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We Took the Long Way

Canyonville, Oregon: No conference calls today. No plans. No appointments. A Play Day! Wednesday is also the Farmers Market in Canyonville - held in the Seven Feathers Casino parking lot.

Just a few booths, and, today, only two selling something that actually came from a farm: a few heads of lettuce at one booth, and a guy selling organic strawberries out of the back of his pickup.

We bought two baskets of berries. (Back in my day, we called a basket of berries a hallock of berries... and I still do. Is this an Oregon thing? Apparently, Hallock was the name of the company producing pint paper produce baskets? Is this word no longer used? Did you use this term?)

After our stop at the market, we continued south on I-5 to visit the famous Wolf Creek Inn for lunch. The inn is now - once again - with new management, under the umbrella of Oregon State Parks. The hotel concessionaire must run the inn and the restaurant. Once known for their fried chicken suppers, the new operator has gone from the usual white table cloth dining room and fried chicken, to cutlery rolled in paper napkins. Only sandwiches, salads and burgers on the menu. (We have previously lunched at the inn in 2009 and 2011.)

Wolf Creek Inn

View from the south

From the north

Once a stop on the 16-day stage coach ride from San Francisco to Portland, the inn later became known as an off-the-beaten-path refuge and fishing haven for the idle rich, Hollywood stars, and writers. The Historic Inn has hosted Jack London, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Orson Wells.

The inn now has a nice, very casual, brick patio behind the hotel, with picnic tables. We had sandwiches outside, and then took a quick look through the public areas of the inn. The inn looks much the same.

One of the dining rooms

Another dining room

One of the parlors

On the way back to Canyonville (a twenty minute drive on the freeway), our afternoon went a little astray. We wanted to avoid returning on I-5, so decided to follow the old highway (Highway 99), which parallels I-5 much of the time. Then, we decided to drive up to Galesville Reservoir, opened in 1986, as an irrigation source.

Trees were left standing when the reservoir was flooded to aid in fish habitat... but the dam does not have a fish ladder... so all the fish are warm-water species: blue gill, black crappie, brown bullhead, rainbow trout, largemouth & smallmouth bass, and yellow perch. The lake has a few campgrounds (nothing that would accommodate our bus), day-use areas and a boat launch at Chief Miwaleta Campground, part of Douglas County Parks. Chief Miwaleta was head of five bands of the Umpqua Indians. He refused to join the tribes south of the Rogue River in war against the new white "settlers", and his tribe remained at peace until he died in 1853.

If we were smart, we would have turned around at the reservoir, returned to I-5, and continued back to our RV... but that would be boring. We decided to go off the grid by following a forest service road (otherwise known as a logging road) to Highway 227, and then take the "back way" to Canyonville. Though 12 miles of our route were gravel roads, we had a great afternoon with beautiful forest views. Nothing like a drive in the beautiful Oregon forest and farmlands!

The Jeep has 4x4, but it was never needed today

A pretty view east from the logging road

Dogwood in bloom along the road

After we returned to pavement, the route took us mostly over a route we took last year to see many of the covered bridges in the area. We were able to revisit the bridge over the South Umpqua River at the Milo Adventist Academy.

Many geese and goslings at Milo Academy this afternoon

We saw very little wildlife on our forest adventure this afternoon. No deer. No bear. We found three wild turkey, the geese at Milo Academy, and a few turkey vultures feasting on whatever a farmer had just whacked-up while baling hay. In the more domestic animal category, we saw a group of chickens dining in a vegetable garden as a farmer tilled her plot.

After our 3-hour-long return-route after lunch, our car completely coated in powdery dust, we relaxed in the warm sunshine before Dave grilled my Chicken Taco recipe that had been marinating (in a zip top bag in the fridge) overnight.

Not quite Tacos Gonzalez, but as good as we are going to get over 1000 miles from Indio.

The tacos were served with carrots from Sister Gina's garden, which I had quick-pickled a few days ago in apple cider vinegar, coriander seed, sliced jalapeno, salt and a few cilantro sprigs. Crunchy. Spicy. Cold. Delicious. Sweet. Thank you again, Gina and Steve for sharing your garden with us.

And much thanks, as well, to the local farmer for the perfectly ripe, red-throughout, sweet strawberries for our dessert.

Until my next update, I remain, your dusty correspondent.

RV PARK: Seven Feathers RV Resort. This place has everything. Join the casino club (it is free) because it gives you an immediate 10% off your stay and three cents of gas or diesel at the Seven Feathers Truck Stop! Big full-service sites, pretty landscaping, bath houses, indoor pool and hot tub, laundry facilities, rally facilities, free shuttled to/from casino, a playground, a dog park, fitness center, free wifi, free cable. The casino has gaming, a hotel and spa, and several very good restaurants and bars. The casino also has a large RV parking area. There is a small grocery store in town. We paid about $50, with our Good Sam discount and our casino card discount. Check out their website before you book - they often run specials.

Seven Feathers RV Resort, Canyonville, Oregon

Picnic Pavilion

Back-in site. Every site has a picnic table

Path along Jordan Creek