18 August 2015
We had visitors last week from California, and a long list of things to see and do. As is usual when we travel with these two, things happen. It's our combined Karma.
For example, take Friday. We set out to go to Harvest Fest, and we do make it to Yamhill County Historical Society Heritage Center without incident -- only to discover that the festival is Saturday and Sunday. Nothing today.
Undaunted, we go to plan “B” – a visit to Lange Estate to taste, followed by lunch in Carlton. First we encounter the dreaded “Dundee Crawl”. Two lanes of 99W narrow to one just outside Dundee. In the town there is one stoplight. The peak traffic backups are legendary.
We crawl into Dundee and hang a left toward Lange, turning at the top of the hill onto a graveled road. As we approach the last fork in the road, we come upon a semi rig in trouble. Somehow the driver managed to jackknife his truck such that his front wheels are on the road side of a deep ditch, the rear wheels of the angled box on the other side. The cab blocks the road.
None of us thinks to take a picture, but we watch in awe. First off, a second semi, which is blocking the road to Lange, pulls a tow line while the stuck driver tries to drive out. Wheels spin, dirt flies. No forward movement. And then the tow line breaks.
Next the driver gets some props and lets down the jacks, removing the weight of the box from the cab. The tow line is reattached and, this time, the two trucks succeed in moving the tractor. The box is tilted, but apparently stable.
We still can't get to Lange. Truck #2 has the road blocked.The driver waves us around and uphill to the left. We go to plan “C”. We'll go to Carlton and have lunch first.
On the way we encounter road work – flagman stops us. After a short wait, we are on our way. Henry's Diner does not disappoint. The sky looks ominous and a few droplets leak from the clouds as we sit under the awning, eating. Our friends agree that Henry's burgers are superb. Bob and I have egg salad with capers and pickled onions – deliciousness on wheat bread.
Back we go toward Lange, again waiting a short while at road construction. When we near the turn, we find the trucks gone, the sand shoveled off the road and neatly packed down. If I hadn't seen the stuck truck, I wouldn't know anything had happened! The blockage is quite the topic at the tasting room, which is very busy.
Then back to Dundee, where the length of the crawl queue has grown longer, and home without event -- except that I forgot to look in at Harvest Fresh. Jay the butcher (he's back!) told me there would be ceviche on Friday. Drat!
Our run of misfortune continues on Friday, when we discover that East Devil's Lake Road, our "shortcut" to Lincoln City is closed. Hoping that it is only water over the road, which is a regular occurrence at the south end of the lake in the wetlands, we drive all the way down. Nope – real road construction. Backtracking to highway 101, we manage to complete our mission – finding a SPF50 shirt for our friend. The Tanger Outlet Mall has just the thing.
We make a hasty turn onto the upper access road (dirt) to Cascade Head (we usually miss it) and enjoy our walk to the head very much. It is actually warm. Usually there is wind and it is chilly, but not today. I carry a sweater and never put it on.
After our walk, we continue up the coast to Pacific City, and particularly to Cape Kiwanda. Our plan is to have lunch at the Pelican Brewery. There is no parking to be had, however, so we go once again to plan “B” – lunch at the local Sportsman's Pub and Grub. Fish and chips are declared to be excellent (local dory-caught ling cod), the ale is cold, the staff is friendly, and the atmosphere at the back of the room is lightened by sunshine from the skylights above.
We wend our way home, stopping at Bear Creek Artichokes for some artichoke dip. It is excellent stuff. I also get a new bamboo wind chime, lovely-sounding thing. And the smells from the barbeque -- yummm.
Sunday we spent at Harvest Fest, and a good time was had by all. The only disappointment came when we learned there would be no slow tractor race that day. Darn! But there's a new horse sculpture made from found metal objects, and it is more spectacular than the old one.