I may not represent the norm: I never feel the necessity to leave our box canyon. That said, our family members have busy schedules, some have a bit of difficulty traveling; so if we’re going to spend time with loved ones who don’t live in our little corner of paradise, we have to travel. And if we are to travel, the easiest time for Susan and me is during Telluride’s off-seasons.
When the ski area closed, we packed a bag (these days this also means packing up two computers and associated cables and hardware), dropped Gina the Dog at her second home at Cottonwood Ranch and Kennel, and headed north and west. Earlier posts have documented our overnight in Grand Junction and a great dinner at 626 on Rood, and our wonderful evening in Winnemucca, Nevada at The Martin Hotel, with more delicious Basque-American food than our bellies could hold.
Then it was off across the wilds of northwestern Nevada and southern Oregon, where one sign near a somewhat remote filling station warned us it was 85 miles to the next service. Yep, this is empty country, remote and beautiful. We met Kid 1, Kimm Viebrock and son-in-law Michael Nesteroff, grandson Matthew in Ashland, Oregon. We were at the Ashland Springs Hotel for two nights, saw a great production of Chekhov’s “Seagull”, performed in the round; had some good meals; visited Christian Burchard, an artist whose work is represented at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.
Kimm had located a house at Bella Beach, just south of Lincoln City, Oregon, for a three night stay on the coast. As luck would have it, we had big onshore winds, some fairly high tides, resulting in wild surf much of the time we were at Bella Beach. Rain and wind didn’t keep us from some good beach walks (and runs for Michael and me), but they also were conducive to enjoying food, board games, home-made music, and each others’ company in the comfortable house ( the owners had named our temporary home “It Must Be 5 O’clock Somewhere”), usually accompanied by a good Oregon wine.
Much too soon, our idyll was over. I got up to watch the surf at the 7am high tide our last day; fixed some eggs with the last of the onions, and some good seafood for breakfast; and we cleaned up, got on the road. We made an interesting stop at the Evergreen Aviation Museum, just outside of McMinnville, saw Howard Hughs’ “Spruce Goose”, along with at least seven aircraft I had flown in the Marine Corps, then made a pilgrimage to Powell’s Bookstore in Portland ( if you’re not familiar, think of Telluride’s Between the Covers with a massive dose of steroids), then had a fun dinner at Silk, a classy Vietnamese restaurant, then made our weary way up I-5 to Bellevue, Washington, Kimm’s and Michael’s home.
Sunday is waffle day at the Nesteroff house, 15-year-old Matthew officiating. Our extended family stuffed ourselves on the waffles, then went to the Seattle Art Museum to view a wonderful Gauguin exhibition. I spent a pleasant hour that afternoon with my ex-father-in-law, Joe Kimm, a 100-year-old pioneer aviator, telling each other some of the same old lies, then back to Kimm’s and Mike’s for dinner, and one last round of guitar and vocal music.
Monday it was back on the road: two long days’ drive back to Telluride to re-group, re-pack, and get ready to leave for the second half of our family off-season travel.This time we head East.