Traveling the country, a simple red wooden chair has been on a solo adventure, stopping at small country inns since the end of last year.
From July 10th to the 13th, the chair also known as, "Red," will enjoy a stay at The Settlers Inn, located in Hawley, after staying at the Inn at Lake Joseph in Forestburgh, New York. While visiting Settlers, innkeeper, Jeanne Genzlinger said Red will stay on a table in the lobby with his diary nearby, so people can read about his journey thus far.
Red's journey began at the end of 2012 when innkeeper Beth Colt of Woods Hole Inn, posted a picture on Facebook of her chair perched on ice behind her house, leading to many, "likes," and shares that led to a photographer from Santa Barbara who was inspired to take another photo of the chair at a local beach.
Innkeepers since then have photographed the wooden phenomenon as it has stopped throughout the six New England states on a nine month tour and will eventually conclude its trip in California.
Elizabeth Richardson and Brittany Berger from the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau showed Red around the region Thursday. Berger said the women were giving him a little Pocono Mountains day trip, even stopping at one point to pose for a picture with a can of Benjamin Moore paint in town, since Hawley won the company's "Main Street Matters," paint the town contest. Thursday morning, Red visited The News Eagle in the Hawley Silk Mill, Dorflinger Glass Museum for a shot with a piece of Dorflinger's collection, Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center for a brief informative talk about the area and Grey Towers National Historic Site in honor of President John F. Kennedy's dedication of the site 50 years ago. In the afternoon, he enjoyed lunch at Fretta's in Milford, followed by a walk near Bushkill Falls, a hike on the Appalachian Trail, with an end of the day visit to the Pocono Newsroom.
As Red makes his way across the country, innkeepers who are members of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International are transporting him to his various destinations. Berger said Red has become like a travel icon as everyone wants to get their picture taken with the wooden celebrity. Ultimately, as the chair makes its way to California, she said the visitors bureau is excited that Red found his way to the Pocono Mountains. With his stops at the region's attractions, Richardson said the visits are a good way to tie his trip into the many stories that relate to the Pocono Mountains.
Red found his way to Hawley, because the owners of Settlers are members of the association who chose his path. Thursday morning, Genzlinger said people seemed to really enjoy the idea of Red's travels and rather than treating the chair as an object, it became a "him." She said dialogue happened around the chair, as hundreds of photos have been taken, which can be viewed at www.redchairtravels.com or on the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/RedChairTravels?fref=ts.
Page 2 of 2 - The point of Red's trip, she said, is that bed and breakfasts are more of a personal place to stay, and so Red is a symbol of the personal interactions people experience when they stay at inns.
In the diary, Colt wrote that Red is about, "serendipity the chance meetings and encounters that happen across the front desk of an inn and the many connections when we venture from the beaten path and experiment with travel." To Colt, she said, the red chair is about sharing and barn raising and those who interacted with Red became part of the experience.
During the Fourth of July holiday, Red stayed at the ECCE Bed and Breakfast in Barryville, New York where he rode on a float in a parade in Liberty, New York followed by a trip on the Upper Delaware River and toured a rotating art exhibit with a relaxing afternoon break on a hammock that overlooked the river. Someone from that inn, said Red was, "very sociable and mingled with our guests during our afternoon reception," even speed dating with other chairs and bonding with a dog before helping to catch a porcupine. Before the conclusion of that stay, Red visited Bethal Woods Center for the Arts, the original site of the 1969 Woodstock concert where he wished he was a rocker.
Genzlinger said Red's visits will be fun for all of his hosts, and she took a picture of her dog Maxie sitting at the inn's garden. With Red's many experiences, she said the wooden chair has taken on a life of its own. At a concert in Norfolk Connecticut, Red literally received the spotlight for a bit on stage and hung out with other chairs near a pool and hot tub, even sharing some space at a dining table and game table with other chairs. But with the rain Tuesday, one innkeeper wrote that Red spent the day sitting near the desk as guests checked in.
Genzlinger said she was delighted that Red stayed at Settlers and the comradery that he brought. She added that, "its nice to have something to laugh about."