Every once in a while you stumble upon somewhere absolutely magical, or somewhere that just fits for the time and space you are in. It’s even better when it’s not a place you have found in a travel guide or researched online.
A couple of days ago we were driving from Crater Lake, Sarah was having a power nap and my instructions were to find a beautiful spot where we could stay in a cabin for a couple of nights, preferably next to a river. Easy. Unfortunately there was nothing for miles.
Just as Sarah awoke we started passing a couple of interesting little stores and buildings and suddenly saw a sign for a motel so pulled in and scored a magnificently located room. As you can see from the picture below, mission passed. This was the view from the bed of the Rogue River.
After checking in and patting ourselves on the back we went for a walk around and all the shops were really quite funny little stores that made us feel that we had travelled back in time a little to what you would describe as a “classic American town”. Phil’s Frosty was home to the thickest shake known to man and Sarah ended up going back for more the next day. The best feature of the place was an array of about 10 pictures of pigs on the wall, which we presumed were local prized pigs. Upon reading the whole of the text underneath we realised that they had in fact been bought by Phil for us as customers to enjoy!
We were told to eat at Mac’s Diner next door, and the above photo was the entrance to the place, and as you can see from below the whole restaurant was decked out like a 1950s diner. Just as we were both grinning at each other the music started playing a couple of tunes from Pulp Fiction and we thought we were in the middle of a set up. To keep the mood going we enjoyed the meatloaf special, it was all absolutely superb!
And I kid you not when I say that after the meal we went into the bar area, where we played pool surrounded by stuffed animals on the wall, it was great.
We had been in Shady Cove for one night, but everyone was so friendly that we already felt like locals, and we had been reliably informed that the thing to do was raft down the Rogue river, so we did. I know this is all sounding very cheesy and unbelievable at the moment, but I will have to say that just after we started down the river we saw a Bald Eagle swoop down, settle for a minute and then fly off again! It was all just too good to be true.
As you can see the pace of rowing down the river was pretty high and in amongst looking at the wildlife and paddling through the Rapids there was a bit of time for a relax.
One of the stop offs for a beer fill up along the way
The river actually had the best combination of excitement of Rapids and time to just relax you way drifting down with the flow.
This was the view of where we were staying, and when we got back to the room there were a couple of people out on the balcony with a guitar. We grabbed a beer and went down and soon enough we had been fed and began an evening of story telling and listening to Dave playing some great tunes on his guitar. It was a really fantastic experience.
But it didn’t end there, and we were told that there was an “open mike” night up at the local community hall where all the local guitarists go to play every Thursday. Well we didn’t need asking twice so off we went with Dave our new local guide.
Well we were the only two newcomers there, the only two without guitars and the only two sat in the corner making up the audience. What a fantastic experience it turned out to be. The guys all sat in a circle (pictured below) and passed a microphone around the circle each taking a turn to play a song while the others all joined in. We couldn’t believe our luck, what an experience, it was an evening we will never forget. The guys were fantastic and I think they even forgot we were there after a while and they really got into it and I say again what a fantastic, unique experience. T