plan. Or race down Main Street in Joseph pushing someone inside a water trough. Run almost naked through downtown at night while it’s cold and snowy outside. Slide on rails atop skis or snowboards after jumping out of the bucket of a tractor.

Here, then, is videotaped footage of Winterfest activities held in Joseph last weekend. Winding Waters River Expeditions, being in the business of having fun, is recognized as an authority on how to enjoy oneself under any conditions, so we were asked by several international research teams to document Wallowa Countians converging to make merry and beat back early onset of County Fever. We want to share this video, because if the treatment plans in here can help just one person and keep them from turning a game of solitaire into 52 card pickup, it will have been worth it.

Dog sled races are coming up this weekend. That’s heavy duty diversion.

So until next time, this has been your Winding Waters public service announcement on how to combat the double-scourge of both County and Cabin Fever. So stay warm, drink lots of fluids and keep active. Spring is on the way. It’s a long way. Way, way away. But still, a way.