ENTERPRISE — Caitlin Rushlow first moved to Wallowa County when she settled in Joseph in 2017. A year and a half ago, she and her partner purchased a house on Alder Slope and call that home.
Her family being in southwestern Michigan, she was working on her Ph.D. in hydrology at Idaho State University in Pocatello, when she learned of Wallowa County.
“I decided I needed something to help break up the big chunks of writing so I came here to work for Beth Gibans at Backyard Gardens,” (in Joseph and with the farmers market) she said. “So, I got to spend about half my time working outside and serving the community and about half my time finishing my research. It was a really good mix for me.”
She now uses her degree as a technical writer for Wallowa County for its natural resource management plan and other ventures.
“I definitely fell in love with the area and found there was good work for me here,” she said.
Rushlow recently shared her thoughts on living in Wallowa County.
What’s your favorite thing about Wallowa County?
The diversity of the landscape. I just got through running on the moraine. Also, there’s the mountains to ski or to go down into the canyons to fish or to hike or whatever.
What challenges do you believe Wallowa County faces?
There’s quite a few … I think it’s become an attractive destination both for recreationists and retirees and I think we need to consider how to effectively take on that increase in population while taking care of our natural resources.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you?
I’ve been lucky. It hasn’t affected me personally too much. I work from home and luckily none of my friends or family members have gotten sick.
Do you plan to get the vaccine against COVID-19 or are you hesitant as some people are?
Definitely. I can’t wait to get it and take care of those around me.
What have you learned from living in Wallowa County?
That people are generally good people and want to take care of each other.
What’s your advice for people who are thinking about moving here?
Get involved in your community and get to know your neighbors and take care of this place if you decide to call it home.
— Bill Bradshaw,
Wallowa County Chieftain