Recently I talked with a blogger friend, Jolandi, about how much we appreciate our blogging community. It comes up often among bloggers, in my experience. We have likely all heard stories of how bloggers actually met in person one day.
In 2019 I met Curt Mekemson after having followed his blog, Wandering Through Time and Place, for years. I knew we would get along well, and we did. I also adore his wife, Peggy. I like them so much that I wanted to visit them again, and they were excited to host me again. Win win.
Pedro and I had a four-day Memorial Day weekend, so we crafted a quick road trip to Southern Oregon. It was only a 5-hour drive from his place, so we left from there after he got off work and we drove all the way to Curt and Peggy’s house in the Applegate Valley south of Ashland, Oregon. They were sweet enough to have planned ahead and gave us dinner when we arrived so late, and then we crashed in their lovely spare room.
Curt had just posted about a forest trail he had been recapturing from history and from the wild animals. The next morning we all thought it would be a great idea to explore the trail, which is a short walk out the front door. You should take a look at his post, and you will find a couple more photos of Pedro and me. Curt’s trail through the forest tracks through signs of an old mining operation. Flat places for buildings, a few rusted metal items, mine tailings, and a couple of caves are all that remains. The trail wanders through a forest, past curious deer, and over caches of quartz rock.
Yes, I’m so out of practice with traveling, I actually forgot to bring my camera. I took all these photos with my phone.
After our hike and an outstanding breakfast, Pedro and I drove into Ashland to explore. He lived there for six months, and wanted to re-visit places he remembered. We walked through the always-lovely Lithia Park, of course. He told me about the water in Ashland, which I had never heard anything about. Turns out, someone at some point decided that the high mineral content of the water was good for you, and in the 1920s the city of Ashland tried to re-brand as a health resort destination. It didn’t work out, as this sign below says, due in part to the high mineral content of the water building up and clogging the pipes. While the city finds that the lithium, barium, and other chemicals in the water are safe to drink, they do recommend against daily consumption. That casts some doubt on potential health benefits!
When it was time to eat, he wanted to go to an old favourite English Pub. The Black Sheep is still there, but was closed until 5pm, so we opted for the nearby Standing Stone Pub. I was enticed by their crème brûlée but didn’t want to eat it yet. The waiter suggested he could ask for permission for me to buy the whole porcelain dish so I could take it with me and cook it at home. The dish was only another $4 and needless to say, I walked out of there with a crème brûlée , one of my favourite desserts. I thought that was hilarious and was quite pleased with myself.
We returned to Curt & Peggy’s, eager to try his home-cooked baked beer can chicken. It was moist and delicious. After a quick visit to YouTube to figure out how to glaze sugar on crème brûlée without a torch, we all enjoyed the dessert I was so clever to get my hands on.