Saturday afternoon…Weather Underground forecasts rain after midnight and a look at rapidly approaching “change-o-weather” clouds confirms. This scrubs climb of Mt. Washington tentatively planned for the weekend. I’m an adventurer, but heck, I’m still working on my tan so don’t have a huge desire to go climb crumbly rock in a rain/show shower. After taking down the tipi and getting it stored for the winter, I impulsively decide that a longer ride is in order in case Sunday is weathered in here in the valley…hop on bike and go!
Florence, Oregon isn’t necessarily thought of as a culinary hotspot, at least among the folks I hang with. Not that you can’t get a decent meal there and one has to get the obligatory bowl of Mo’s chowder at least a couple of times a year. But there is a relatively new place in town that may prove to change that perception over time.
I first encountered Feast at the event, previously mentioned in this blog, called Greatest of the Grape. They won a People’s Choice award for best food and wine pairing and the tuna tartar that was their contribution was perhaps the best flavor treat at the event. A friend and I dined at Feast earlier this year putting it firmly on my mental map.
The hour plus ride over included a blustery headwind as the front carried across the coastline and inland. What started out as a very warm ride got a bit chilly as I crossed the coast range on Hwy. 126 but the worn, wood plank floors in the entry to Feast let me to their small (7 seat) bar and a friendly greeting. Somehow, arriving on a bike invites conversation and it didn’t take long to feel right at home, chatting with the bartender and various servers.
After the killer Barolo I had tasted with a friend the previous night at Provisions’ Friday tasting event I was almost afraid to try another red wine this soon. I often drink white wine simply because I can’t always afford my taste in reds <rueful grin>. But the ‘tender understood my dilemma and poured me a taste of Cayalla RTW which exceeded my expectations and went well with the beet salad with warm chèvre, roasted shallot vinaigrette, greens and toasted hazelnuts, and a conversation about expatriating to regions south. (Which I did not initiate…this time!)
Home again to cook a pan-seared steak with a red wine reduction with my
Heckofa nice afternoon.
Oh yeah, this is a jewelry blog, right?
Gary Dawson Designs would like to announce our new consignment page with three nice pieces. I currently have two pre-owned platinum and diamond rings available at great price points and one lovely, solid 18K yellow gold cup, crafted by Tiffany! Please check these items out and remember, unlike the items that we design and manufacture, we do solicit offers on consignment items. Step right up!
It didn’t take me long to realize that the fuel attendant was clueless, but after a couple of minutes of prodding I was able to gain the sense that I was, indeed, on the right track. And sure enough, at the highpoint of the overpass he mentioned as he directed me to another restaurant, I looked over my right shoulder and there it was, almost as I had remembered. The clam strips weren’t super, a lot of breading, but not soggy at all and quite flavorful. And the Fat Tire Ale went down smooth as it slowly lent even more character to this old place. The Depot, in Albany, Oregon may be one of the few little restaurants with character left…without a web site. This I discover as I look to place a link here on the blog.
I had pulled off I-5 southbound at Albany to fuel and more specifically, to see if I could still find the place…apparently my memory is still pretty reliable. When I used to commute from my home in Eugene to the Portland Saturday Market and back at the end of the weekend I would stop there occasionally because, like my friend Joe, the powder metallurgist from upstate New York, I like divey little restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I like fine dining too, but sometimes there’s not much more fun than dropping into a little local character.
This trip, btw, helped me to finish logging in over 1,000 miles in the first week of ownership of my first brand-new motorcycle. The flight down to Sacramento, where I found this demo bike with both the price and color that I wanted, provided a unique view of Crater Lake. Riding it home that day provided a jump-start to my first week of mileage!
I’ve been riding most of my life but usually older, less comfortable bikes and this baby is a dream to me. Smooth as silk and as responsive to my touch as any lover. Here’s a pic on the day I picked it up! I’d like to thank Ciara of Elk Grove Powersports for helping me to to make this purchase.
But the underlying reason for this short road trip was to attend the Grand Re-opening of my friends’ studio in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The woman of Trios Studio, Mary, Deborah and Kathe, are very close friends and since I had
attended their original opening 5 years ago, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help inaugurate their new, expanded space a few doors down from the original spot. Mary and I particularly, go way back as she was my very first employee back in the beginning days of my own business. I am honored to know these successful women!
The ride down Hwy. 99 from Albany to my home just outside of Eugene was absolutely perfect. The large golden-orange orb that we see too little of here in Oregon was settling on the western horizon, directly off my right shoulder as the very nearly full, silver moon was rising up over the eastern horizon, directly off my left shoulder. I wish I could share an image of that moment but my phone camera just couldn’t handle all that beauty, all at once. As my bike hummed down a long straight stretch and I slowly passed a freight train, the engineer must have sensed my joy as he honked and waved as I went by. People just know when you’re having a peak moment, I guess!