Ellensburg, Washington

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 | All Things, Eats, Travel

Lacking the youthful exuberance and temperament for festival camping, our group had booked two nights in Ellensburg, Washington, a 40-minute scenic drive from the Gorge Amphitheater. Our Holiday Inn Express was full of like-minded, similarly delicate (read: old) Sasquatch attendees this Memorial Day weekend.

After Michael Stipe kept us up late last night — has a hot shower ever felt more heavenly than after a long day spent outdoors? — we settled in for a leisurely morning exploring our surroundings. To answer NO’s query: this town of 15,000, incorporated in 1883, was so named in 1889 by its first postmaster John A. Shoudy, after his wife Mary Ellen.

Ellensburg’s raison d’etre is Central Washington University. MT observed that the streets were very similar to those of Ithaca… down to the signature area gorges. Our plan this morning was to visit the Yellow Church Café on South Pearl Street – a converted 1923 German Lutheran church popular among the locals for its [secular] weekend brunch. We arrived, however, to find a small crowd already gathered in the foyer: though classes were out for the semester, the otherwise sleepy college town was descended upon by Sasquatch visitors, and our party of five was advised of a half hour wait for a table. Just in case we were nostalgic for home.

Being somewhat less enthusastic about this early afternoon’s musical lineup, we were in no urgent rush to head out to George. And the delay gave us some time to walk the pretty streets of historic downtown.

This densely decorated two-story red wood frame house, known as Dick and Jane’s Spot, is the project of local artists Dick Elliott and Jane Orleman, who have dedicated their home and yard to showcasing their own and the work of dozens of other artists.

Back at the cafe, we waited a bit more until at long last our party was called up and seated upstairs in the former choir loft, from which we had a birdseye view of the main dining room and open kitchen.

CF and MT were running late for their scheduled visit to the Chimposium, so we started off by requesting a cinnamon roll for the table – warm, sweet and enormous… plenty satisfying, even split five ways. No doubt each wedge still packed the caloric punch of a full breakfast. (Fortunate, as our friends hardly had time to taste their meals before dashing off to campus to communicate with the chimpanzees.)

From among the mouth-watering list of “Praiseworthy Breakfasts,” I ordered the “Huevos Rancheros” — minus the cheddar — seen here. (“St. Benedict‘s Eggs” and “Pagan Pancakes” were also options.)

Worth the wait, and it did get me to church on Sunday after all.

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There are 2 Comments ... Ellensburg, Washington

May 30, 2008

Any word on how the Chimps fared?

May 30, 2008

Good fun at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI), I heard. Maybe CF can fill in details upon her return.

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