Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Telluride Plein Air ~ Our Take Off!

Probably a year in the planning, this fun road trip percolated up from my last Fall's Colorado Reunion and a friends' suggestion. My dear friend,  Hether, with whom I'd lived back when I lived in Telluride, was with whom I spent a good part of my time when back last September, when I attended the Telluride Reunion. T'wasn't a high school nor college reunion, just a reunion of all who lived there in the 70's. A riot, but that's another story already told (see blog post May 24-July 20, 2013). But my friend, who has always been such a supporter of my art career, chimed in that I should come back and consider applying to the Telluride Plein Air Event that happens annually July 4th. Well, it didn't take much to get me back to Telluride, but this time, I thought I'd best bring the family along to share the event and travels.

A week before we are ready to leave our kind neighbor, Mary, (yes, the one who grows the amazing Dollar Dahlias I've painted before!) brings over a Victorian-feeling flower bouquet. I didn't know what the flowers were 'til I asked . . . but these lil' beauties, white bells with tips dipped in a pale lavender . . . lasted forever. I had to save one, pressing it and installing it into a teeny lil' page. Sweet and succinct ... just like the "Canterbury Bell" blossom it was.

We're off, launching our road trip to Telluride, Colorado, leaving Jacksonville, Oregon on June 26th. I was up and ready by 8am (a feat for me) and we drove off into the grey misty morn. Once we passed through Klamath Falls heading eastward, we were in new territory which we'd never traveled before. Through one of my new favorite valleys. Wide rolling agriculture and horses mixed with some sunshine drew me to sketch these cozy barns of the Poe Valley. Then came rolling dessert and an incredible rock incline that took us right to the foot of a rock slide. We had to wait a bit while they cleared the large rocks from highway, but continued past Indian Reservations and finally south on Highway 95 (that's where I did this quick "while-driving" sketch along the bottom of the journal page) towards Wendover. This dreary, flat country grew in drama when we could see billows of black smoke just ahead where - YES - a car on the side of the road was on fire!! I mean shooting flames and thick smoke and all! Eventually we hurried onto the Interstate 80, escaping the trills to land in quiet Elko, Nevada. We discovered two newsy items while in beautiful, downtown Elko: 1) that there is a large
Basque community there with an annual July Festival and 2) that the fabric rooftop carry all (yes, with clothes, sleeping bags etc.) had torn open at the seam exposing everything. That second fact sent us in search of any way to stitch, glue, hammer, clip or snap this gaping hole for the rest of the trip. Finally we invested in Gorilla Tape (it IS phenomenal, btw) and it held for the rest of the drive - both ways!!

Up the following morn for the last stop of our trip to Telluride: Moab! We get to look around and drink in the landscape as it morphs into red rock valleys and rivers and green trees. Once we stop to feed Cody (our Golden Retriever who, of course, comes with us) in a curious lil' town named "Helper". And had we not stopped, we'd never have seen the crazy cliffs above this wide spot in the road. Later, we stop where I can grab a shot of the Colorado River and it so captures the landscape, it went into my journal (besides, I loved the shadow cast across the bridge). And as the sun sets we curl around canyons that open up to a charming village, tucked among the giant red cliffs.

We arrive at our very comfy River Canyon Lodge in Moad. Air Conditioning and spaciousness greet us - hurrah! We have time for a stroll up main street as the town starts to sparkle with night lights and we dine, then sleep. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh . . . anticipating our Telluride arrival . . . tomorrow!

1 comment:

Katherine Thomas said...

That sounds awesome! I really admire you for keeping up this tradition to nourish your soul and your creativity!