Laura (Mrs. WINEormous) and I headed up the mountain to Idyllwild a few weeks back to catch the tail end of this bucolic town’s annual Art & Wine Walk. The Art Alliance of Idyllwild each year invites visitors to tour the galleries while sipping wine and eating cheese and crackers. While prior commitments prevented us from enjoying the walk, we came up in time for the Alliance’s barbecue dinner at the Quiet Creek Inn. Crispin Courtenay joined Alliance board member Gary Kuscher at the grill. The two prepared a delicious feast of barbecued ribs and chicken with salad and beans. We enjoyed dinner while listening to great music from Faultline(Harry Joe Reynolds, Kathleen Johnson and Lenny Hansel), playing instantly recognizable songs from the 60s and 70s.

Weather in the valley had been warm, but as evening settled over Idyllwild an almost wintry chill set in. We visited with Ed and Claire Kruger from Sunshine Mountain Vineyard and tasted their San Marcos wines and also spent time with Chris and Melody Johnston from Middle Ridge Winery. Later, Laura and I joined Crispin and the Johnstons at their beautiful Idyllwild home. Crispin prepared some tasty treats for us in the kitchen while we enjoyed a good visit.

It was a crystal clear night and we took advantage of the clear mountain air to indulge in a little star gazing. Idyllwild is a special place and the two of us plan on spending more time there. It’s an artist’s delight and an easy drive from the Temecula Valley. Next year we’ll make sure our calendar is clear so we can participate in the art walk.


Crispin Courtenay, Gary Kuscher, Chris & Melody Johnston

Lea Deesing, James Larkin, Mimi Lamp & Gary Kuscher - Members of The Idyllwild Art Alliance Board