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Exotic Winthrop

Anyone who belongs to the American Automobile Association (AAA) recieves its semi-monthly magazine, Journey. The lovely cover always shows a teaser, a sort of a thumbnail preview of some of what’s inside.

This January/February issue has, in very bold script: WHERE WILL YOU GO? At the cover’s bottom it offers these rhetorical choices; “The Mediterranean. Palau. Sedona. Winthrop. Northwest Byways & More.”

Palau? Winthrop? Winthrop belongs in the company of exotic places? Compared even to Sedona, that seems odd. But as a teaser it worked, and I turned to page 24.

(Enroute to that page, I encountered “The Cruise of All The Ages,” introduced with a two-page photo of several dozen people, mostly over age 50, all in sun-un-dress sitting around what must be the deck of a ship containing a large swimming pool, blue water in mid picture and in the background a sunny, oh so sunny town. Could’ve been Italy, Greece, but definitely Mediterranean.)

Turning to the two Winthrop pages reveals three photos, starting with a half-page opening close-up photo of three skiers. One does not have a head, apparently cropped in printing, or else by an artsy-fartsy editor. Below that image is a brooding picture of the Sun Mountain wine room and on the half-page conclusion of text is a small picture of the Arrowleaf Bistro.

Oh, I get it. Vacations for every taste - warm sunshine or freeze-your-ass winter sports. Something for everyone. It needs to be pointed out that this is the Western edition of the magazine, thus the inclusion of places like Winthrop and Sedona along with Palau and Italy.

The author of the Winthrop text does a good job of mentioning a wide spectrum of Winthrop stuff ranging from Patterson Lake to The Winthrop Gallery, with Sun Mountain Lodge and the Mazama Ranch House, “...Two of the finest [accomodations]...” with spectacular views...especially when a full moon hangs in the desert sky.” Desert? Is this Winthrop or Sedona? Actually, I know the drill, I used to write gushy travel pieces for golf destinations, and the more rhapsodic the verbiage, the better the editors like it.

I am not knocking it. Travel writers have the reputation of being paragraphical whores, and in some instances (I include myself) this is true. In straight reportage, the subject is a waffle: for travel writing, whipped cream, strawberries, nuts, and a sprig of mint are added to the same waffle to entice the reader. It is not a matter of untruths, just one of (mixing metaphors) adding sizzle to the steak.

I have no idea what that steak business means but it is used a lot, and maybe I will get a bonus check for writing it here. may need some whipped cream words. You are reading one of the nuts.


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