Ren Klein

Elsewhere Studios sits in its own little park with a wonderful, old elm tree and a stream (okay,

it’s an irrigation channel, but it might as well be a stream!). It’s right around the corner from

Paonia’s main street, and thus very convenient, but you feel like you’re tucked away—indeed,

elsewhere. If you don’t have a car you don’t have to worry about not having access to what you

need, because there is plenty here, but if you’re more ambitious there’s a full-sized super-

market about ten minutes away in the next town, not to mention a Walmart less than forty-five

minutes away, if all else fails.

Paonia sits in a lovely green valley filled with pastures and fruit orchards, the result of irrigation

from the river that snakes through town. (You can hike up the hill behind the town for a great

view of the green bowl tucked between the brownish hills). If you first enter the town from the

South, you don’t realize what a lovely residential neighborhood is tucked away behind the

business district. It’s shaded by tremendous old trees and has a lovely park near its center (just

be sure to walk far enough to find it!)

On all but the hottest days (I was here during the summer), the high-desert air cooled down

after sunset and I was able to go jogging up 3 rd Street and over to the park. There are a lot of

cats in Paonia (and no doubt very few rodents!), and many of them are quite sociable. I had a

favorite little all-black longhair who would usually come off her porch to greet me. Put a little bit

of white paint down her back and she could easily pass for “Penelope,” the cat in Pepe Le Pew,

“la belle femme skunk fatale”—“les mew, les purr” was her favorite (only) thing to say.

Finally, anyone who is a resident at Elsewhere Studios must be sure to visit nearby Gunnison

National Park and especially Black Canyon, which is only about 30 minutes away from Paonia

by car. The canyon is truly in the same league as the Grand Canyon, but has the advantage of

being off the beaten path and thus unspoiled by throngs of tourists. In addition to the canyon,

which is at the far south end of the park, the ”West Elk Loop” takes about four hours (not

including stops) and makes for a wonderful drive around the whole park – highly recommended!