Saturday, September 27, 2014

Going Rogue

Oregon is home to the Rogue River (and Rogue River City), Jerry’s Rogue Jets and Rogue Ales and Distillery. One gets the feeling that it all goes beyond the name and is embodied as an attitude!

We Dreamers first experienced this while visiting Newport, OR, where we had the opportunity to visit Rogue Ales and Spirits and tour their operations. While there, we learned about the red silo, Newport's reaction to its erection, and the newspaper's  slightly off-color story that raised such a brew-ha-ha that the tower remains! (Excuse the double entrendres I guess a bit of rogue rubbed off on me!)

The first brew was crafted in a basement of a pub in Ashland, OR in 1988. The following year the operation expanded to space in Newport, where it was given space at a great price if the company would 'feed the fishermen" (support the community) and post a picture of their benefactress, Mo, owner of Mo's Seafood restaurants, in their bar.

This was Mo's choice. How rogue can you get?!

The brewery has prided itself on creating unusual ales, porters, stouts, lagers and spirits, bottled mostly in bombers (22 oz bottles) with unique painted 'labels'. 

Rogue Ales goes beyond innovative makeup and brewing to include somewhat 'roguish' business practices. Their mission is just one example:

If you happen to be near Newport, OR, it is worth a trip to tour the brewery. If not, check out their product closer to home at your local brew pub!

If you have occasion to be south of Newport, stop by Jerry's Rogue Jets in Gold Beach, OR and sign up for a jet boat ride up the Rogue River. I'm sure all of the guides are informative and fun, but you might just ask for Tim Brueckner to get a special feel for 'Rogue'.

Where else can you be deftly driven up and down river by a Lutheran Minister who engages you with his slightly off-color stories; those about Myrtle or about the Madrone Monkeys, for example!

The Rogue Jets also deliver mail upriver to Agness. Here a bundle of mail carried off the jet boat is loaded in a car for delivery to local residents.

The Rogue River, one of the original 8 rivers protected in the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, can be a bit of a rogue by itself. The river covered the floor of this bridge in 1964.

Our pilot delighted in turning loops. 
I tried my best to catch one on my phone…

this was the best I could do.

For additional images from our trip down the west coast, visit Dick and Brenda's blog

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Rose by Any Other Name

You could smell the roses long before you could see them.

Roses at the Shore Acres Gardens
near Coos Bay, OR

Wild Blue Yonder

Easy Does It

Dick Clark

Rainbow Sorbet

Hybrid Tea
Love & Peace

Hot Cocoa

Amber Queen

Tournament of Roses


The roses are one small part of the gardens owned and developed by ship builder and lumberman Louis Simpson. He imported many plants to take advantage of the moist, temperate climate of the area. In the aerial photo above, the roses are on the left. The original house burned down in 1921. The gardens pride themselves on always having something in flower. While we were visiting the square gardens in the center picture were filled with masses of Dahlias…. all different! Wow! Such beauty!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Clatter of Cobbles

As we drove south from Tillamook, along the coast of Oregon we stopped at the Yaquina Head lighthouse near Newport, Oregon.

From Google Source

We walked down to the beach, which is quite different from those found either north or south of this area. This beach is covered with cobbles that were created by hot basalt lava coming in contact with the cold sea waters, which have been eroded by the sea to form rounded stones, anywhere from 1/2" up to 4" in diameter. Before we visited I was told that I should take the time to walk down to the beach as the waves make the cobbles roll, and they make a unique sound. Even in the video you get some sense that what you are hearing isn't just the waves. You can actually hear the stones being knocked together, and rolling in the surf. Even as you walk across the cobbles, they also sound different.

While we were at the beach, we noticed seals "bottling" in the waves. They hang vertically with their faces out of the water and rest. 

We also noticed some whales feeding quite close to shore. Getting a picture of them was challenging, at best! Mr. Dreamy caught a few pictures of noses, fins or flippers and after shooting a lot of 'film' caught this:
Thar she blows!

Visit Brenda's blog for another perspective and lots of images from our trip down the coast.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rain, Rain….

In my post about the Tillamook Cheese factory I alluded to the fact that weather in Tillamook, OR might be less than ideal. I mentioned that there are 55 completely sunny days per year. Yikes! In addition, with the help of Google, I discovered that between Oct and March, Tillamook receives far more rain each month than I experience in my area of Colorado in a year!

I visited the air museum in Tillamook. The museum is housed in the huge wooden blimp storage building erected during WWII to protect blimps that were used to escort Navy ships out to sea while scouting for submarines. The base was in operation from 1942 until 1948. This poem was posted in one of the displays. Apparently Rosenbaum and Tartas (the authors) were not thrilled with the assignment!

Oh, Little Town of Tillamook
(tune of Little Town of Bethlehem)

Oh, little town of Tillamook
How still you always look.
There's never anything to do,
I guess I'll read a book
Among thy big cows splendid,
The Tip Top and Tillahoe,
Where milk and beer is blended,
But it doesn't agree with me.

Oh, land of trees and ocean breeze,
And all kinds of smelly cheese,
Your lousy rain gives me a pain,
I'm sick and tired, oh Jeez!
On they dark street standeth
The everlasting dudes,
Of mice and rats and dogs and cats,
And marine and sailor feuds.

Oh what did I do to get me here,
I can't stand milk or beer.
If I don't leave here pretty soon,
I'll die of thirst, I fear.
And now this tune has ended,
I think I'll close the book,
But all our fears are that all our years,
Will be spent in Tillamook.

Rosenbaum & Tartas

I can imagine, with all of that rain, life might have been a bit dreary!

Two hangars were constructed in 1942. To preserve steel for ship building, the hangars were constructed of wood. One hangar still stands. The hangars were 1,072 feet long (almost 3 football fields could be fit inside, end to end!), 296 feet wide and stand 192 feet tall. The hangar is the largest, clear-span wood structure in the world!

The motorhomes stored at one end of the hangar give a good feel for the size of the structure. Also, the letters painted on the hangar in 1994 are 100 feet in height and each line is 20 feet wide.


The letters are clearly visible in a satellite photo.

In addition to housing blimps during the war, and now housing an air museum and RV storage, the structure has been used in the past as a saw mill and a building for hay storage. (The 2nd hangar was destroyed in 1992 when hay being stored inside, caught fire from spontaneous combustion.)

The air museum has plans to move to Madras, OR, so the hangar can take on a new life. Care to lease a HUGE building?! Apparently the building needs a lot of maintenance. Mr. Dreamer was told that the roof needs work, but it can't take one more coat of paint as the paint itself would be too heavy for the roof to support!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Say "Cheese"!

Sing along with me if you remember the old ditty about turning grapes into raisins...

You start with the grass, 
under the sun (Homefacts web site lists only 55 completely sunny days each year in Tillamook)
Let out the cows, (there are about 26,150 cows in Tillamook County and only 4,942 people)
One by one. 

Earlier this week we toured some attractions in Tillamook, OR. Of course we had to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory, a farmer-owned co-op.

Do you remember hearing about Tillamook cheese years ago? I do. I remember hearing that the cheese was rich and creamy and simply fantastic, but it wasn't available in our area of the country. Those were the days when you couldn't get everything, everywhere, like you can today.  Sometimes I wish our country was still a place where one could find unique goods only in specific areas. For example, Vidalia Onions could only be found near the Georgia town known for this particular sweet onion; or Coors beer could only be found in the west… and Tillamook Cheese could be enjoyed by those fortunate enough to be traveling along the west coast. How much more treasured and appreciated would these items be? But, on the other hand, how lucky we are that we all can find Tillamook cheese in just about every grocery store, just down the aisle from Coors beer, which is around the corner from the Vidalia onions! But, I digress….

Over 1 million visitors make the trek to the factory to see the process of packaging the cheese from upstairs viewing stations. (Tours of the processing area were discontinued in 1967 due to health and safety concerns.)

Here are a few views from the observation area. I apologize for the odd color created by the glass.

Here you can see three of the 8 vats  where milk is made into cheese. Each vat holds 53,500 pounds of fresh milk. Three batches of cheese are made each day.

It takes10 pounds of milk for each pound of finished cheese. Here is my Math question for the week.... If more than 1.7 million pounds of milk is processed at the plant each day, how many pounds of cheese are processed? The answer, a lot! 
This row of machines presses the newly made cheese into 40-pound blocks, and drops them on the conveyor belt.

The blocks are wrapped in plastic, and go up the spiral chute and into an area for aging. Blocks will be  aged up to 9 months, depending on the sort of cheese.

In another area of the plant, the 40 pound blocks of cheese come in on a conveyor after they have been through the appropriate-length aging process. 
Wow! That's a lot of cheese!

The cheese is cut by hot wires, and the blocks are separated by workers. The worker on the lower right collects scraps in the bin. The workers on the left place the one pound blocks on rollers.

Each block of cheese is weighed. If the block is underweight or overweight, it is shuttled to one side. The single block on the lower edge does not weigh enough. The worker will reach over and place a slice of cheese on its top, and move it back into line.

The blocks continue down the line where plastic wrap is placed around the cheese, sealed and cut (I think with a hot wire) and later will be processed (either by heat or suction) so the wrapper tightens around the cheese.

The worker on the lower left of the picture will occasionally place blocks of cheese with poorly shaped or dirty wrappers in the blue bin.

At this point the blocks of cheese moved on, and out of sight, to an area where it is packaged in cardboard boxes for shipping. 

We moved on… to the tasting line!

And then, enjoyed some ice cream…
another specialty of the plant.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

As we traveled along I-84 in Oregon, we noticed acre upon acre of trees, all planted in perfect rows.
Row after row. 
Tall ones, 
not so tall ones, 
and some had rows of alternating tall and not-so-tall trees.

The trees are all part of Boardman Farms operated by the GreenWood Resources operation. This is the largest contiguous irrigated tree farm in the US, and one of many sustainable, environmentally certified tree farms developed and managed by GreenWood. What we were seeing from the Interstate is just the tip of the iceberg of a 25,000 acre operation of 7.5 million trees! Unlike most tree farms, this operation works from start to finish. The operation grows, harvests and processes 100 million board feet of poplar wood each year. The company works on developing better trees that grow faster and produce better wood. In fact, one web site had a comment that the trees are growing faster than they can be processed!

Fascinating! I would love to see if they give tours!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tucker Talks: Tantalus and Torture

I am living the mythical story of Tantalus. It is driving me… and Gypsy crazy! We are being tortured. Someone ought to call the SPCA!
You see, we are at a campground, or… maybe we've gone to Hell. I don't know when we died, but surely this is not where we want to end up. We are surrounded by rabbits… slow, dumb, domesticated, black, white and spotted bunnies… and

We spend half our days chasing bunnies at home. I don't understand why suddenly they are off limits. And these guys would be so easy to catch. Darn!

 There are big ones,

and little ones...

brown ones, 

and spotted ones…

black ones,
and white ones…

some with perky ears,
and some with floppy loppy ears…

There are frickin' bunnies all over the place!!

And that Dreaming lady keeps telling us, 

"No! You can't chase them!"


 "Hey, can Tucker and Gypsy come out to play?"

They are bold.
They come right up to the motorhome and stare at us through the window.
They taunt us.
They tease us.
That Dreaming lady keeps us on a leash… a tight one at that. And we almost have to wade through the fuzzy creatures. She says they are cute. Mr. Dreaming says they are a nuisance. Gypsy and I don't care… we just want to chase them!
This is torture… canine style!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Campground Curiosity

A few nights ago we pulled the motorhome into Eagles Hot Lake RV Resort. This had not been our original destination, but our intended destination (and its competitor) were booked because of the annual 'round-up'. So, we looked further afield and discovered this campground. I'm glad we did! I love stumbling upon unique places like this. I founded the history of this area is fascinating!

The campground is just down the road from an imposing edifice with a large sign, part of which shines in bright red neon,  identifying the building as Hot Lake Springs. 


It all seemed out of place: The building. The sign. The immensity of it all. 

I mean… look at where it is:

Source: Google Maps

Do you even see it in all the nothingness that surrounds it? The building is the complex of connected white rectangles you can make out in the center along the bottom edge of this satellite shot. Do you think anyone would be confused about just where to go, or which building is the correct one?!!

This piqued my curiosity. I had to learn more. When we checked in at the campground (located in the lower left corner of the satellite photo), we were told that the old building was originally a hotel and a sanatorium. It was popular in the late 1800's and early 1900's because of the healing properties of the hot springs found here. (Hence the 'hot' lake!)

Source: Wikipedia

Hot Lake spring feeds the surrounding lakes. The sulfurous water coming out of the source of the spring is almost 200 degrees, and the spring puts out over 2 million gallons of water a day. The water in the lake, and in the canal behind the campground, stays between 70 and 80 degrees. The large structure and the campground buildings are heated with the water. 

I wanted to know more, and found a locally published tract called Hot Lake, "The Town Under One Roof" by Shirley Peters & Sheila Smith (© 1997) in the campground office. The authors did a fantastic job of pulling together all sorts of information regarding the area, the springs and the facility. 
The Oregon Trail ran through this area, and the land opened up to settlers with the Homestead Act of 1850. However, the valley was isolated and the land was very marshy. (It still seems isolated and marshy!) Once the marshes were drained settlers began to raise crops and run cattle on the land. In 1864 a large, wooden hotel was constructed, with bath houses, to entice travelers to take advantage of the medical benefits of the springs. The county convinced the railroad to route tracks through this area and the tracks were complete by 1882, with a siding by the hotel. (Ah, the lovely sound of railroad trains. A campground is not complete unless it has either an interstate highway or a railroad track going by!) The hotel expanded and became a resort destination for the rich and famous. A large, brick addition was completed in 1906. This was used as a hospital, and the facility became known as the "Mayo Clinic of the West". The original wood hotel burned to the ground in 1934. The brick building that still exists has had numerous owners, and has been used as a resort and a nursing home, under several different owners. It fell into disuse in the 1980's. A few different owners have acquired the property with the intent of renovating the lovely old building. It has been a B & B and most recently, a gallery and museum. However, it is once again up for sale. Care to buy a large brick building with a huge neon sign that is still in the middle of nowhere? It is a bargain at just under $8,000,000. 
Click here for the listing for Hot Lake Springs property.

Oh, and the campground? It has a bit of history, too. When the old hospital and surrounding land was purchased in 1985, the new owners created a development plan in an effort to acquire funding. Plans included creating a mushroom and cucumber farm, using the warm waters from the springs. They also considered using the waters for a fishery. They wanted to develop a golf course, a water park and a campground. The only funds acquired were those for the campground, which began construction the following year. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How Much Wood Does the Woodchuck Chuck?

I saw this article on Facebook:

It reminded me of the following story:

It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was a new Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the weather was going to be. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared. But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked,
"Is the coming winter going to be cold?"
"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared. A week later he called the National Weather Service again.
"Is it going to be a very cold winter?"
"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."
The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find. Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again. 
"Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?" 
"Absolutely," the man replied. "It's going to be one of the coldest winters ever."
"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.
The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting wood like crazy!"

Is someone stockpiling wood in your neighborhood?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Touch of Home

We are on the road again. We are heading to the west coast. Just before we left I raided the garden for carrots, beets, spaghetti squash and tomatoes. This has been an incredible summer for tomatoes. We have been enjoying them for several weeks. I haven't grown weary of Caprese salad and Mr. Dreamy has been enjoying "mater" sandwiches. I've even dried two batches with a dehydrator. We planted 5 plants of different varieties, and they have so many tomatoes on them (still) that the plants have slowly slid down the stakes from the weight.

Tomatoes we hope to enjoy in the coming week(s).

We have left instructions with both the house sitter, and our neighbor, to pull the tomato plants up by the roots and hang them in the garage when the first killing frost is predicted. The tomatoes will continue to ripen. They will continue to enjoy the tomatoes. One year we had fresh tomatoes well into November! 

Mr. Dreamy, despite being anxious to get going, asked if I wanted to grab some cut flowers from the garden to take along. What a nice gesture. I hadn't thought of bringing a bit of that garden with me! 

The next time I see my gardens, all will have been killed by frost, and possibly covered by snow. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

This Little Piggy

The horses missed out on the carrot harvest. Too bad. I'm sure they would have been eager taste testers! This year I planted Danvers carrots. I knew they were short, It just never registered in my little pea brain how wide they would be. I guess, like me, they make up for lack of stature by being just a bit wider than usual! I was surprised at the size when I pulled the first carrot out of the ground!

How do you like these chunky monkeys?!

Then there is this little guy ….

I decided he looks like a little piggy.
We Dreamers are of differing opinions, however,
about whether this would be his tail, or his ….

And, Sew it Begins!

No sewing! Sewing had to come to an end, for now!  The last few weeks have been rather hectic preparing for our annual trek west to visit wi...