June 24 – July 26, 2021
Leaving the smokejumpers museum, we cruised back to Cave Junction for lunch at Taylor’s Sausage, a regular stop for us each time we visit the area. Although they feature an extensive menu of eat in and to go items, we always land on the same couple of options, usually a hot dog or polish sausage and a beer from their thoughtfully curated draft beer options.
The next day we set out for a short hike on the Limpy Botanical Loop Trail, an easy trek that was just the ticket for an older guy like me with lower back problems. My days of hiking more than a few miles are over, much to my dismay, an activity that used to bring me so much joy and occupied so much of our time outdoors. Just a few years ago I hiked multiple ten-mile days on the Camino de Santiago before the pain that troubles me now put an end to this pilgrims hiking. Fortunately, we saved our pilgrimage by renting bikes, the sport that now sustains me. The lesson here is don’t take for granted what you can do today because tomorrow it might be gone.
From there we drove into Grants Pass for lunch at Cartwright’s Market, where our good friend Mark (we’d see him in just a day or two) was a butcher for many years. You order your sandwich at one counter, your craft beer at another and when called pick them up for consumption. We ordered a whole Turkey and Swiss on Sourdough thinking it would be just enough for us to split. We came to discover that it is two good sized sandwiches, so we ate one and took the other back to Kamp to eat later.
On the way home we stopped to pick up Joanna’s birthday dinner (Lemon Basil Shrimp, Lasagna, Chicken Marsala, Boscaiola, Chocolate Ganache, and Crème Brule) at The Vine, a place we’ve not been to before that is one of Kathy and Tom’s new favorites. It’s a shame we couldn’t eat it all at the restaurant as the 30-minute drive home didn’t allow it to be presented in its best light, but that being said, it was all good, particularly the Shrimp and the Boscaiola.
Normally we would have spent one more night at Kamp Angst, but scheduled doctor’s appointments for Kathy and Tom the next day required us to overnight elsewhere. We’d thought about extending our stay at our next stop in Gold Beach on the coast, but it was the beginning of the holiday weekend (4th of July) and another night there wasn’t available. That’s when we hit upon the idea of spending the night in Grants Pass, something we’d not done before, which would give us an opportunity to spend more time with Mark.
But first, we got in a bike ride in the morning of our departure, a familiar loop that first takes us down Thompson Creek to Lakeshore Drive, then past the lake and out to the highway. Turn right and go to Deer Creek Road which meanders back to Lakeshore. Back up Thompson Creek bypassing Forest Creek to climb up the hill on the other side of the creek, eventually descending back to Kamp.
Heading into Grants Pass, we’d be staying at the Knight’s Inn, conveniently located in the heart of the central business district, and easy walking distance to the restaurants we’d consider selecting for that evening. Affordable by Grants Pass standards ($120 a night with taxes) we found the staff to be friendly, the room large enough for our needs, and very clean.
We killed some time in the room getting set up (I did have one problem with the WIFI, which I would come to discover the next day was due to my having selected the wrong hot spot to connect with) and then set out for the two block walk to meet Mark at a place we been to twice before with Kathy and Tom, the Bohemian Bar & Bistro.
Mark was already there and had secured a table for us, a good thing as the place filled up as our evening progressed. He is doing well, living with one of his daughters in a large house with his own separate space and providing childcare several days a week. Joanna started with a Mezcal Old Fashioned and I had one with whiskey. An order of Crispy Gyoza (Chicken and vegetable dumplings with teriyaki-soy dipping sauce) started us on the food side of the equation.
We followed that with some Crispy Cheese Curds with House Marinara and the Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Lettuce, chicken, house Teriyaki Sauce, green onion, garlic, celery, chow mien noodles, rice noodles with peanut sauce on the side), both very good while Joanna completed here drinking with a Missy’s “Hot Pama Peach” (House infused Habanero/mandarin vodka, Pama pomegranate liqueur, peach puree, simple syrup) and I a glass of chardonnay.
The beauty of our travels is this gift of seeing friends and keeping friendships alive better than any phone or written correspondence can do. With a less than three-hour drive to our next stop, Gold Beach on the Coast, we had time dawdle in the morning. We started off with a great breakfast at Lulu’s, just down the block from the Bohemian. Unfortunately, a later search for the site revealed that the then owners closed it permanently on July 3rd, just days after our visit. It appears new owners have taken over and one hopes that they will find success in a tough business.
Seated inside, we ordered Beignets with Lemon Curd and Salted Caramel sauces for Joanna and for me an omelet with onions, fresh tomato, spinach and swiss. Thinking the New Orleans style treats would be the size we’re familiar with, we were pleasantly shocked when they arrived, two softball-sized deep fried and powdered sugared sweet bombs that no normal human should be reasonably expected to finish. But we did.
Finished, we waddled back to the car and drove a couple of blocks away to park in front of The Glass Forge Gallery and Studio. A large building with an expansive workshop in the back and retail shop in the front, we wandered around checking out the creations for sale. Joanna inquired about the reasonably priced “Make Your Own” offering, thinking we’d kill a couple of hours and go home with a unique souvenir, only to discover that the process takes 24-hours as the glass object needs to cool overnight.
We did buy a lighted base to illuminate the glass paperweight I’d given to Joanna for her birthday the day before, so we didn’t leave empty handed and we now had yet another reason to spend some time in Grants Pass in the future, a sure bet since we will return, as we have done for so many years to visit Kamp Angst and the jolly caretakers there.
Taylor’s Sausage: https://taylorsausage.com/
Limpy Botanical Trail: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/rogue-siskiyou/recreation/recarea/?recid=70578
Cartwright’s Market: https://www.cartwrightsmarket.com/
The Vine: https://www.dineatthevine.com/
Knight’s Inn: https://knights-inn-motel-grants-pass.booked.net/
The Bohemian Bar & Bistro: http://bohemianbarandbistro.com/
The Glass Forge Gallery and Studio: https://glassforge.com/