This untamed yet peaceful reserve is also a recreation paradise where even the wildest bear is friendly to the most citified outdoorsman…
… and the good eatin’ fish practically jump into your canoe.
This latter statement is especially true when you bring the fish along in your backpack. Already smoked. In a vacuum-sealed package. With cream cheese, crackers, and a bottle of wine.
We loved the
Ah, the State Fair. Celebration of the bounty gathered under the harvest moon.
Showcase of American ingenuity, invention, and innovation.
High flying spectacle of death-defying amusements and subversive oddities.
All in one place. For a short time only. If I was asked to show a first-time visitor to
Or should I say graceful colors?
I should mention that the cracked-voiced 4H boys who showed us these birds swore up and down that these colors are for real. They spit into their palms and laid hands on the Good Book with promises that no dyes were used. They took oaths against the health and welfare of their families that these birds did not lay ready-made Easter eggs. They assured us in writing that these animals were not some weird freaks of nature.
Which, of course, was too bad. I would have paid cash money to see a coop full of freaky Easter egg laying chickens. So we elbowed our way down the midway, money belt clutched tight, having to content ourselves with seeing the farm-fresh hams of Christmas future…
… and one of the biggest nitrate-sodden canned hams of summers’ past…
Truth be told, we were pretty far back in the crowd—so far back that the only ham we got to see up close was already sizzling with another sort of greatness.
You can be sure we took some home that night, though by the next morning things did not feel alright.
No matter, onward we drove. Over hill, through dale…
… until we found ourselves marooned on the northern shores of the great
The hand of the Great Spirit apparently has 11 fingers, for the region is comprised of 11 finger-shaped lakes. It makes a mere mortal like myself, poor imitation of the Great Spirit that I am, wonder why mankind is in possession of five fingers per hand for total of ten. No matter. It’s a lovely sentiment. Besides, you could strand yourself in worse places other than in the handprint of the divine. There are, however, a few better places. Case in point is The Red Door Inn, a soon-to-open bed & breakfast located in
Though The Red Door Inn is yet to officially open, its owners Kevin and Kathryn nonetheless took us in. Maybe it was the roadtripping ring around our collars that made them take pity on us. Or maybe they just dug the microbus … and took pity on us. Or maybe they took us in because Kevin and Kathryn are some of the most agreeable, friendly, considerate and kind-hearted people you’d ever hope to meet.
Stepping over power tools and other construction materials, Kevin gave us the grand tour of their rambling but cozy and astonishingly well-appointed house. Our bed was big enough for a king’s court. The bathtub was even bigger. We stayed for two whole days—days that revolved around fine home cooked meals and lively conversations that lasted all day and well into the night.
We were sad to bid Kevin, Kathryn and the Red Door Inn a farewell. But they’ll be officially open by the time this year is out and we’ll be back someday soon. After all, it’s only a scant 12 months between now and the opening day of the 2009 New York State Fair!