“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – attributed to Groucho Marx
“Wrong.” – Dennis J. Sullivan and Frances Conklin
Visitors to Cottonwood, Idaho are often sightseers; the small town of less than a thousand people is located in a cleared area between Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forests and Wallowa – Whitman National Forest. People come through the town on the way to observe some of the majesty of America’s forestry.
The town has a distinct tourism draw all its own. Dennis J. Sullivan and his wife Frances Conklin are chainsaw artists, sculpting natural wood into a variety of shapes, mostly those of animals. Visitors can see larger-than-life examples of moose, fish and bears on display, and even visit the artists in their workshop (when available.)
The medium they’ve chosen for their art is unusual, but hardly unique. There are a handful of other successful chainsaw artists in America. What makes Cottonwood worth its own trip is Sweet Willy.
Sweet Willy is the world’s largest beagle. Standing at 30 feet tall, he’s the pride and joy of Dennis & Frances… and he’s also a bed and breakfast. The Dog Bark Park Inn is a single-room residence that can be taken up for a night by travelers, although reservations are often required.
As one would hope, pets are allowed if they are well-behaved, although all pets require reservations and must be cleared by the owners beforehand. The place sleeps four and has most basic amenities including a full bath, refrigerator and microwave. Free wi-fi is available, but there is no television or phone provided. If you get bored and don’t have a smartphone or computer, you’ll have to refute Groucho and get yourself a book.
Question of the night: Where’s the worst place you’ve ever had to stay overnight?