My heart, head and soul are filled with words and images. so much stimulation to put into the blog to contage you with my energy. The Aurora Colony in Oregon is a town of artistry and history going back to the early 19thcentury. Old homes dot the roads with markers to tell of the early inhabitants. Art galleries and specialty shops dominate the small downtown. We (Anne Schroeder & I) found a hazelnut chocolate store and ate our fill of samples and took away gifts for ourselves and others.
Alas and alack, the museum we’d come so far to see was closed, readying for a quilt show the next weekend. A need for the “necessary” let us in long enough to glimpse the innards. We may very well stop in again on our way home.
We are heading south, now in Bellingham, WA, but much went on between Aurora and here. Stopping in Oregon City, the end of the historic Oregon Trail, we sought out the historical museum on its beautiful grounds along the Willamette River: “closed due to finances.” We rode down and up the multi-storied elevator with its tower showing holographs of the city, then and now. Paper manufactories, grain elevators and logging interests have faded where their remnant structures stand like lonely sentries, guarding what was.
When you get to Tacoma, be sure to go to the magnificent Museum of Glass and watch the blowers display their talents and impress you with the process. The incredible displays included a magical, room-sized, clear glass forest I wanted to carry home, and Dale Chiluly’s work stretching across an outdoor bridge so elegantly.
When in Seattle, there are many things to do and you likely know of them, but we went in search of something special and found it. In his book, THE HOTEL AT THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, Jamie Ford tells the story of the WWII internment of Japanese Americans through the memories of a young
Chinese American boy and his love for an interned girl. The story is generated when an old hotel, actually the Panama Hotel, is bought years later and the basement is found to be filled with belongings of those so unfairly imprisoned. It is an exquisitely written book and I was eager to find the hotel. The lovely tea room, comfortable with old wicker and quiet visitors, includes a glass covered portion of the floor showing the basement below. Stopping in for tea is both relaxing and poignant.
The Panama then…
Anne and I moved into our elegant President’s Suite at Lynnwood’s Embassy Suites. Volunteering to run the Women Writing the West’s raffle at the conference had many rewards, not the least of which was this unit. We raised $730 for the WILLA award fund. Thanks to all who participated.
WWW’s conferences get better and better each time I attend and this was the winner. The Seattle area has a great wealth of talent to call on, including our
organizers: Mary Trimble, Heidi Thomas and Randi Platt. Then, there were agents, editors. a filmmaker, an audio scout and marketers to lend their wisdom, advice and funny lines. LAURA short story winners were honored, with Anne taking third place.
Readings by WILLA winners were charming, lyrical or intriguing. Great keynotes were made by NPR personality Nancy Pearl and our own WWW poet Ellen Waterston. My personal big moments were an interview with a funny, perceptive and wise agent. In a new feature, “Pick Me, Pick Me,” first pages were submitted, drawn, read aloud and judged by six agents, editors and all. “My” agent, the film maker and the audio scout all liked the page from HUACHUCA WOMAN…delightful responses of enthusiasm which thrilled me.
On leaving that Sunday, Anne and I headed to Port Angeles to take the ferry over to Victoria, B.C. We drove south to go north, along the Hood Canal. Bright sunshine swept us along. Varieties of pine, color-changing oaks and maples marked our passage. Coves, bays, the occasional fishing cabin and shifting outlets
and hills took us to our port city and the inn on the top of the hill. The Straits of Juan de Fuca spread before us while Hurricane Ridge rose behind, cloaked in rivulets of snow. Sunset faded to nightlife with ship lights and old-fashioned style lamplights showing the world. What seemed at first like raucous party music faded to a lullaby.
ARLETTA’S TRAVEL TRIP: don’t believe the tour books or the computer, call the museum ahead to see how it fares in these hard times.
How does travel affect YOU & your writing?
What do you take away from
The Panama now…