The Red Chair was “found” in New England and is spending 2013 being handed from innkeeper to innkeeper down the East Coast and then west to Santa Barbara. Along the way “Red” is shown the local sites, photographed and “interviewed.” Along the way, it has an amazing ability to cause the “host” to see his/her own area through new eyes.
One of the reasons I volunteered to host the Red Chair is because of my love of photography. I capture sunrises and sunsets, spring flowers and brides marrying at the inn. I also make the photos of the rooms and the inn building which help inform and sell overnight rooms at our B&B. But the real attraction was the “something different” aspect of this visit.
On Saturday, before turning it over to Mast Farm Inn, I read most of the entries from the past summer as the chair visited innkeepers I know in New York and Pennsylvania and a multitude of inns I don’t know in Virginia. It was reading those Virginia entries where the chair made its difference. Each innkeeper took the chair places they think are most interesting in their town, county, and surrounding area. They mention pole-powered ferries, a hanging pedestrian bridge of the Hudson River, views of mountains and quaint country stores and sing-ins–all places I had never heard about but, because, of reading how “Red” enjoyed them, I am motivated to visit.
As it turns out, the Red Chair accomplishes what it set out to do–making innkeeper and visitor alike aware of the many many wonderful places which make us the American landscape.
So, in addition to meeting Elizabethton Star reporter Bryan Stevens at the bridge, I had the fun of photographically turning the Watauga Lake boat ramp near Hampton into an infinity edge overlooking the lake and the dam. I carted it out into a Christmas tree farm with some freshly-created stumps as holiday tree cutting is now going on. There was snow on the mountain, too! And I made a nod to Doc Watson and the indigenous music of this area by photographing Red by the Doc Watson statue in downtown Boone near the Mast General Store. Yes, these are places I often point out to my B&B guests. They are places we can proudly say ‘are like no other.’
While this could have been just another PR project, it really did turn out to be much much more.
Update – Traveling Ducks
I’ve added the “rubber duckies” to this post. I bought the big, plain one in Florida a couple of years ago. He’s ridden on te dashboard of the Prius ever since. Ashley at Hamanassett B&B in Media PA sent me the girl duck with curlers and a coffee cup. It would be fun to take photos of them as they travel the world with us. Ah, shucks, I miss an opportunity in Quebec City AND at the border crossing back into the US last summer. Oh well! As you can see, this photo was made outside my inn; that’s my pantry/kitchen window.
See http://www.RedChairTravels.com for the overall project ( or click the photo)
See Judy’s Facebook page for an album with many of my Red Chair photos.