I am going to try to create a record of the Dragons on the road both then and now. Now we are on our way to Issaquah WA for a family reunion and then on to the Oregon Coast. T Turtle came along. It would appear that Coeur d’ Alene Lake was his old stopping grounds. He says he was hatched there. A starving musician found him while he was sunning himself on the shore and took him home. Several years later the starving musician was on his way to fame and fortune and T Turtle was released back into the wild with nothing but his guitar and a working knowledge of how to strum a few tunes.
July 28,2016 We got a motel for Spokane and really hit the jack pot, Hotel Ruby, not to be confused with Ruby 2 a block and a half away. It was downtown and there is enough construction going on to make you think twice but when we got there, this was the sign waiting for us. I have never stayed in a motel that advertised “Life is Art” There were murals on the outside walls and we had a great painting (It was a print but the artist was local) hang on our room wall. There was a mosaic of dancers as you entered the office. Dick and I explored and found a great pub and not far (and only one jump over a torn up sidewalk) a great cafe. We invited T Turtle to come along but he stayed in the room, muttering about it being too hot (it was) and that some folks might still be around whom he owe a bit of money to.
July 29, 2016 Next day we needed to get to Issaquah Washington for the family reunion. Along the way, T Turtle told us stories of his early days on the road. He had a tough time hitchhiking beings as he’s no bigger than an over sized jack rabbit and the drivers couldn’t see him beside the road. He said that several times good citizens would stop their cars and pick him up-not to give him a ride but to take him safely into the near by woods, thinking they were rescuing him from being road kill. In Easton WA we stopped for gas and decided to get lunch too. We wander into the Parkside Cafe and Turtle Lounge. I asked why it was the Turtle Lounge and the waitress pointed at the fireplace. T got all excited. He had been here before, when it was part of a campground. He told us the grounds keeper had been assigned to build the fireplace but he had no idea how. T told him he would design it and help build it for lodging and food. The Grounds Keeper agreed and he and T spent a summer building the biggest turtle fireplace in all of Washington, maybe all of the world. T was glad to see it was still there and insisted on having his photo taken. He had lots of stories about the Grounds Keeper and him, playing guitars and fishing. The Grounds Keeper used a pole and T swim among the fishes and caught them in his mouth.
We arrived at Dick’s family reunion-offspring of Rose and Nels Christensen (Dick’s grandparents on his mother’s side). Somewhere between 81 and 85 descendants, in laws and well wishers gathered for a weekend at Judy (Dick’s sister) and Eric Hylen’s home. It was a glorious time with volleyball-both on dry land and in the pool championships, Hearts (cards) championship, Liar’s dice championship, bean bag throw championship, Norwegian golf championship, wondrous food, more laughter than is imaginable. It was the perfect place. Each reunion every family unit is charged with being part of a talent show. When we decided that we wouldn’t participate, T Turtle insisted. So T Turtle joined Lang, Dick and me in one of Lang’s originals “Cast a Line” while Kabe recorded the event.
August 1, 2016 Sunday After a final breakfast with the family (T had leftover salmon). Dick, T Turtle, Lang, Kabe and I headed for Rockaway Beach– to the Ocean. The next two days we had a wonderful time playing in the Ocean. We drove down to Newport, stopping every whip stitch enjoying being there.
In Newport we crossed the bridge and spent a great time exploring the harbor.
We headed by up to Rockaway Beach and found a great place to eat seafood. Luckily for all concerned they did not have turtle on the menu. T Turtle did sing for his supper(or his lunch) to the delight of all. Then we went for a walk on the beach. What a wonderful gift to be able to walk by the ocean any time you want!
August 2, The next day Dick and I walked to the ocean from our Airbnb with T Turtle. As soon as we got there, he ran to the shore and took off swimming. I guess he has distant relations that live off the coast. I tried to get a photo of T Turtle’s run into the ocean but driftwood got in the way.
Before long he returned and had stories to tell. I guess that once he was on this own, he spent time along the Oregon Coast playing for donations. He said he did “real good”. He left us on the beach and went in search of friends from the old days. Dick and I went for coffee in Rockaway. Then Lang, Kabe, Dick and I went back to spend time on the ocean. Later in the afternoon, Lang left for Canon Beach. He had to set up for a gig at a coffee shop from 6-8. Kabe and Dick found a tennis court in Rockaway and played. I stayed at the house and enjoyed being that near the ocean.
About 5 Kabe, Dick and I headed down to hear Lang play. T hadn’t returned but we knew he would be back later. Lang’s gig was terrific! He has some fantastic new songs. While he broke down afterwards, we went across the street to the Pelican Brewery patio to watch the sunset. It was spectacular.
August 3, Lang and Kabe headed inland. Kabe to catch a flight back home to San Francisco and Lang to scout out places to play for a return gig. He then went to Corvallis Oregon to see his great friends Megan and Kirby Sand and their amazing 3 kids. Dick and I and T Turtle went on to Yahats for two nights. T had gotten back late the night before after he watched the sunset and bid farewell to his friends.
We have been to Yahats before. It was the place where we celebrated Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary with the family many many years ago and we just keep coming back. We had breakfast at the Green Pelican both days we were there. We spent time in Newport and drove down to Florance. And we went to every beach between the two. Dick gathered flat rocks for drawing on. The wind was fierce but it just add to the adventure.
On our way through Newport, T Turtle insisted that we eat at Mo’s. We shared sea food chowder and pink shrimp salad. It was the perfect last meal.
But as we were leaving, T noticed an article about the cafe on the wall. It contained a recipe for their world famous oyster stew. T read the article carefully. “Well I guess they are still using my recipe when it comes to oyster stew. We should have had that.” he said as he strolled by. Then we all piled in the car and headed back to the heat and the beautiful Black Hills.