Day three of the trip has been so eventful that I’ve split my coverage into two posts. This being part I with pictures at the bottom… Logged lots of miles, saw incredible scenery, crazy wood art, a gray whale, feasted on food made with heart and soul and met lots of friendly folks! The highway scenery was spectacular as all signs of city busyness fell behind me in Eugene and the temperature rose to 30 degrees. Reminds me a bit of going to Kelowna actually.
After a light continental breakfast at the hotel I was famished by lunch time. Didn’t want any boring, processed chain restaurant food when I happened across a highway sign “Heaven on Earth”. Well, how could I resist that? It is is literally little spot of heaven on earth in the middle of nowhere off Exit 86 I-5 in Oregon (there’s no town name)!
It’s a good ol’ country bakery and restaurant and is famous for their delicious cinnamon rolls – definitely sharesy size at three pounds and $12.99 each! And what a bakery it is with gorgeous cakes, cookies, pies and more. I was fortunate enough to arrive for their first annual Cinnamon Roll Party! They French batter pieces of the cinnamon rolls (yes, you read that right) and then you get to top it with you choice of over 30 toppings. I went with the savories bacon and sausage as I have to watch my glucose levels. No, this was not my lunch but rather, an epilogue. *I asked for only a sample size – good thing as I had no room left after lunch.
The special of the day featured homemade meatloaf fresh out of the oven. Oooh that’s when meatloaf is best eaten! And that’s what I call good marketing. I’m finicky about meatloaf so I rarely order it and prefer to make my own but today I felt like homey comfort food and took a chance. And ooh yeah I was not disappointed! It hit the spot – hearty, not too dense yet moist and topped with mushrooms, gravy and onions.
Heaven brews a variety of flavours of ice teas everyday. Lisa’s green apple ice tea is amazing, almost like biting into one. I love American ice teas because they’re fresh brewed and never pre-sweetened so you can embellish them anyway you want unlike our Canadian version made from a mix and way to sweet (pay heed Canada!) – maybe that’s why we list it alongside the soda pops… I’d love to try the other things on their menu but unfortunately it’s not on my route back to Vancouver – guess that means I’ll have to make another trip ;o)
After a filling lunch I was anxious to get back on the road. I wanted to get into California today so I skipped past one of my favorite towns, Grants Pass (to be added to the Heaven on Earth trip). I should note there are lots of wood art galleries dotted along Hwy 199 and Hwy 101 and I’m not a fan of wood art by any means. I’ve tried to like the stuff and I can appreciate a few of the good pieces out there but I just think there’s a lot much more lousy stuff so all the wood galleries dotting the highways don’t register on my radar anymore. The Burl Gallery located in Kerby, Oregon (a former gold mining town south of Grants Pass with a population of 400) looks like another unasuming wood art shop along the highway but believe me it’s far from ordinary.
If it weren’t for a huge and bizarre welcome sign, if you can call it that, I would have driven right past the place. The fountain like heap streaming with bright purple water compelled me to pull over for a closer look and a photo. What was to be a picture or two turned into dozens and dozens as I saw more and more wonderful and whimsical burled wood creations around every corner – from garden decorations to treehouses, from lamps to rocking horses, from plaques to statues and more (you gotta see it to believe it).
The gallery and yard is owned by 77 year old Harry Shinerock and is a place where artists gather to create and carve from burled wood. They also have some pottery and metalwork thrown into the mix. The property doesn’t look like much from the road but it is deceivingly large and definitely worth finding! I’ve only posted here a tiny sampling of what I saw.
Onwards to first seaside destination of Crescent City! Read Journey to Eureka! Part Two here.