Tomorrow we head out for the 3000 mile trek via back roads and small towns, hoping to make it to northern PA by August 18.
Kate Oechler and Cliff Hunter will be married on that day, in the family homestead of Cedar Pines. Kate is the youngest child of my youngest sibling, Mike Oechler and his wife, Kitty, and also a person of impeccable taste. I know something of her taste because she chose Cliff, but also because she asked me to do the painting on the announcement shown above. We are eager to join in their celebration, to meet and greet family and friends and make new friends, and then, after the festivities are over, to take possession of the house and do some work: I’ll paint, Jer will Wikipedia, and we’ll both check out the rails-to-trails on the other side of Pine Creek.
But before we get to Pennsylvania we must cover the northern reaches of the US via back (red on our map) roads, going through small towns and perhaps crossing into Canada for a few days in order to drop down between the lakes to Niagara Falls, and from there, to Wellsboro PA and down Babbs and Pine Creek to Cedar Pines.
Meds and “meds”
And my infamous red bag, full of electronic devices (‘Droid, Kindle, cell phone) and their chargers as well as loose art supplies, like oil crayons, charcoal and pencils, and sketchbooks. Also the snake stomping boots and the aquacize belt — that blue foam thing.
Tomorrow we head out to the Maryhill Museum, crossing the Mighty Columbia into Washington at Cascade Locks. Maryhill has a new wing and their current exhibits include “The Subject is Light”, contemporary realist paintings, primarily landscapes. Maryhill sits on a bluff above the Columbia on the dry side of the Cascades. You can see forever from the Mansion-turned-museum.
Then we’ll go continue north and east, staying the night in Clarkston, at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers — famous waters for those of us in this neck of the woods. The next day, we will take Rt 12 up the Lochsa River in the Bitterroot Mountains and finish in Basin, Montana (between Helena and Butte, along I-15) where I did 2 months of a residency in December and January, 2007-08. We want to see the town when it isn’t shrouded in ice.
With any luck, I’ll be blogging along the way. We plan to move slowly, checking out anything that catches our eye. The journey in this case is an important part of the adventure; the goal is to enjoy everything, travel across miles of plains, prairies, mountains and forest, festivities that include people we love, art making in the concentrated way that feeds my soul, family, friends, old haunts, new visions. What joy! –June