Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cheese, Chocolate, and Wine

And would you have stopped here? We wouldn't have if we had just seen the sign and the building, which was in similar disrepair. But it was a Rachel Ray day -- we had eaten in two of the Ashland restaurants that she had featured and also enjoyed a glassblowing studio and gallery that she had mentioned so we drove 15 miles or so to see -- this.
The Rogue Creamery (http://www.roguecreamery.com) was not impressive; nothing to view through the glass window into the production area. The clerk told me that cheddar cheese is only made there twice a week and the blue cheese -- which is what we had come for -- was made in another facility and she hadn't even seen it?!

But there were samples to try -- of four of their blue cheese varieties, four cheddars, and four flavored curds. Alan was surprised that he could differentiate between the four types of blue cheese and although we choose different favorites, we both agreed that it was the best blue cheese we've ever had.

Rogue will soon be remodeling their historic building and is building a community of cottage industries with tastings. So far there is a lovely chocolatier (http://www.lilliebellefarms.com/)
across the parking lot and the tasting room for two area wineries next door. Worth a side trip.

Oh, and the follow-up...the artisanal chocolates we purchased were feasted on the first day, there is still cheese in our frig that we have been eating daily, and I didn't buy any wine (my two sips were good though; dessert and other sweeter wines which are a good match for my lack-of-fine-wine-discretionary-taste. In fact one of the wines was called a cuvee -- I liked the taste and I like the word but I assume that it is not for the more discerning; it means a blend and reminds me of a soup of leftovers, delicious nonetheless. Any oenophile can correct me here.)

Purple Burl-esque

Would you have stopped here? A purple waterfall beckoned. The woman owner says that they change the various dye colors every week. This was a place of amazing wood furniture and fantasy.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008


Traveling the northern coast of California we too are in awe. These giants which we get to enjoy mostly alone in this off season of travel produce a calming stillness. We stroll rather than walk or hike through them and both feel very peaceful within. The strolls are like a walking meditation. Hard to describe or capture in photos.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Crater Lake Natl Park

Grey and cold but still beautiful...

third photo -- taken at what is supposed to be a wonderful view...
VIEW?? -- where? -- all fog!

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Who Are You Voting For?

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Moved On, Feeling Better, and Loving Ashland

The few days of rest were great and re-energized us...

Went on to Crater Lake -- another Natl Park with gorgeous features, a colorful mountain lake

BUT it was cold, colder, coldest. We drove the park loop, got out at various scenic viewpoints, appreciated and took some photos, chatted with a traveling young man -- carrying both a road bike and an off-road bike and two surfboards -- on his futon-filled, biodiesel car.

The weather pushed us forward again. The coast was cold and rainy and the mountains, colder and grey. So checking forecasts, we decided on a place in-between, one we had been to before.

On the way, we were initiated into the special RVer's group, the Walmart parking lot crowd. Our one night there was actually quite pleasant -- after leaving the comfortable but "primitive" Crater Lake, we wanted cell phone and internet service -- both which were great there in that parking lot. Sometimes when we close up for the night -- draw the curtains and cozy up, we can't really tell where we are...and watching a DVD (that we rented from the convenient Walmart Red Box -- current movies for $1 a night) we couldn't tell that night.

And I had made reservations for the next night in Ashland, OR at a place that sounded sublime...looked great too --

connected to a spa and with mineral pool and tubs. Look at the place:


and it was the most misrepresented place on the trip.

I wish we had taken photos of it -- but we scurried out too fast for that. It was a -- slum. Really run-down with sorry looking Rvs and piles of garbage and a fading canvas geodesic dome for the massage area.

Found another RV campground via the AAA book which has turned out well. Initially we registered for one night and have extended to four nights here.

Alan and I had been in Ashland in 2001 -- and I enjoyed the two plays we went to at the Shakespeare Festival then. But we both were not drawn into the Ashland mystique. We found it stuffy and people generally unapproachable and it was steamy hot and August crowded.

This time we have fallen in love. In four days, we have seen an indie movie and I saw three plays. Alan accompanied me to The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. And I, the theater-crazed of us two, also saw The View from the Bridge and the most outrageous performance of A Midsummer's Night's Dream. And since they were all presented in the same theater, I got to see the festival's amazing changing sets.
There are free pre-performance concerts in the festival square; Disco Organica put on a great show the last couple of nights.

Ashland has a great bike path, a city park, library and bookstores, great reasonably-priced eateries -- we tracked down some that were featured on Rachel Ray's $40 a Day TV show.

Polenta pancakes with berry sauce at one, fantastic paninis and salads at another. And one of the staffers opined that although the piece on the show was positive publicity, Rachel herself was mean and rude....

It is a artistic place -- many galleries and shops, and classes in things we are interested in -- including weaving and glassblowing. Alan also went to an Ashtanga yoga class at one of the two yoga centers here.

A liberal feel in many of Ashland's offerings. While looking for the bike path on Tuesday morning, we stumbled into a great Farmer's Market and later in the week, shopped at the Food Coop -- both a little bigger than those we love in Ithaca.

And this is the only town that Ive seen a sign that said --

Every person in every house on this block is voting for Obama!

I end my love poem here, with thoughts of moving on again later this morning...
there are many more places to fall in love with.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Current Events?

Some of you have asked if we keep up with the NEWS. Of course, we do. If we have internet availability, we peruse the NY Times online; if not, we may listen to NPR on the radio. Many campgrounds sell local newspapers -- which I find interesting in and of themselves -- which have a national section, and we watch the evening news on our TV when cable is available.

Politics have not been mentioned here. Certainly not because we don't have any opinions. Many of you already know what they are -- what we feel strongly about, what we think, and how cynical yet liberal we can be.

But I can't pass up the opportunity to comment about "the other woman." I think she is a fascinating enigma, and represents a wonderful mix of american ideals and myths. It's just too bad that she is being taken seriously as a possible commander-in-chief.

Via email I have received some more articulate analyses of her candidacy. Most notably ones written by Gloria Steinem and Eve Ensler. Also one that suggests we all contribute to Planned Parenthood in the name of Sarah Palin.
Unfortunately, I do not have web links for these. If you would like a copy of any or all of these, please request via email (BHpurple@aol.com). Comments here are also invited.

Here Come's the Sun and Blog Comments

Greetings to all,

So, right after the last entry (We'll Follow the Sun), we literally and figuratively were under the weather. The promised forecast of sun and warmth here inland didn't materialize again till late the next afternoon. And my cold got worse. So the combination of internal and external environments -- made for lethargy. I crawled back into bed.

The sun is now peeking out again just before noon on Friday. The campground is park -like and with trees separating the spaces. It is after Labor Day and so during the week campgrounds are much less crowded -- and also less noisy. We have take a few lazy days...staying around and reading and computing...and strolling to the nearby river park and the calming inspirational CoOp extension gardens.

Some folks have mentioned via email that they are having trouble posting blog comments. We do enjoy reading your emails (to BHpurple@aol.com or nalamg@aol.com -- I don't think I have to explain whose is whose, do I?) but also enjoy the group dialogue the blog invites...so let me know if you are having problems with the blog and we'll see what we can do.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We'll Follow The Sun

"The sun was up when I awakened and the world was remade and shining. There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days and as opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I."
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Couldn't say it near as well. But my mood is definitely dictated by the sun, the weather, the outside. We had tentatively planned some coastal activities -- Alan wanted to take a surf lesson (I am exempt from that activity because I am not a good swimmer) and we were going to rent a 2-person ATV to ride the sand dunes. But it was dreary...continued misty, foggy, grey, and cold. We stopped at a campground which we both found depressing...sort of a parking lot near the dunes.
So, we gave each other "the look" -- and simultaneously said, "Let's move on."

Alan is on the phone at the moment with Rebecca telling her why we left the coast and where we are now...in Roseburg, OR.
Yesterday, as we drove just a half hour inland, the sun appeared, and an hour after that it was warmed into the high 70s.
We found a lovely tree-lined campground bordered by the Twin Rivers park (as its name implies, at the confluence of two rivers, where one can watch the fishers) on one side and lovely gardens tended by local master gardeners on the other.

We just might stay for a few days before moving on to Crater Lake Natl Park. And thinking about later stopping in Ashland to catch a couple of plays at the Shakespeare Festival there. It was an enjoyable spot on our last trip this way and that time we didn't stay in RV parks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Crabby Story

Just a couple of days after we met the crabber on the beach (entry below), we got to go crabbing with our old friend, Jan.

We went to pick up his boat from storage to tow it to the dock and -- the battery was dead.

We went out to the dock anyway, intending to rent a boat and -- there were none available.

So, we decided to join others who were crabbing from the dock. We caught two crabs, a female and an undersized male (by a tad) and - had to throw them back.

We went to the port to buy fresh tuna off the boat and -- they were all out.

We went to the local seafood store and -- they had only one pound of tuna left for sale.

And -- it was an absolutely wonderful day.
Sunny and funny, and spent with old friends, kibbutzing and catching up, and sharing a great home-cooked meal (that one pound of tuna and also halibut, grilled, with a spread of tasty accompaniments) with Jan and Trish in their lovely Newport home.

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Beach "Survivors"

Another Oregon beach. Couldn't tell if these two were building a home or going to make an audition tape for "Survivor." Had a lovely conversation with them (loved their attitude, world view, and his tee-shirt). And it was their -- Dream -- for the day. They had recently used a similar structure on another beach that someone else had made and left there for others enjoyment. That's what they were doing too. Since this was built on a day-use only beach...after they finished the construction of this "2 room, roofed" lean-to, they would build a fire and stay until the park closed. ((Hey, John and Carly, if you are reading this -- drop us a line!))

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Everyone Loves A Parade - Part 1

We don't usually enjoy parades -- they often seem too militaristic and many of the folks participating don't look like they are enjoying themselves.

But this was some parade. Started out pretty "normal" -- with a marching band or two. Evolved into some silly and some beautiful -- creative and energetic people and their floats. I took tons of photos...here are some.

Where and Why:
We were planning to meet Susan and Tim in Eugene for the weekly Saturday Market -- farmer's market and craft fair. And stumbled into this Eugene Celebration Weekend Parade. Beautiful weather, great crowd, and, as you can tell from the photos, this is a liberal town. Alan said he saw more tie dye that day then he did in all of the '60s!

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Parade - Part 2

Electric cars, nudists, and Obama supporters....an enterprising journalist could make some headline out of that.
Anyone care to try? Should we have a contest for the best caption? And, if so, what would the prize be?

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Another Day Touring Oregon

Haystack Rock, Oregon Coast

Tllamook Cheese Factory

A scenic ocean view from forest trail, Cape Lookout
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A Crabby Story - Part 1

The Great White Hunter...

we met him on Cannon Beach. Made crabbing look so easy.

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A Crabby Story - Part 2

(Warning: Vegetarians, you may want to avert your eyes)

After the catch...man shares his bounty (at least a look at it). He was trying to get ten to feed himself and four friends. Nice beach activity -- watching and chatting with him and his cronies. Anyone hungry for Dungeness?

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oregon coast

Lovely day, beach walks and views and cute coastal towns -- and, of course, more local seafood to savor.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008