I should mention that we started each day at Emporium Wines and Underdog Café for their excellent coffee and access to wifi, which we couldn’t get at the motel. For some reason I forgot to take photos there, but it figures significantly in our saga, almost as much as the Tavern. Every morning the ladies there greeted us with, “You came back!” Of course we did.
We enjoyed local, organic food at the Sunrise Café, an old standby establishment in town. Typical of our time in YS, we found ourselves in lively conversation with fellow travelers at the next table. We met a lot of people from all over the country during our stay.
Next was an essential walk in Glen Helen Nature Preserve, home of the namesake Yellow Springs, with its irony water and ritual tasting. Mist was rising from the creek. We viewed the waterfall, the Adena native American burial mound, and the waterfall cave.
Then it was on to Peifer Orchards to check out their bountiful harvest and pick up some fresh produce.
We had time for one more favorite park, The Narrows Reserve. Here the evidence of the drought was striking. Where the river used to come up to the path, there were now dry beaches and puddles of stranded fish. Never in our years there had we seen the water so low.
We had a fantastic dinner at Calypso Grill and Smokehouse (Latin-Caribbean cuisine) run by the Sunrise Café owners. Then it was on to our grand finale.
Here’s where serendipity really applied. For a long time we had been hoping the timing of our trip would coincide with Downton Abbey the Movie at the Little Art Theatre, and against all odds it turned out it would. It was the perfect birthday synchronicity, and the ideal retro venue for it. We had grabbed up tickets the moment we arrived in town, just to be safe! The movie did not disappoint. It was beautiful. The packed theatre consisted of old Downton fans who knew the score and appreciated the wry humor and plot twists. It was the perfect end to a perfect YS saga.
We drove straight home after the movie, arriving in the wee hours of Sunday. Misu the cat must have been beside herself during our absence, and it was a relief on both sides to be back. She wouldn’t let us out of her sight after that.
And there you have it–our first annual pilgrimage to Yellow Springs. We made some good new connections, both human and animal, reconnected to old friends and haunts, discovered new places, paid our respects to the dead, and generally had a very fine time, even on a tight budget. There were some mixed/bittersweet emotions for both of us. Tennessee has given me more appreciation for the relative open-mindedness of Yellow Springs, if not Ohio in general. It was nice to talk to more progressive thinkers for a change. Still, it was good to get back and find our house and cat still intact. One never knows, in a place where the Civil War still plays out.