Idyll in the wild

Daytrip to Idyllwild

My friends Ed and Bret are here for a visit, Ed from Montana where it's already snowing and Bret from Vancouver where the rainy season has already started. The signboard for Chez Paul ought to have a new tagline: Eccentricities accommodated. For example:

Here's Ed, eating his egg-salad sandwich by component — his choice!

Here's Bret, eating his egg-salad on a bed of left-over broccoli — his choice!

Beautiful downtown Idyllwild

Yesterday, we fired up the Prius for a day-trip to Idyllwild (Mapquest), a charming little town just 10.2 miles (according to Google Earth) from my house as the crow flies, but about 50 miles by winding road through 5500 feet of elevation and several climate zones. It was the first time I've driven the Prius on any kind of challenging roads, and I'm happy to report it performed like a charm, powering up the mountain like a bighorn.

Jo' Ann's restaurant
Jo' Ann's restaurant

First things first: We had lunch at Joanne's Restaurant, where the rustic interior is decorated with Indian artifacts, dead animal skins and skulls, and a model train that circles the interior when it's running. Then it was off to browse a few of the shops, looking for treasures.

Ed, it turns out, is particularly susceptible to impulse buying, scooping up salad servers with asparagus-spear handles and raku-fired rattles to chase away evil spirits. OK, he did have encouragement from his friends for the latter. Bret adorned himself with a new pendant, and yours truly sprang for a decorative/functional ceramic bowl by David Salk, said to be the nephew of Jonas Salk, who invented polio vaccine way back when.

Ceramic bowl by David Salk

We returned home by way of Banning (having gone up through Palm Desert) after a brief stop at Fulmor Lake where I practiced photographing reflections.

Fulmor Lake
Reeds and reflections at Fulmor Lake
Banning from 2000 feet

For more pictures, check out the slideshow (sidebar)