Thursday, May 11, 2006

A lady named cleo and a lotta time in the van

Cleo Swayne is nearly 93, and when the weather’s nice enough, she rides a red scooter down from her house to the Nature Trail at Cleo’s Ferry Museum on the Snake River near Melba, Idaho.  It was a little too windy today, so she stayed close to home, but we walked the 3/4 mile trail, which is lined with hundreds of birdhouses, mirror balls, statuary (store bought and home made) and signs-- lots and lots of signs that express Cleo’s thoughts about life and how to enjoy it.

  There’s no charge to get in, and besides the trail, there are great old stone buildings, a chapel and various other remnants of the life she and her late husband “Doc” Swayne lived out here.  “If we even suspected there was an antique for sale, we were there,” she told us.  And the grounds of this most unique private outdooor museum bear witness to that compulsion. Did I mention there’s giant fiberglass animals sprinkled around too?

After our departure, we ate some tasty Mexican food in Nampa  and made a slight course reversal so Mike could retrieve his AMEX card from the Holiday Inn where it apparently wanted to stay.  That’s usually my job!!

Then we settled in for a long, and utterly beautiful drive up through the Cascades, heading for Spokane.  Turn after turn with fast running rapids and stunning views made seven and a half hours of driving time go surprisingly fast.  Though Mike is reporting some knee pain from yesterday’s catch...

Musical highlights:  “Deja Vu”--CSNY, “Fox Confessor Brings the Blues”--Neko Case, Beatles Anthology 3 (Disc 3), “Nighthawks at the Diner”--Tom Waits

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