Deb and I hit the road for a few days – 15 to be precise. We just returned tonight after a 3, 715 mile road trip. We packed light in anticipation of bringing home a load of paintings my uncle Dale Witherow – the artist in Lacey, WA.
Check him out here>> http://witherowgallery.com
Uncle Dale and Aunt Vita live just off Puget Sound north of Lacey. They have a very peaceful place – a “compound” as Dale calls it. On his last visit to Arizona, he took note of our empty wall space and asked if we’d like to “store” some of his abstract paintings that were making it difficult to navigate in his studio. So we brought back a truck load of artwork for the “Witherow Gallery – Casa Grande” grand opening (some iced tea and crackers anyone?)
Deb had never been to the Pacific Northwest so I was pleased to show her something new. She hadn’t yet my aunt Vita either and I knew that would be a joyful thing. It was. Vita, who is from Lithuania, is a fine writer. She and Deb had much to discuss.
Along the way, we made a few stops. First was Sunday, 1 August, in Chula Vista, CA for an evening with my dear friend Dr. Sam Delchad and his wife Laal. We had the added pleasure of meeting Sam’s brother Farid (or Fred as he is often called) who delightfully shares Sam’s sense of humor. We had stereo word-play and puns! We were joined by our dear friend Cheryle Williams who we missed seeing on our last visit. On Monday morning, we stopped in Orange CA for a visit (appointment) with our favorite chiropractor, Dr. “Chips” Hough. (We have ordained him as “Reverend Doctor” in The Good Light Church of the Discount Faith for his upper-cervical miracle work). Turned out that he had moved back to Santa Ana but with the aid of modern technology (blackberry phone and google maps) we arrived on time. We stayed the night in Santa Clarita and enjoyed dinner at the “Persia” restaurant – a little place we found last October on way to Bosch.
The next morning we traveled to North Fork, the geographic center of California just south of Yosemite, for a visit with Chuck and Roz Thrapp. Their self-built home is incredible – passive solar, solar electric, organic, off-the-grid, gorgeous. Chuck’s a musician and has played guitar and sung with the group “Sugar Pine” on the Yosemite Sugar Pine Railroad for over 28 years. Talk about a steady gig! Deb finally got her first ride on a steam train and was happy to acquire some special bear-feet slippers and a train man’s hat.
From there it was onward to Washington with a stop-over in Medford OR – just to break the trip into survivable segments. We stopped briefly at the northern CA town of “Weed” where Deb posed for a picture. “Weed” is the name of the main character in the book she’s writing.
We arrived at Uncle Dale’s on Friday the 6th. On Saturday we drove up to Seattle to visit Zabine Van Ness (our teaching hero). Zabine took us along to Picnic held annually by the Baha’is in Seattle. I saw some old friends including Chris Stefan whom I had not seen in about 20 years (or more). He’s now ready to retire from the Navy. I also was surprised to see Patrick Maloney, whom I last saw in San Diego when HE retired from the Navy. He lives in Duluth, MN these days but was in Seattle visiting his brother, and came to the Picnic on a whim. I also met a “New Old friend” – Bill Griffith. He and I have many mutual friends including my former brother-in-law Dave Schlesinger with whom he once roomed. Small world
On Tuesday, Deb and I drove over to Gig Harbor and visited Russ Salton. Russ is a fabulous musician and gave me a hands-on lesson on Logic software in his new basement studio. I really loved that space – so quiet, well equipped, and lined with vintage guitars!
After our time with Dale and Vita we headed home by way of Idaho and Utah. In Boise, I saw a low-rider “wanna-be” with a “206” (their area code) logo on the back of his stock Chevy – a real “Ida-homie”, I suppose.
On Friday the 13th we spent the night in Nibley, UT at “Momma Skyla’s” (the Christison home) and gave a little “house concert” outdoors after a fantastic pot-luck meal with some of Joe and Skyla’s many friends. The Christesen kids are delightful. Skyla’s blog has been a great entainment for me as I read about those wonderful kids and see Joe and Skyla show parents how it’s supposed to be done.
Saturday morning we headed south through Utah. I showed Deb Ogden and we looked up some of my old haunts including the first house I ever purchased (with my buddy rick Graves) in Riverdale. We stopped in Bountiful for a lunch visit with my old band-mate Nelson LeDuc. It was great to see him in his own space. He and Susan have travelled the globe and I love his photos. He’s an opera singer now and was preparing for a performance that night. So, we bid farewell and drove down to Kanab UT for the night through some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever witness. Kanab has a sign at the entrance to town proclaiming it “The greatest Earth on Show”. We stayed the night and left Sunday morning driving past Lake Powell and over the bridge in front of the Glen Canyon Dam. That lake is a national treasure. We arrived back home Sunday afternoon and began unloading.
Sitting once again in my favorite easy chair, I had to agree with Deb. It was a great trip, we’re glad we went, but it sure feels good to be home – even if it is 109 degrees.