Monday, September 28, 2009

Loleta and Fortuna, CA

South of Eureka, CA, we found two memorable places:

* The Loleta Cheese Factory. Nice cheese, sensibly priced. Like a (very) small town Tillamook,
for you Northwesterners.

* In Fortuna, The Kinetic Sculpture Museum. Now here's a place devoted to whimsy. In May, the locals hold the longest human powered sculpture race in the world.

A few of the racing machines.

2009 marked the 41th run. The race has evolved from a short street course to 42 miles of sand, water, pavement, hills, more water, roads and freeways from Arcata to Ferndale. Check out the race rules on that web site above for a sense of the insanity involved.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Samoa Cookhouse near Eureka, CA

Today we ate at the famous Samoa Cookhouse, on a seaside peninsula west of Eureka, CA. Ed, our brother-in-law and husband of Pat, Jenna's sister on her parents' side, a blood born social working nurse married to an airliner who flies the country in search of distant home cooked meals he never forgets I lost the thread.

Eureka, I found it! Ed has traveled to Eureka and will instantly mention the Samoa Cafe. He still whispers the name occasionally in his sleep, tho less often over the years, much to Pat's relief. We hope he won't regress after seeing these photos. But a picture is worth a thousand red potatoes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ashland, OR

We spent a week in Ashland, Oregon. South Oregon sure is beautiful, with rolling hills and valleys, normally temperate weather, and a buncha culture.

Exhibit number one for the latter - The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Founded in 1935, the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) ranks among the oldest and largest professional non-profit theatre companies in the nation. Three modern theatres inhabited by a superb troupe, perform Shakespeare plays, other classics, and modern works. One of the theatres is designed as an Elizabethan Stage, with 1,200 seats. In addition, we found other theatre companies and a town with shops named on Elizabethan and Shakesperean themes.

We attended four productions in seven days.
1 Glengarry Glen Ross at the Oregon Stage Works, written by David Mamet.
2 What’s Going On, at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, a 70s music review.

And finally two superb productions at OSF:
3 Don Quixote, an imaginative presentation of the Spanish classic written in 1605/1615. Over the top stage craft, including rolling toy ducks, stylized sheep, noble steed Rocinante comprised of actors playing his front and rear quarters. A child's tricycle made up as squire Sancho Panza's donkey. Wonderful.
4 Paradise Lost, written in 1935 about the impact of the Great Depression on an extended Jewish family in the Bronx. Poignant in its own right, with meaningful performances and pithy dialogue, it holds greater meaning now in the midst of the greatest economic setback since that time. So sad to see how little has changed.

We hope to return each Spring to see new productions.

We also enjoyed the Emigrant Lake RV park, a county facility just outside of town. This picture says it all.

More about this week in the next posts.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jacksonville, Oregon

During our final day in the Ashland area, we took ourselves over to nearby Jacksonville. This quaint village, formerly an 1850s gold rush town, hosts the Britt Music Festival each summer in a naturally formed outdoor amphitheater. Very nice.

See da deer?
Maybe doubleclick pic to see it.

But more importantly, we found MacLevin's, a pretty good Jewish delicatessen. Enough already with the fake delis selling sliced turkey, watches, and gasoline. This was the real deal, with fine corned beef and egg cream sodas. A good time was had by all.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Crater Lake National Park

During our week staying in Ashland, we drove two hours north to Crater Lake National Park. Even tho we lived in WA for 15 years, we never made the 700 mile round trip to this natural wonder.

A few days ago, we remedied that mistake. Count us as the latest visitors surprised by the bright blue lake, made so by the pure and deep water within. Formed 7,700 years ago, before the Internet, the 12,000 foot tall volcano collapsed during a major eruption and formed a 4.5 to 6 mile wide caldera. Rainwater and runoff fill the opening, creating the purest large body of water in the world. The park contains old growth forests and wildlife.

Like many major national parks, this one includes a lovely lodge, offering rooms and fine dining. We partook of the latter. Hope to spend more time in this park in the future.


Saturday, September 19, 2009


In the past few months, Clancy has shown a determined interest to ingest inedible objects
1 Tissues
2 Paper towels
3 Stones of all shapes and sizes
4 Twist ties! (Close one.)
5 Steel wool!! (Pulled out of his throat.)
6 A fishing lure with two treble hooks!!! (Pulled it out of his mouth.)

Today, while on a walk, he removed a sock from a neighbor's sneaker. Swallowed it with determination but no relish.

Two hours later, a local vet put some medication in his (Clancy's) eye to induce vomiting. Out came the correct sock.

Nicely clean matching sock, held by nice neighbor.

Neighbor sock after Clancy treatment.

Crisis over...for now.

We have given Clancy a middle name: "Hoover."

Still taking offers on a one year old Australian Terrier. Nick name - "Hoover." We will pay shipping. Actually, we will pay you to take him.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Evidence of The Existance of God

We don't shop at Walmart.

We never shop at Walmart.

The WalMart You Don't Know web site
Don't Shop Walmart web site
Walmart is the Spawn of the Devil/Dick Cheney web site

No Walmart. Period.

Except this once. Tried in vain to find another source for the Consumer Reports Best Buy TV. (Yeah, we're finally buying a TV. We have dipped our toes back into the cesspool of popular culture. Was that too harsh?)

Back to Walmart. :< Reluctantly stopped at Walmart in Talent, Oregon to purchase said TV. I wear my shades and trench-coat, in 90 degree temperature. Jenna dresses all in black. Johnny Cash did not shop at Walmart.

Clerk goes back to the stock room for a new TV.

Bam, the lights go out! No electricity!! Can't buy a TV...or anything. (Boy, that gallon jar of pickles sure looked good.)

The staff herded us to the front of the store. And out to the street.

We depart Purgatory unsated.

But we went back. This time, the store burst into flames.

Ha ha! No. We turned to salt.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grants Pass, Oregon

We stopped for two night in Grants Pass, on our way to Ashland. We had heard from several people about the wonderful community there. We also spent an evening with a couple we met at Fort Stevens, fellow park hosts.

So we go to the Chamber of Commerce for information on the town and surrounding environs, expecting glowing reports of harmony and comity. Glance at the local newspaper. "...five of the eight members of the Grants Pass City Council have been recalled." As in voted out of office prematurely. Just folks, I reckon.

We spent two nights at beautiful Josephine Schroeder County Park on the edge of town. Tall trees, well kept, good utilities. Tho we were forced to move to a new site the second day because the host had not posted the upcoming site reservations. Maybe one of those unemployed council members could do a better job.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


One last wistful walk on the beach.

One last night lulled to sleep by the roaring ocean.

One last time prying Clancy off a seabird carcass.

Tomorrow we hitch up and head south and east, saying farewell to the Pacific for nine months. First stop - Grants Pass, Oregon, reportedly a nice community. Then a week in Ashland, Oregon, home of several theatre companies.

We have already made plans to return to the Oregon coast next year. July and August as Fort Stevens hosts again. June hosting at Alfred A. Loeb State Park, a river front Oregon state east of Brookings, just north of the California border.

Coupla last pics of the coast.



PS We are now thinking about spending the winter in Tucson, rather than Yuma. Tucson is a more cosmopolitan area, and the desert is greener.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Agness, Oregon

Jenna wanted to see Agness, Oregon, a little hamlet on the Rogue River. Nice advertisement in a local brochure. Sure!

So, a few days ago, we set off to see Agness. Take a nice 35 mile drive along the river. Two companies run jet boat tours up the river, one stopping at the Lucas Lodge in Agness for fried chicken that can't be beat. Good enough for us!

Did I mention the fried chicken? Never hurts to check.

Oooh, very narrow roads, drop offs, ruts, ruts, ruts.

But don't forget the fried chicken. OK!We get to the turnoff for Agness. The roads narrow further, seldom two full lanes, sometimes only one, no lines at all. Wouldn't wanna drive this at night, even for fried chicken.

The Lucas Lodge was just beautiful, an old but nicely kept property with down home folks about. Not so many now after the season.
"You want lunch? We just finished serving lunch. Did you call?"

"But we have some cold chicken in the refrigerator I can serve you." Seeing NOTHING else about, we agreed.

We waits about 15 minutes. Enjoys some fresh sweet corn and bread and lemondade.

Waitress finally appears with a cold cut sandwich. "Sorry, we don't have leftovers after all."

A cold cut sandwich. For the two of us. Not even a chicken sandwich.

Did I mention the fried chicken? Never hurts to check. Should have.

People starving all over the world. We appreciate. Tho....

Then we drive back down the very narrow roads, drop offs and ruts.

So we come to an understanding, Jenna and I. For the next year, Jenna will say nothing about any boner Netflix movies I might rent. She forgets? I just say, "Agness."

Sure do like movies by that Paris Hilton. Now there's a fried chicken!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Irelands Ocean RV Park at Gold Beach, OR

After three easy days of driving down the Oregon coast, we have returned to Gold Beach.
We plan to spend two weeks on the beach before turning inland.

I know, I know, you're saying, "Better you than us."

We agree!