Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Summer of 2012–Part III


Friday, July 21st, a big electrical / rain storm hit the resort. The following is the report from Chas, one of the resort’s owners.



Reflecting on the Storm...
It might have lasted 45 minutes last Friday afternoon,
but it was a huge electrical storm flying low to the ground.
After it had passed,
we counted what was no longer working:
The main computerized water pump controller in the pump room,
our Internet Service (maybe 7 pieces of equipment in all),
our combination printer, copy machine, fax, scanner,
our credit card reader.
Did I mention Mike and Terri and Brie
had just left that morning
to travel to the Willies as our representatives
at the annual NW Board meeting
(Terri is treasurer, Brie handled kids' activities)?
We found a way to use a backup water pump
by cycling it on for 3 hours in the AM
And 3 hours in the PM,
(did I mention our very understanding guests?)
We limped through with our air card on the Internet,
One of our guests loaned (then gave) us a printer.
Another guest loaned us a scanner-copier-fax machine.
Another guest loaned us a router once our Internet Service Provider
got the Internet service working again.
Then yet another guest ordered (at his expense)
a new router that should be here tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Mike and Terri and Brie had to stay in Oregon until Monday
because of Terri's Treasurer responsibilities.
So when Chas 'N Margie had to go to Montana
at 5 AM on Monday morning
for an important Board meeting,
a couple of local neighborhood residents came on duty at 5 AM
to staff the lodge and watch the dog.
Then as the day progressed
another RV guest manned the phones
and registration desk for the day
while yet another took up dog sitting on our behalf
and did ALL the laundry from the Skin to the Wind Festival
and yet another did the cooking.
As Monday progressed it seems all of the professional brain power on site
came together such that by Monday night when Mike and Terri and Brie returned
these residents and guests had restored the water pump to service full time
and ordered the parts needed to fix it for good.
When Chas and Margie returned on Tuesday evening,
the Internet had been restored to almost full service,
the new credit card reader (that Chas had ordered on Sunday)
had been received and installed,
and they learned that the copy/printer repairman (also a guest for the weekend)
had tried to fix copy / printer and was coming back on Thursday with the required parts.
Can you believe it?
We were a bit overwhelmed by the storm's footprint at first
but that only gave us the opportunity to be overwhelmed by the
graphic demonstration of caring and sharing
on the part of our neighbors and guests.
The resort community is an awesome business to be in
because the business seems only an excuse for building friendships.
We feel blessed!
And when the Gathering converges on us next week,
We'll be ready!
But we thought you'd like to know why!

August 2nd was the start of four day The Gathering event.

Raija, I and couple that was spending the summer at the resort who we became friends with volunteered to run the outdoor patio lunch / snack bar for the four day event.

Below is a sampling of some of the many workshops / happenings that took place over the four days.

Meet the Ukulele
Cowboy Shooting
Water Floatation for Couples
How to Get a Bigger, Better Deal (the Dave Ramsey Way)
Trigger Point Therapy
Energy Work for Beginners
Pareo Tying
Beginner Belly Dance for a Belly Laugh
Cooking Paella
Do We Ever Learn Anything?
Pudding Toss
Drumming Circle
Jam Session
Midnight Esalen Float
Energetic Tools for Transformation
Bonsai History and Care
Be A Published Writer
Animal Communicator
Backyard Birding
Tantric Breathing
The Healthy Home
Loads of Sports
And tons of music and dancing
with good food galore.

THE Gathering's Opening Live Concert by the Zen Cowboy
Chuck Pyle


Chuck Pyle, despite writing several country radio hits, is something of a well-kept secret. His music - part cowboy, part new age - reflects a mystical connection to the landscape of the American West. His singing is nakedly beautiful, the guitar work flowing and complex.  The Zen-Cowboy indeed.
Admired as a sly humorist and an innovative guitarist, Chuck Pyle has performed for the Colorado Legislature, on Austin City Limits, and at Bill Gates' home. He's had his songs recorded by John Denver, Chris LeDoux, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Suzy Bogguss & Jerry Jeff Walker. He sees what's best about America, writing songs about love lost & love found, forgetful cowboys, heroic highway patrolmen, and brain stems gone "critical".

August 3rd.

The work shops continued and in the evening we danced to the sound and lights of the:

Rapid Transit Road Show


Followed at Midnight

The Esalen Float in the Warm Indoor Pool

Saturday August 4th started off with more workshops and the Volley Ball torments. Saturday evening we attended a Live Concert featuring Reno composer and multi-instrumentalist
Colin Ross

playing an ever-shifting repertoire of original music,
jazz standards and blues classics including boogie woogie,
swing, rockabilly and Americana.
His concert style has evolved from his own collection of music
and his in-depth studies of traditional American artists.
"It's a concert of blues influenced music," he says.
He plays the traditional music with his own unique slant.
It's a mixture of standard American music from the '20s through early 40s
mixed with his own original material influenced by that period.
He says the working definition of the blues
covers everyone from Duke Ellington to Muddy Waters
and takes in the likes of Count Basie, Robert Johnson and Bessie Smith.
Instruments include an array of keyboards,





folk instruments, and more! Beginning with classical piano at age five,
Colin continues to study and grow, playing a variety of styles.
With a full time performance schedule,
Colin has recorded and released five CDs on his own label, Oharaross Productions.
"I love the music that's on the cusp between jazz and blues," he says.
A lot of the music hits that sweet spot between classic jazz and traditional blues
-- jazz chord progressions hung on the rhythmic structure of the blues.
According to Ross,
"from its earliest roots to contemporary musical fusion,
the blues is the common thread in American music."

Sunday August 5th saw more games, workshops and our last day of working the patio lunch bar. The last concert / dance of the gather was held outdoors by the pool. The lodge’s indoor dance floor was even moved outdoors. The concert dance featured the The Angela Marie Project.


The Angela Marie Project is one of the Northwest’s most popular bands. Angela Marie is the first to jump into a cold lake and the last to leave a good party.  She will pull weeds but she would rather pull off a great performance.  Angela Marie's energizing spirit transports her audience.  Fresh, Emotive, Light with a rock edge- her all original music takes your mind off any troubles and leaves you feeling uplifted with no adverse side effects. All songs were written by Angela Marie. Her songwriting is heavily influenced by the beauty of the Northwest, world travels, love, and the mystery of daily life.
Many (many!) years of band life in Madison and Green Bay, Wisconsin to Seattle, Washington to her current residence of Northern Idaho have led Angela Marie to this project. The incredible musicians in her band are fabulous band mates and support Angela Marie's songs and her performances in a powerful way that she is in awe of and deeply appreciates.



Angela is a talented, soulful singer who has a stage presence that is unforgettable.
-Sarah Colvin

Travel is a major priority for key members of this band because it is one of the greatest classrooms without walls. Examples include Africa, Thailand, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Korea, Guatemala, Dubai, Indonesia, China, Nepal, Peru ... Much of Angela Marie's song material comes from meeting folks of as many cultures as possible.



Angela Marie’s Project Concert and Dance by the Pool

One of the guests staying in the RV section of the resort near where we were parked is John Mosley who was an astronomer and educator at planetariums in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles from 1977 until 2006, where he specialized in presenting astronomical concepts to the public. He is now traveling the country in his motorhome with his wife Barbara and a portable telescope. On several nights he set up his telescope and conducted stargazing sessions for individuals and groups here at the Resort.

During the meteor shower on August 6th, John Mosley pointed out constellations and told stories about the stars while we watched for meteors from 10 p.m. until midnight lying on the lounge chairs by the pool.

Things then settled down to the usual restful pace at the resort until August 20th when the Bluegrass concert was held featuring John Lowell and Julie Elkins.



We celebrated Raija’s birthday with a massage by Sharon and dinner at the lodge.

The resort is often asked if we still see any moose around here…
Answer: Mama Moose sighting yesterday in the meadow.


(Photo by Joanna)
But when you look very closely
You see what she is looking

This brings us to the Labor Weekend, our last weekend at the resort.

The Labor Day Weekend bash started Saturday with beach volley ball tournament in the morning followed by poolside tunes by the Rapid Transit Show DJ.

2:00 PM was the start of the bocce ball tournament that carried over into Sunday.

Our last Potluck Hors d ’Oeuvres Pot Luck patio party was held at 4:00 PM.

We closed out Saturday with our last dance of the summer put on by

The Rapid Transit Road Show DJs


On Sunday the volley ball and bocce torments continued and in the afternoon we relaxed by the pool with more tunes by The Rapid Transit Show DJS.

Sunday night we attended our last concert at the resort performed by Cosy Sheridan

Has Chas says:
We are very happy to host
one of the most comfortable
and funniest storytellers we've heard in concert.

Cosy Sheridan


She’s flying in for this one!

From Carnegie Hall to the Dr. Demento Show
and on to the
Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
Count these,
and almost everywhere in between,
as stops along the way for Cosy Sheridan and her music.
Her friend Catie Curtis called her a combination of
Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Dr. Ruth and Deepak Chopra.
We call her E
ntertaining with a capital E.
Cosy has garnered top honors
from some of the country's most prestigious songwriting contests:
The Kerrville Folk Festival's New Folk Award,
The Telluride Bluegrass Festival's Troubadour Award,
and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Songwriting Showcase Award .
She's candid.
She's compassionate.
She's funny
She'll talk about anything on stage.
She might sing songs about body piercing,
a more user-friendly Barbie Doll,
the loneliness of her elderly neighbor,
or how small and humble things in life, like ants,
can sew your heart back together.
She can bring tears to your eyes,
from sadness or from laughter.
She's that good.

On Labor Day the volley ball and bocce tournaments concluded and we relaxed by the pool with you guess it, tunes by The Rapid Transit Show DJ followed by our last pot luck dinner at the resort.

We spent Tuesday through Thursday packing up the coach for the return trip home and on Thursday afternoon Sharon treated my back and legs for the long drive.

Friday evening we were treated to dinner by owners for the help we provided during our stay.

Friday morning we said our good byes and we were on the road by 9:00 AM.

I wish to thank Chas as most of the material contained in this blog was copied /edited from his weekly emails listing the upcoming events at the resort.

Our Summer of 2012–Part II


We departed the resort on Friday, September 7th, spent the night at Deer Lodge, Montana dry camping, continued Saturday to Fort Hall, Idaho at the Fort Hall Casino and arrived at Charlie’s Service, Sun Set Utah Sunday afternoon where we are having the annual motor home service done.

Tomorrow, we will continue our journey home with an estimated arrival Friday afternoon.

Our home bound route is one that we have traveled many times before, I-90 east from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho to I-15 near Butte, Montana. I-15 south bound to Sun Set, Utah. From Charlie’s Service, we will continue south on I-15 to Utah State route 20. We will spend the night at the junction of Utah 20 and US 89. From there, we will continue south on US 89 to Cameron Arizona where we will spend the night at the Cameron Trading Post RV Park. Friday we will continue south on US 89 to Flagstaff, AZ where we will pick up I-17 to Phoenix and then I-10 to home.

This route has been covered in many of our previous blogs so back to the events of our 2012 summer.

July 12th – 15th saw us taking part in the resort’s annual Skin to the Wind Festival:

The festival started on Thursday with Raija and I running Outdoor Snack Bar Lunch. I cooked and Raija took orders and served hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chili dogs, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, chips, ice cream treats.

Starting at 1:30 The Rapid Transit Road Show provided tunes by the pool.

At 4:00 PM Tania Opland performed Casual Acoustic World Music on the patio.


Tania Opland's concerts are a tapestry of melodic and lyrical textures blending intriguing cross-cultural influences, from soaring melodies on a solo instrument to powerful vocals backed by solid rhythm guitar or intricate fingerpicking. Her repertoire starts from a base in the traditional music of North America and the British Isles, spreads through most of Northern Europe and touches on other cultures around the globe. Her array of musical instruments includes an unusual five-string violin/viola, cittern (or octave mandolin), hammered dulcimer, ocarina and hurdy-gurdy, along with more common instruments such as guitar, recorder, and, of course, voice.

At 9 PM we danced to the music by the House of Quest.


The House of Quist has been garnering industry attention with their high energy live shows and compelling original songs, and will be touring later this summer to support the release of their new CD, Vision Quest, recorded with Producer heavyweight David DeVore (REO Speed wagon, Santana, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John). The album features Guthrie Quist on lead guitar, Halladay Quist on bass, Pat McKenna on percussion and newest addition Matt Brua on guitar, The House of Quist is a tour de force with soaring sibling vocals backed by thunderous drums and guitar pyrotechnics. For lots of reasons, not the least of which is the lodge stage size and room acoustics, the Skin to the Wind show will be a slightly scaled down acoustic version of House of Quist featuring the 2 siblings and dad.

Dad is legendary Montana musician and published poet, Rob Quist, who is lead singer and songwriter for such seminal groups as Mission Mountain Wood Band, The Montana Band and Rob Quist & Great Northern; his award winning songs have been recorded by Michael Martin Murphey, Loretta Lynn and Jack Gladstone, and he has been inducted into the University of Montana School of Fine Arts Hall of Honors, recognizing him as "one of its greats."

Together, Rob Quist and The House of Quist's siblings, Halladay & Guthrie, present an astounding variety of musical genres with their original music showcasing blended vocal harmonies that only a family can attain.

Friday morning we attended a Trigger Point Therapy Workshop by Dr. Sharon Bloomsburg. Sharon kept my back in shape all summer with her Trigger Point Therapy. She is a daily visitor to the resort providing massages and chiropractic services to guests and residents.  

At noon we again manned the outdoor lunch stand on the patio.

In the evening we danced to music provided by the DJs of the Rapid Transit Show.

Saturday morning Raija attended a belly dancing class for beginners and in the afternoon after manning the lunch bar we took Contra dancing lessons in the lodge with live music provided by the Cantrells and Nora Scott as the caller / instructor.

In the evening we attended the Cantrells concert.


The Cantrells have been touring and performing their original folk and bluegrass music in concerts and festivals since 1985. Their performances feature Emily Cantrell's songs, her strong rhythm guitar (especially her swing style), Al Cantrell's contest-winning fiddling in traditional, swing and Irish styles, their duet harmonies, "fiddlesticks" ("playing the straws") and a wide variety of songs from bluegrass to Broadway musicals. They are currently based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Al Cantrell spent several months in Ireland, England and Europe studying Irish fiddle. The Cantrells almost always include some Irish music in their concerts.

The Cantrells have recorded four CDs of mostly original songs featuring Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Ranger Doug and Too Slim from "Riders in the Sky", Jim Hurst, Rob Ickes, Tim O'Brien and Mark Schatz of "Nickel Creek". These recordings receive radio air play across the US and in other countries.

The Cantrells were chosen by Robert Redford to perform in his hit movie "A River Runs Through It".

The festival concluded on Sunday with the afternoon lunch bar, followed The Rapid Transit Show tunes by the pool and at pot luck dinner.

Next up was the Jimmy Buffet Weekend starting at noon on Saturday July 21st.


Lunch was Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburgers in paradise, French fried potatoes,
and big kosher pickles plus dessert

followed at

1 PM with Jimmy Buffett Tunes by the Pool


At 4:30 PM there was the Jimmy Buffett Pot Luck Hors d’Oeuvres Parrothead Patio Party


and the Jimmy Buffett Tunes were kept rolling.

Then there was Jimmy Buffett Dinner of Key West garlic shrimp with
pineapple mango relish, rice medley, broccoli
and a dessert Jimmy Buffett would appreciate.

Followed by Jimmy Buffett “Live” Video Concert at Fenway Park on the lodge’s big screen.


Part III to follow soon.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Summer of 2012–Part 1


For those of you that have followed our travel blog, you know that I have been somewhat remiss in this summer’s postings. One reason is that this year, rather than traveling every few days as we done in the pass, we decided to stay in one place. The second is the RV Resort that we stayed at, near Coeur D’Alene, ID had so many activities that we didn’t even do site seeing trips as planned in the Hummer.


The indoor and outdoor pools provided daily aquacise to keep us in shape, the live concerts, and dances, movies on the big screen, several weekend events and meeting new friends kept us busy. Then there was the big electrical storm that knocked out the Wi-Fi, automatic exit gate and water system that I lent a hand in repairing. In addition one of the owners who also maintain the pools and hot tub injured his hand so I volunteered to do the daily maintenance on the pools and hot tub.


Some highlights of our summer:

June 16th, our wedding anniversary:

We attended the Ben Bullington Concert at the resort.



Ben (left) and Rodney Crowell

"Ben Bullington's work draws life-breath from the earth, rivers, sky and people of Montana," says Rodney Crowell, the Nashville songwriting legend who plays guitar and performs a duet on Bullington's second CD, White Sulpher Springs. Ben, a practicing family doctor from Lewistown Montana and songwriter frames the stillness of Montana winters, the strength of her women and the spiritual bankruptcy of no-account politicians with disarming ease.

Next up was the Kite Festival on June 23rd, followed by the resorts clean our adopted Section of Hwy 95.


July 4th:

There was the Steve Young concert.


Steve Young has literally toured the world. He has performed in many countries of Europe, in Australia and New Zealand, in Micronesia, China and Mongolia, in Egypt and East Africa and beyond. Wherever he has gone, he has filled the dual role of ambassador for American music and student of the cultures of others.

Young's live performances express the depth and power of his vision. He draws on his own songs, on Southern folk songs from varied traditions, on collaborations and on the best of contemporary songwriters such as J.D. Loudermilk, David Olney and others.

Steve shared the stage with his son, Jubal Lee Young.



Following Steve Young’s concert was the resorts very own 4th of July fireworks display.


Part 2 coming soon.