dant: part two – the magic

There is no time here. Watches are removed and clocks cease to exist. The day’s rhythm is marked by the earth’s rotation and the natural rhythm of the sun as it rises and sets. Leisurely breakfasts of pancakes, bacon and strong coffee are followed by morning hikes up into the hills or along Eagle Creek.

Sumner staying cool in Eagle Creek during a morning hike/rescue of rainbow trout and steelhead minnows.

Henrik climbing the stile after a short hike up Eagle Creek.

Afternoons are spent reading on lounge chairs while moving in and out of the sun-dappled shade or dipping your toes (and your whole body if it’s hot enough) into the cool rushing waters of the Deschutes. Winters are centered around the fireplace or long hunts in the hills for chukkar. And the flyfishing is to die for.

All you need is a lounge chair, a good book, a close friend and the warm sun. I nearly finished a 400+ page book over the holiday weekend. Can’t remember the last time I got to do that.

My view while reading.

Mark and Eliot taking a swim in the river.

Dipping our toes into the Deschutes River after successfully transporting nearly 200 minnows from Eagle Creek.

A few of the rescued steelhead and rainbow trout.

Cocktail hour marks the beginning of the evening festivities, with yummy hors d’oeuvres followed by late evening meals dining al fresco under the increasingly starry night sky. In the winter Guido’s special garlic and olive infused martinis warm us all up. In the summer we drink cirtus and mint infused elixirs called Bootlegs, named after Minnesota’s signature country-club cocktail which originated at Woodhill in Wayzata. It tastes just as good along the banks of the Deschutes as it does near the lapping shores of Lake Minnetonka.

Cocktail hour begins after the sun dips behind the hills.

What makes this place special also contributes to its edge. With no radio, television, or cell reception of any kind you are both cut off from the news (ahhh relief) and emergency service (yikes). Dangers abound at Dant, but we are all aware of them and balance our curiousity with cautiousness. The nearest hospital is just under two hours away. With rattlesnakes and scorpions around (both of which were seen and/or caught during this last weekend trip) we all take a crash course in wildlife habitat so we can be wary of places where these creatures like to hole up. The trade-off is worth it. Being allowed (or forced as the case may be) to unplug is a precious gift these days and one that we soak up like it was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Sumner with what I think is a blue racer. (I just know how to identify the poisonous snakes from the harmless ones.)

I woke up on Sunday knowing that half way around the world Nadal was battling for his eighth grand slam title. Though I couldn’t watch it I wore my hat emblazoned with his Spanish bull symbol. I didn’t hear the results until later that afternoon when a friend arrived from town which is rare. Usually we have to wait until our drive home for news to reach our ears.

I thought long and hard before asking Mark to tell me who won. Part of me wanted to wait until I returned home to watch the match I’d taped, but in the end I couldn’t go one more second. Fortunately the news was good. Nadal had indeed won his second Wimbledon and eighth grand slam title (tying him with Agassi, Connors, and Lendl for fourth most grand slams won.) I screamed for joy and was secretly glad it was an easy victory. If it had been another momentous Wimbledon final such as had been seen the past few years I would have felt a tinge of regret… ah, but on second thought maybe not. Dant does that to you. It’s just that magical.

All eyes are glued on the spectacular fireworks that Mark treated us with.

5 thoughts on “dant: part two – the magic”

  1. Those are the most awesome photos Lee. If I could have spent my fourth of July like that i could not have asked for better. You are such a lucky girl to have Dant in your life. Every one looks so happy and healthy. THank you so much for sharing your story and photos! Love, Gretel

  2. I am seeing all of this for the first time. Including The Long Way Home.
    I moved back to my home town of New Orleans in 2009 after 20 years in the SF Bay Area (Pacifica mostly) and 10 years in Colorado and Seattle
    I am a life long Flyfisherman and have fished the Deschutes, and all over the Rocky Mountain West.
    I found Dant today via Google Earth then arrived here with you.
    Is it even possible to plan a stay in Dant? Either way I will be showing your blog, your narrative and pics of Dant to my partner Jennifer. Probably tonight!
    Our kind of place.
    Incidentally I am a licensed clutural tour guide in New Orleans. If you ever need information or recommendations on any aspect of a visit to our fair city, don’t hesitate to ask and I would be happy to oblige!
    Thanks so much Laurie.
    Pat Tinch & Jenny Golden
    New Orleans, Louisiana

    Wed, September 4th 2019

    1. Hi Pat,
      Sorry it took a bit of time to respond. I was traveling overseas.
      Dant is an incredibly special place but it’s not open to the public. Most people probably see it when they float down the Deschutes River, but it’s private property.
      You’ve lived in some incredibly beautiful places. New Orleans is one of my favorites and would love to connect next time I’m there. It sounds like we have mutual passions. I don’t update my blog as much as I used to and direct most of my energy to instagram. If you’re so inclined please connect with me there. @lauriematthews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s