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Romantic Hideaways and Other Summer Places

April 13, 1986|JERRY HULSE | Times Travel Editor

I hear the cry of gulls and the pounding of surf . . . the melody of mountain streams and the buzzing of a bee. With springtime's arrival, summer is only a dream away . . . with its long days and warm nights and destinations . . . close and far away.

I have in mind some place where the air is pure and the sky is filled with stars. Colorado, perhaps, and a ranch with the melodic name of Drowsy Water, a gentle hideaway with a stream that flows beside rustic cabins--all this in a narrow valley near Granby. On hot afternoons, guests at Drowsy Water dip into a swimming pool or wade into icy waters that rush from mountains still brushed with snow. Cattle graze and vultures wheel overhead, riding thermals in a sky so blue that one blinks.

I have in mind another guest ranch I visited only last summer, Ah Wilderness, where the meadows are carpeted with wildflowers and a river flows through a canyon as peaceful as the clouds that scud through the Colorado sky. From Durango, guests ride a narrow-gauge train along precipitous cliffs while deer peer from the forest and mists drift from waterfalls.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday April 27, 1986 Home Edition Travel Part 7 Page 3 Column 1 Travel Desk 2 inches; 57 words Type of Material: Correction
In The Times Summer Vacation issue, April 13, mention was made of Ah Wilderness Guest Ranch in Colorado. For the information of our readers, Ah Wilderness has been purchased by the neighboring guest resort, Tall Timber, and will now offer horseback riding to guests of Tall Timber. For other details and reservations, write to Tall Timber, S.S.R., Box 90, Durango, Colo. 81301 or telephone (303) 259-4813.

The ranch with its scattering of cabins is framed by ponderosa pine alongside the Animas River with its deep gorges and raging white water. Because the ranch is remote, guests do without telephones and TV; instead, one learns the pleasure of reading again and hiking in the woods, breathing in the unsullied freedom of this Colorado wilderness with its wind song and the voice of birds.

And there is Oregon's Rogue River with Morrison's Lodge where summer breezes blow through moss-covered forests. At Morrison's, vacationers hike through grass that's knee-deep and laze on the banks of the Rogue and raft downriver to a spot where Zane Grey holed up at China Gulch. Sixteen miles outside Grants Pass, Morrison's is a turn-of-the-century hideaway with country suppers and pies dripping with blueberries that grow wild beside the Rogue.

Morrison's turns out homemade jams and jellies, pickles and spiced figs, sourdough pancakes, baking powder biscuits, stews and chili. Meals are served family-style in the lodge's old-fashioned kitchen and there's a piano in a parlor with picture windows that frame the river.

A silent, haunting slice in southern Oregon, the land surrounding the lodge represents one of the few remaining expanses of unspoiled wilderness in the United States. Bald eagles soar, and black bears fish the river, and both deer and elk roam the forest.

More and more, vacationers are withdrawing to America's wilderness regions. In Yellowstone they join Ralph Miller who leads backpack trips into the wilds of this Wyoming park. Only instead of hikers toting heavy gear, Miller carries it in by horseback--the drop packs, sleeping bags, cooking gear, food and tents.

If camping isn't your thing, a group in Washington state suggests vacationing in a country inn. Kalaloch Lodge rises on a bluff overlooking a beach strewn with driftwood. Inland from the ocean, other vacationers cozy up at Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Forest with a dining room that overlooks the lake.

For other seclusion, there is the Capt. Whidbey Inn on Whidbey Island and Hotel de Haro where Teddy Roosevelt once vacationed on San Juan Island. In Port Townsend a collection of gingerbread mansions provides other shelter for visitors. And in Mt. Rainier National Park it's Paradise Inn with its beamed ceiling and stone fireplaces.

For the vacationer traveling to Expo, Galiano Island outside Vancouver provides other solitude along with the opportunity to fish for salmon and pick blueberries growing wild beside the road. Only 45 miles off the Canadian mainland, Galiano seems a lifetime removed from city stresses. During summer the Friday night ferry from Vancouver is crowded with weekend residents. One islander refers to it as the "refugee boat."

He smiled. "On Sunday night I watch it leave and think, 'You poor devils, going back to that crowded city.' "

If you still wish to duck out on the world, there's the little country town of Makawao on the island of Maui, an up-country hideaway on the slopes of Haleakala. Makawao comes on like some cow town in a TV Western. There's not a beach in sight. No palms or high-rise hotels. Only the fragrance of eucalyptus and cool mountain air. The locals gather at Kau Kau Korner, a 2-by-4 cafe that features saimin and rice, beef hekka, salted cabbage and pork tofu.

Cowpokes with faces like saddle leather crowd the bar at Club Rodeo and Gary Moore sells six shooters at Outdoor Sports. One doesn't come to Makawao to soak rays or show off fashion bikinis. Makawao leaves that to the dudes down in Lahaina. What Makawao features is country atmosphere. Should one decide to lay over, shelter is provided at Kula Lodge: redwood chalets with wood-burning fireplaces, beam ceilings and windows on the world.

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