Friday 22 October 2010

Herzlich Wilkommen!

Fabulous night - goosedown pillows and duvet on a thick soft mattress in a four-poster frame - and a fabulous morning, with mist in the valley shot through by the rising sun that, thanks to being in a valley, was rising at a civilised hour. We were staying at the Abendblume pension in Leavenworth, for which battery issues yesterday postponed the photos.
The town is an amazing, bizarre place to come across: enthusiastically and comprehensively themed Bavarian, to rejuvenate what was a dying town in the '60s - with huge success. The buildings look authentic, the shops sell pretzels, home-cured sausages and beer steins, and there are even assistants wearing dirndls. I could maybe have done without the yodelling musak in the streets, but mostly it was a lot of fun and strangely convincing, especially in its real Alpine setting.
And even Macca's is in on the game.
Then we headed away along the Yakima River Valley, stopping off at Canyon River Ranch for a quick fly-casting lesson which, thanks to Craig here, turned out to be much easier than it looked. Here's a man who's happy in his work, despite having taken a huge pay cut to minimum wage when he took on this job: "It's all about balance. Being on the river looking out for deer and bighorn sheep, watching osprey swooping down to snatch a salmon out of the water: how could it be better than that?" How, indeed.

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