Friday, August 20, 2010

Slow Down, Friends and Neighbors. That's the Message.

I've been scribbling lots of notes, snapping lots of photos, but this trip is moving faster than I can blog at the moment. Making memories and adventures and bonding with family and chasing down the toddler... those are the priorities for now and they crowd out the sitting down and the typing. Its supposed to be a vacation after all. And sleep is too scarce and precious to give up at the moment.

So WHOA, as they say in Wyoming. Maybe they say it in other places too. But in the Jackson Hole area, for us last week, it was just plain old good advice. Big family in a big house and we all like to eat and drink and there's only so much you can eat and drink and you've got to do other things too. Like hike. And see chipmunks, pikas, ravens, deer, elk, moose and buffalo. And eat buffalo too.

Best meal of the week was at the Gun Barrel in Jackson. Medium rare buffalo prime rib, sweet potato with maple butter, and a Zonker Stout from Snake River. I gather that the Gun Barrel's a touristy place and that the food and service can be hit or miss. I get that. Maybe we caught it on a good night. But we all ate game and were happy. The buffalo was as well prepared as any beef prime rib I've eaten, and I've eaten some good ones, friends and neighbors. Maybe someday I'll tell you about the Shady Inn.

So now I'm sitting in the Cypress Room at the McMenamins Kennedy School in northeast Portland. This place is a living work of art and I'll tell you more about it later. Today it has been our hotel and our bar and our restaurant and our swimming pool and our museum. Right now it's my office. On a Friday night. And I need sleep.

Maybe you're feeling rushed too. Whoa there, pard.

Hey: We had dinner at the Concordia Ale House just up the road here. A fun draft list heavy on Oregon beers, but the best of all had to be Taras Boulba. Only $8 for a 12 oz. glass. Yikes. Whoa. Instead I went with a bourbon-barrel aged Mogli Porter from Caldera of Ashland, Oregon. Under abv the draft list just put a question mark. It was something like carbonated dark chocolate pudding doused in whiskey. Whoa.

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