SUMMERVILLE, ORE__Lyndall Shick fell in love with horses, and with the Wallowa Mountains, when she was six years old. Each summer, her family took a camping trip to Wallowa Lake, where they rented horses and rode into the high lakes. She was enchanted with the big, powerful, beautiful animals that let her sit on their backs and carried her through the forest and into the mountains. Lyndall loved their smell, their velvet muzzles, the coarseness of their manes. It was magical!
Sixty years have passed, and Lyndall, a retired teacher and counselor, now shares her country property in the Grande Ronde Valley with two dogs, two cats, nine chickens and four horses – and with guests to her bed and breakfast inn. Now in its third year of business, Willow Creek Horse B & B is located near Summerville, a productive and scenic farming area north of La Grande, Oregon.
With horse facilities and ample parking for trailers, Lyndall invites her guests to bring their own horses and enjoy the easy access to trails into the mountains and quiet country roads. The restored historic home is beautifully furnished and filled with books. Friendly conversation about travels and life experiences is common around the breakfast table, where the meal often includes fresh produce from the La Grande Farmer’s Market.
“I’ve recently discovered how healthy I feel, and look, on a whole foods, plant-based diet,” said Lyndall. “So breakfast starts with fresh fruit and oatmeal with all the extras. If you want sausage, farm-fresh eggs and cinnamon rolls, we can do that, too.”
With grandchildren performing in theatrical and musical productions at both the historic Elgin Opera House and through Eastern Oregon University’s theater and music department, Lyndall says she will arrange for tickets for her guests and invites them to enjoy the high quality productions at both venues.
“I welcome my guests as friends, rather than customers,” said Lyndall, “and so far it’s working out well!”