It's July?

Summers always pass too quickly. I can't believe it's been three weeks since my last post, and that it's already the middle of July. The July 4th holiday sped past, carrying in its wake two sets of visitors and a dinner party. The draw isn't us, it's Sisters.

And Sisters continues to entertain. A regular Friday afternoon market marks the beginning of our weekend, and weekends bring some kind of event: a three-day gem and fossil show, a beer and wine festival, a summer craft fair, and this week, the town-consuming quilt show.

A clothes line of quilts.
The quilt show has been running for thirty-seven years and has grown from a get-together to a week-long celebration of quilting and other fiber arts that includes classes, lectures, viewings, breakfasts, raffles, awards, and entertainment. It ends today with a series of lectures, but yesterday was really the grande finale, with the annual closing of federal Highway 20 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. so visitors could view the nearly 1,400 quilts displayed inside and (mostly) outside local businesses and in parks. Even the town supermarket was draped in quilts.

People from around the world attend the show and we're told last year there were about 250,000 visitors. That's a lot of company for a town whose winter population is only 2,036. I am not a quilter and have no desire to be one, but we joined the throng yesterday to see what we could see. Here are a few photos taken at the beginning of what looked like a perfect day.

Quilts and quilters and quilt lovers were everywhere.

Highway 20 runs through the heart of town
but on this day travelers took the long way around.

The creativity was impressive. 

This is one of my favorites.

Food and entertainers were part of the mix too.
This is Lindy Gravelle, who sang, and played a mean boogie woogie.

One of the many advantages of living in a tourist town is that we can take an event—and its crowds and noise—or leave it. In this case we left it about 11:30, noting that clouds were building over the mountains. Thunderheads piled up all afternoon and around three o'clock they let loose with a barrage of frighteningly close lightning, crashing thunder, hail, and pounding rain. It was surely a blow to organizers, attendees, and the local businesses for whom these events are a lifeline. Fortunately, the storm moved off in less than an hour; we hope the party resumed.


But from our point of view the most important news of yesterday was the completion of our dry creek. Yes! We think it turned out well enough to share a few photos. But you have to imagine its borders crowded with plants: grasses, flax, lupine, Russian sage, and other perennials, as well as shrubs. There will also be a deck, a path, a low bridge, and a couple of paved sitting areas, so you can see we have a lot of work ahead of us. So far it's been fun. And I still love rocks.

The ground is still wet from the storm. This shows our "beach" area.

The "creek" runs from under our future deck to the fence.
The neighbors may continue it.
Looking back toward the future deck area.
Now that it's finished we can concentrate on planting.