Central Point, Oregon: Though pretty chilly overnight, we really wanted to walk on the Bear Creek Greenway, a miles-long paved path running past this RV park. The path begins a few miles north of this campground and travels south all the way to Ashland. Eventually, the path will be extended miles north and south.
We waited until the temperature climbed a bit, so didn't leave the bus until after 9a. It is a very nice path, but travels next to I-5, so it wasn't exactly a quiet nature walk. Also, we had to walk around a group of people sitting directly on the path smoking meth! After making a U-turn at the end of the paved trail (and having to pass the meth-heads again), I still needed a few steps to complete my 4-mile goal, so walked along the paved paths inside the RV park. Several people were fishing in the Expo ponds. They were not the only fishers today - an osprey was hunting for fish in the lake. We watched the beautiful bird dive several times, but she came-up with empty talons every time.
Dave and I had three destinations on our itinerary today, and you will not be surprised to learn they all included food.
After high-style dining last night, we went casual for lunch today and tried a brew pub in a new downtown development, The Commons. Common Block Brewing Company is located in a brand-new warehouse-styled building, with indoor and outdoor seating, and serves-up family-friendly grub and yummy beers. They vend their own beers and offer guest beers, as well.
The menu is pretty up-scale with wonderful-looking plates coming out of the kitchen to nearby tables. We ordered Common Block brews and looked over the menu. Thank goodness, we do not eat pork - they offer a grilled cheese sandwich filled with bacon mac and cheese. I so would have ordered that carb bomb. Check out their menu. Everything looked so good!
Our server gave us a small supplemental menu, as each month the brewery features produce from a local farm. (Oh, I just love this.) This month the veggies come from the 109-year-old, 4th generation, organic Dunbar Farms in Medford. The menu included a salad, a pizza, and a burger using Dunbar Farm ingredients. Sunday is pizza day at our house, so we ordered the Spring Up! pizza featuring vegetables grown on Dunbar Farms. The ingredients were with grilled onion, lamb sausage, mozzarella, marinara sauce, scallions and crisp parsnips. First time we have had fried parsnips, but I am guessing the parsnips were shaved with a vegetable peeler and deep fried. So good and sweet. We really enjoyed the pizza and our experience at Common Block.
After lunch, we visited an old favorite Medford stop, but one we have not been to in years and years - Harry & David - founded in Medford in 1910. We used to stop at Harry & David every year on the way south to buy hostess gifts for Dave's family in Central California. But one time, after buying a huge bag of goodies, we received a phone call (they had our phone number because we were members of their frequent-flyer program) saying the olive tapenade we had bought was contaminated and to not consume the appetizer. They then went through a bad time financially, went through bankruptcy, but have turned around and are now owned by 1-800-Flowers. Really! Harry & David flagship store
This shop sells nothing anyone really needs (except for a very decent selection of fresh fruits and vegetables), but things we all love. Snacks! Dips! Crackers! Candy! Spreads! They also now carry really a lot of wine. We bought a few things for two young children we adore and a little bit of snack mix. If you are ever on I-5 in southern Oregon, take exit 27 and an hour to peruse the aisles. It's fun and I am sure you can find something you do not need. And bring a friend - I swear half of the stuff in the store is "buy 1, get another at half price" or similar steals and deals.Grange Co-Op in Central Point, Oregon
By now, the sun was shining and the temperature climbed to 73°. A very beautiful day. We returned a few miles north to Central Point and visited another of our favorite haunts - The Rogue Creamery - an Oregon business founded in 1933.The Rogue Creamery truck, parked outside the creamery, is a 1948 Dodge B-Series, built for the US Army during World War II. She was originally green, but is currently painted blue - blue cheese is the famed product of the creamery. The "XX" circled logo is a shout-out to the State of Jefferson (as in Thomas), a 1941 proposal to join portions of southern Oregon and Northern California to create the 51st state. All that wonderful cheese and what did we buy? Butter. The creamery sometimes makes organic butter. It's better with butter!
We didn't return to the bus until after 4p. What a fun day in the Medford/Central Point area except for the creepy meth part. We finally had the cannellini bean stew for dinner - with the shredded leg meat from my duck confit last night. I served it over a bed of arugula leaves. Salad and supper in one bowl.
Until my next update, I remain, your SoOr correspondent.
RV PARK: Southern Oregon RV Park - Everything you could want for a visit to the area. 30 & 50 amp sites, laundry and bathhouses. Along long bike path/hiking trail, dog run, fishing ponds, free wifi, adjacent to county fairgrounds and amphitheater. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. Over 90 sites. No pool. No hot tub. Some freeway noise. We paid $40 for a premium pull-through site.Long pull-through sites Lake for fishing and picnicking Another view of the lake Office