I’m here at I-Park, on the day that I am supposed to be here! After being late to Catwalk and Jentel last year, and WSW this year, I finally broke that disturbing trend. I even got here before several other folks; amazing. The studio’s unloaded and the room is all unpacked.
However, I am exhausted. I confess that I did end up leaving between four and five hours after I had hoped to (with not much sleep the night before), causing my least favorite drive situation ever: I-80 across Pennsylvania at night. Usually I like driving mountains, no matter the time. But 80 is always insane at night because of all the trucks headed to New York city, masses of them. And also because they are going up and down long steep foggy grades from the Alleghenies all the way across the state to the Poconos; they crawl up, and just let it rip on the way down; the highway patrol apparently ceases to exist in PA after sundown. (During the day, they’re out, and the trucks gear down and even stay in the truck lanes. At night, they own that road). I clocked so many eighteen-wheelers doing well over a hundred mph downhill. I was going to drive till 1:30 am exactly, but stopped about 45 minutes before that, after driving through a huge slippery patch of fresh, red gore on a long downgrade; one of them had hit a deer (or some deer) so hard and at such a velocity that it (they) basically exploded. I’d had enough.
So I pulled off at the next exit with motels; Clearfield, PA, smack in the middle of the state. The first place was full. The second ‘only’ had a gigantic room with a king-sized bed and a whirlpool. I blessed Paul once again for triple A; all that luxury was only $20 more than the bare-bones utilitarian place I stayed in on my way to WSW. I only got about four hours sleep, but the time in the whirlpool counted for at least triple that.
Good-bye NY and PA; I just drove over those & miles and miles of them behind these, too…
But here I am at I-Park and I can already tell it’s great, even though I’m mightily fried. The studio is small but entirely workable with great features like big double glass doors, a sink with a snazzy detachable spray head and lots of big ceiling fixtures with full-spectrum lights. The house is super-comfortable and loaded with conveniences, and the area and what I could see of the grounds are great…gardens gardens gardens and lots of sculpture and artist-made practical things like benches and picnic tables everywhere. When I come out my bedroom door, the hallway light goes on automatically; nice touch. We’re right next to Devil’s Hopyard State Park, rocky cliffs, gorgeous views, lots of trails, some with waterfalls, and we’re also about 40 minutes from the Atlantic (Old Saybrook. Lyme, Katharine Hepburn’s Fenwick).
My favorite feature at first glance: right outside my studio is a spacious, private outdoor shower, complete with rows of sheltered candles for night-time atmosphere, and a gigantic mirror for daytime after-hike tick checks. Here’s some random quickie photos.
These plants are way taller than me…
I should just barely make it through the welcome dinner in a few minutes, meeting the other residents, and then I am sleeping, sleeping, sleeping till my feet and legs stop vibrating as if they’re still in the car.