Canyonville, Oregon: Today we were tourists in Our Own State and every place we visited had something to do with food. I’m sure you are shocked.
Before leaving the oh-not-so-lovely KOA this morning, we drove the Honda a few miles to Central Point to visit The Rogue Creamery. This small (30 employee) artisan creamery has long been a favorite at our house. Rogue Creamery produces exclusively cows-milk cheeses and only two varieties – blue cheese and cheddar – but with many flavors. Of course, the milk comes from certified-sustainable dairies in the Rogue River Valley.
The Rogue Creamery
In August, Rogue Creamery “Rogue River Blue Cheese” won the Best Cheese in the USA at the American Cheese Society (yes, there is a cheese society) conference in Austin, Texas. Considering Rogue River Blue was judged best of 1,326 cheeses, we think this is a big deal. The award even made the front page of The Oregonian! I have written many times about the excellent cheeses produced by the artisan cheese makers at Rogue Creamery – we are also fond of their blue cheese that is smoked over hazelnut shells. Their cheeses are distributed throughout the US. If you can’t find Rogue Creamery Cheese at your grocer, get on line and order-up an array for your holiday entertaining! (No, I do not get commission, but certainly should get an award from the Governor since I promote Oregon more than the Tourism Division.)
The Rogue Creamery is teeny and homey. They have two cheese making rooms – one for the blue and one for the cheddar. The cheddar room can be seen (no tours given) from the gift shop/tasting room. The blue cheese is produced in an adjacent building. Top secret over there! A very good video streams on a television in the tasting room, explaining how the cheeses are made and aged. The gift shop sells every flavor of cheese produced at the creamery, plus cheese curds (of course), deli items, gifts, local wines and an excellent selection of other Oregon artisan cheeses. I was delighted to discover The Rogue Creamery makes butter – and I bought a nice chunk.
Every cheese in this case is produced by Rogue Creamery
The round black award on the top left of the cheese case is the Best Cheese trophy, awarded to Rogue Creamery for 2009. It moves year-to-year to the best cheese in America. (Actually, last year’s winner shipped it to Rogue Creamery and they will have to do the same… unless they win again in 2010.)
Gift shop has a great selection of Oregon wines and food products
We left with the butter, a little slice of the Prize-Winning Blue Cheese (and by small slice, I mean small – the best cheese in America is over $40 per pound), and a bit of Touvelle (a soft cheddar-like cheese). I have only eaten Rogue River Blue twice before – but I tell you, it is delicious.
The next place we visited, with an old truck parked in front, was Harry & David – another great Oregon company. However, Harry & David is neither artisan or teeny. They are massive and employ hundreds of people – especially over the holidays where thousands of their famous pears are shipped all over the world.
Harry & David flagship store in Medford, Oregon
Fruits & Veggies at Harry & David
Harry & David now also has a huge wine department (from all over the world, at very high prices). They also sell a dizzying array of sweets, snacks, frozen desserts, soup mixes, dips, spreads, olives, condiments and kitchen gifts. (NOTE: No RV parking, but there is room in the big Fred Meyer parking lot across the street.)
We hitched-up the Honda and headed north to our next stop – a late lunch at the Historic Wolf Creek Inn (I-5, exit 76).
The Wolf Creek Inn opened in 1857 and is the oldest continually-operated hotel in Oregon. Now owned and operated by Oregon Parks, the hotel has nine guest rooms and a restaurant. In the olden-days, the hotel became famous for their fried chicken dinners (“Tasty Cuisine”) – and fried chicken remains the signature dish prepared daily by Executive Chef, Darrell Luttrell.
From a photo inside the inn: Their famous Fried Chicken Dinner was 85 cents.
A room was $1 ($2 if you wanted to take a bath).
Historic Wolf Creek Inn – Wolf Creek, Oregon
Come on in!
The Ladies Parlour
Lunch portion of the famous fried chicken $10. ($15 for a larger portion at dinner.)
DT had a cheeseburger
We had to park across the street in a gravel lot
After our yummy lunch, we continued north and are camped for the night in Canyonville at the Seven Feathers Casino RV Park. We will not visit the casino, but just love this fabulous campground – and their great facilities (including treadmills, which will be very nice tomorrow morning in this very cold weather).
DT, hookin’ us up to power
Our home for the night
I just love camping
Snow on the hills (above a picnic pavilion in the campground)
This poor blossom is very confused
No dinner tonight after our big, late lunch. Until my next update, I remain, your “I love Oregon” correspondent.
RV Park: Seven Feathers RV Resort. Exit 99 off I-5, the RV Park is on the opposite side of the freeway from the casino. 119 full-service pull-through and back-in sites. Cable. Wifi. Indoor pool, spa, fitness center, rally facility, private bath houses, laundry, picnic pavilions, and walking paths at the RV Park. Free shuttle to the casino, which also has restaurants and a bar. We paid $36.