Yakima Field Trip

This is the original text that I sent out on May 20th. I will be revising this to add stuff that I missed, and to correct a few errors (e.g., Alan's last name is "Cheetham").

Update: the revised version is at http://www.farmdale.com/yakima-2003-05.shtml

Brian has placed published some photos that he took on his web page http://www.connectivity1.net/yakima/. The last 11 photos are of the "insulator house" in Ellensburg.

The Seattle Contra Dance Expeditionary Force (aka Yakima Moving and Dance
Associates) ventured to Yakima the weekend of May 10-11 to "assist" (the
verb is used rather loosely) Tim Gojio in moving to the sunny side of the
mountains and making himself known to the local dance community.  We
succeeded in the latter, of this there can be no doubt.  We're not so sure
how much assistance we provided with the former, but suspect that it was
pert near zero (well, we did offer random and perhaps gratuitous advice on
how to decorate his apartment).

The SCDEF consisted of three teams: myself, Sally Dow, and Tracy Whelen 
(serving as Aide de Camp) were Team 1; Meg Wilkinson and Alan Cheatem were 
Team 2; and Amy Springer, Jeff Nystuen, and Brian Globerman were Team 3.

Team 1 left early with a short side trip near Cle Elum, followed by a
pleasant drive down Yakima Canyon.  We found Tim's new apartment without
too much difficulty (drive around the subdivision, look for a large moving
van).  After checking in, Sally went to see Shelly Jenkins, the lead
organizer of the Yakima contra dances, while Tracy and I hopped on
bicycles to explore the neighborhood.  Shortly after we returned to Tim's,
we were joined by Team 3 (Team 2 was expected to be late, as they had
other activities Saturday morning and then were going to go to Federal Way
to pick up Tim's car and drive it over - Tim drove over in the rental
truck).  We all cleaned up and, after a brief stop at a nearby grocery
store, we headed for the pre-dance potluck.

By the way, cell phones are a great invention.  They proved very useful
throughout the weekend.

The Yakima dances are held in the Broadway Grange, which is just east of
the Yakima airport.  It's a nice hall and is the right size for the
dances.  Like many such buildings, it has a dining room and kitchen
downstairs, which is where we met Shelly and some of the locals.  
Upstairs, Alan Roberts and Eric Anderson were getting set up.  Before the
dance, caller Sandy Strand gave a brief beginner's workshop.

Team 2 arrived during the second dance, having ditched Tim's car at his 
new place.  Alan did not wear a skirt during the dance, and it was the 
general consensus among SCDEF's members that, in Yakima, this was probably 
a Good Idea.

The dance was great!  The locals ranged from first-timers to some rather 
skilled experienced dancers.  Included in the crowd were several students 
from CWU, who made the half hour jaunt from Ellensburg for the evening.

At the break, Alan played a hambo and a schottis, dances that apparently 
don't get played very often in Yakima.

Sandy called a few challenging dances, including a four-face-four contra.  
As she was setting it up, I had my doubts about it working, but, by golly, 
it did and was a lot of fun (oh ye of little faith, etc.).

After the dance, the transient wetsiders munched on popovers and chocolate 
at Shelly's, where most of us (Team 1 and the performers) were staying for 
the night (Teams 2 & 3 stayed at Tim's).

Early the next morning, a small away team went birding, returning to Tim's 
in time to join all of us for breakfast.  Following some silliness 
involving cell phones enroute, we descended upon Mel's Diner (good food, 
good service).  During the meal, Tim thanked us for joining him for the 
weekend.  We responded by threatening to "help" him move the next time.

By the way, cell phones are an amusing invention.  They proved very 
entertaining in the hands of the boys in the group.

After breaking fast, we returned to Tim's to gather our stuff and load up 
for the trip home.  Surprisingly, only a pair of shoes got left behind.

Brian transferred from Team 3 to Team 1, who were going to continue their
ornithological pursuits.  Our (Team 1's) route home was by way of I-82
(instead of Yakima Canyon - the time difference we discovered is only
about 15-20 minutes), some sight seeing in Ellensburg (the "insulator
house"), and the Canyon Road between Ellensburg and Cle Elum (also
recommended).  Continuing west on I-90, we noticed fresh snow near the
Stampede Pass exit that wasn't there the day before, and we hit some heavy
rain showers (we also had some hail crossing Manatash Ridge south of
Ellensburg).  It was a nice, sunny day in Seattle when we got home, a 
nice end to a wonderful weekend.

We'd like to thank Shelly and the Yakima contra dance community for a fun
evening, and Sandy, Eric, and Alan for some great dances, and - of
course - Tim for giving us an excuse to do all of this in the first place.  
Gladly, we'd do all of this again.

For those of you who wish to check on the weather that Tim's experiencing, 
see this webpage:


Right now it's overcast.

 ---  ---  ---

A footnote:  There are many regular contra dances in the "hinterlands"  
outside of Seattle.  Like anything else in human affairs, they vary in
character, size, and what not - but they all involve dancing.  Most take
place just once a month, and many live a tenuous existence.  I encourage
the many dancers who attend Seattle dances to consider venturing outside
the city to these other dances.  Your mere presence will help support them
and, by extension, contra dancing in general.  If you are a skilled dancer
and have both the ability and willingness to teach, then please consider
helping dancers at these dances - who typically don't see much dancing -
to improve their skills.  And (this might be a surprise to some), be ready
to learn from them as well.  There is a lot of dancing in this region - go
find it and join in.

Matt Fisher's web page lists nearly all of these dances:


Last update: October 10, 2003 00:22:11 PDT
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