Run for the Border 2016

by Dennis Peterson

It’s come and gone and the memories linger – so much fun! Here’s a photo that defines the moment – wife Nancy Peterson and Colette Biele enjoying the music and atmosphere at the Pastime Bar and Grill:

Nancy and Collette ~ Photo by Leah Palmer

Nancy and Collette ~ Photo by Leah Palmer

Saturday morning began early for myself and Joseph Enzensperger racing against the weather to complete the outdoor stage to be used by the Road Dawgs band coming up from Riverside. Was not to be. With showtime slated for 11:00 am and a steady downpour, Tim Naillon from the Pastime Bar and Grill said to set up indoors and so we did. A power outage that morning put food prep behind a bit, but by noon the band, Lota Duarte, son Mike Duarte, Brock Hires, and “Hillbilly” Mike Blakley were pounding sound into the streets of Oroville. Didn’t take long for the dampened throngs to find warm hospitality, hot food, and good music. And Lordy was the music good.

Lota Duarte and son Mike ~ photo by Leah Palmer

Lota Duarte and son Mike ~ photo by Leah Palmer

This is a band that inspires movement and smiles. That means happy dancers and that’s what we got. Anyone’s guess if it was the rain pouring down or the music pouring out the open doors and windows, but the place was soon packed. No spirits were damped!

The Road Dawgs ~ photo by Leah Palmer

The Road Dawgs ~ photo by Leah Palmer

Speaking of happy, Tim was in the kitchen trying his best to stay ahead of food orders and was seen to be head banging and dancing at the grill and the wait staff were dancing back and forth picking up and delivering orders. The Road Dawgs were having so much fun they blew past the end of show time and kept going and going. Lota said “I don’t know about alla y’all, but we’re having a blast!” Nothing feeds energy into a band like an appreciative and enthusiastic audience and Oroville has the best.

Mike Duarte on bass guitar ~ photo by Leah Palmer

Mike Duarte on bass guitar ~ photo by Leah Palmer

Mike Duarte was all over the bass lines and delivered hard rocking vocals, and Brock Hires, who plays every instrument known to mankind filled in the middle with vocals, keyboard and guitar leads, and Mike Blakley dished up tight rhythms on the drums. It was a solid performance by everyone but there’s something compelling about Lota’s saucy vocals and acoustic guitar that makes the whole show work. The band is appearing regularly around our beautiful Okanogan so watch the calendar here to stay up on where they appear next, and don’t miss them!

It didn’t end there – the Rally at the Border team brought in musicians from all over the PNW and the music continued well into Friday evening with the Jones Street Boys at Veranda Beach, Tuck Foster and the Mossrites at the Pastime followed by an all-star jam, and then started over again the next day at the wineries, and Alpine Brewery with the Deep Water Blues Band, and Polly O’Keary, then Voodoo Church and Lisa Mann back at the Pastime. Esther Bricques hosted our friends the Slippery Slope Band, and Taber’s Copper Mountain barn hosted Clay Warnstaff and Mike Chappel aka the Harley Hunks. And on Sunday Esther Bricques hosted the Mood Swings trio – an engaging and fun trio of women who sing tight harmonies and music that spans several generations – a little something for everyone. If you missed the music at the wineries then you also missed the barrel tasting and there are some awesome offerings coming out of our Okanogan Wineries this year.

Big thanks to Leah Palmer for the awesome photos. More to see in the usual places at Facebook and also to Joseph Enzensperger for volunteering his stage and valuable time to help set it up.

What a fun time to be Okanogan!

John Jones and Reed Engle are the acoustic bookends of the well-known and loved Hippies on Vacation band in the north Okanogan but occasionally they will play as a duet. And that is what greeted us at the Esther Bricques Winery Music Garden Thursday, Aug 6. And what a sweet evening of music they gave us.

John and Reed have been playing together so long it seems they’ve developed a silent language between them that creates an oh-so-tight bond between their instruments. Their strums, picking, and playing in parts is brilliant, at times spicy, highly dynamic, and moving to the soul. The very gentle vocals complete a performance of soft tonalities, soothing words, spirited rhythms, easy listening.

John Jones and Reed Engle

John Jones and Reed Engle

Enough can’t be said for the beautiful grounds Steve and Linda Colvin have created around the Esther Bricques winery. A broad expanse of green lawn, age-old trees, fields of grapes, and a vista usually reserved for postcards embrace the visitors, and the expertly crafted wines and fabulous breads, cheeses, snack crackers and fruit complete the relaxing experience and feeling you are among the best of friends. This is a very family-friendly winery, and toddlers dancing to the music bring smiles while the older kids keep family pets busy fetching toys or playing in the sprinklers. Make the time to visit each Thursday evening to enjoy this experience.

Last night’s dinner at Ali Nakkour’s fabulous Sully’s Restaurant in Loomis was over-shadowed, literally,  by the smoke from the Newby Lake fire that appears to have been reborn. Wild fires have a horrific side, but nature has a way of presenting a beautiful side to things. These photos were taken on the road from Loomis to Nighthawk. We also caught a group of goats right across the road from Sully’s having an evening meal.

These fires remind us of the great risk our fire fighters take and everywhere in the North Okanogan there are signs posted by families and businesses giving heart-felt thanks for the work they do.

I have to add a plug for Ali Nakkour and his family – they have the best menu you’re going to find in the North Okanogan, and there are fire fighters all over the area that will attest to that and the personable hospitality you find there. And they’re now featuring your favorite Esther Bricques wines! Let them know you appreciate their support for the most beautiful community you’ve never heard of.

 

Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake

Newby Lake Fire Near Palmer Lake

Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake

Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake

Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake

Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake

Goats at Sully's Restaurant

Goats at Sully’s Restaurant

Photos by Nancy Peterson