The road home to Winters

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My permanent tenant and I took a little road trip last weekend, trying to escape the heat. We ventured up Highway 5 to Ashland, Oregon and walked around their theater district where they put on their famous Shakespeare Festival. After lunch we headed to Roseburg and started looking at the temperature in Winters to make us feel better.

We walked around several small towns along the way and they all seemed to be doing just fine. Not many empty storefronts and plenty of tourist shops and tourists. Local products lined the shelves from woodcarvings to jams in flavors and combinations of berries I would never think would go together, like marionberry habanero or pear and hazelnut jam.

We stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, but the manufacturing tour was closed while they are rebuilding a bigger facility. The disappointment didn’t last past the ice cream and cheese that I had for lunch, but we missed watching the cheese flow. We stopped at a couple of other cheese makers but none were processing either. One employee told me that they only make cheese every other week and like it that way. Their cheese was delicious so maybe smaller is better.

The weather could not have been better at Coos Bay and driving back down the coast was refreshing. I even put on a sweatshirt for a walk along the beach. There seemed to be plenty of tourists wherever we went. Must have something to do with everyone being on summer vacation. By the time we reached Eureka, the hotels were filling up, or already sold out. My fault for not knowing where we would end up on a Saturday night on Highway 101. I like the saying, “Jesse James used a gun,” these people just let you hand over your money, willingly.

By the time we hit Willets the temperature was 102 degrees and we knew we were close to home. Taking Highway 128 back and driving through farmland and small towns made me think of Winters as did the rising heat from the pavement. All those sleepy little towns like St. Helena and Calistoga, where we used to compete in high school, were no longer small towns. At planning commission meetings we always looked to the Napa Valley towns as something to aspire to, and we may be getting what we wished for.

A quick stop at Turtle Rock Bar & Café for a couple of eggrolls hit the spot. The eggrolls at Turtle Rock are always a mystery to me. The eggrolls are behind the bar in a pyramid and they are always fresh and hot. I’m not sure how Pete keeps them hot, but he smiles as he hands you the eggrolls wrapped in brown paper towels, and a beer to help wash them down.

It was all downhill from there, but it always feels good to get back to Winters, even if the temperature was a little on the warm side.

Have a good week.

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