In my last post, I described the history of McMenamins Edgefield and some of the things we did after we arrived, to kill time until we were able to check in to our rooms. What follows are the things we did after we checked in, not counting the Michael Franti & Spearhead concert we went to that evening – which gets its own post.
We continued our exploration of the grounds of McMenamins Edgefield and stopped in at multiple places to find refreshment when we needed it on this very warm day. The weather was so warm that we decided to forego a soak in the heated soaking pool (co-located with Ruby’s Spa). We did want to see it though, and walked over to that part of the campus.
We couldn’t see the pool, but we did find another little bar (naturally), and stopped in to ask about it. The bartender suggested that we go into the spa and ask if we could just look at the pool, even if we don’t want to soak in it. We followed that advice, and the spa people were great and gave us a key and sent us right on in.
After seeing the pool, I wanted even more to try a soak, but it was just too hot outside to follow through. As you can see by the photos, not many other people were in the mood for a hot soak either, except multiple kids and one mom. Pedro and I agreed we would come back here in the winter when a hot pool would be ideal.
One of the neatest tiny pubs at the Edgefield is Jerry’s Ice House, which had been closed when we passed it early in the day. When it opened up in the evening, we stopped there and asked for a pint and sat in a corner and admired the walls.
One of the McMenamin’s managers from the early days was Mark Whittlesey, and he is the Grateful Dead fan. If you visit any of the McMenamins, you can’t help but notice that there is so much memorabilia on the walls commemorating the Grateful Dead and the band’s lead singer and hero, Jerry Garcia. You will also hear the band’s music played much of the time. I’m not much of a fan, but I do find the obsession that people have with this band amusing.
Speaking of Jerry Garcia, I wanted to go find a bronze statue that I knew was in a forest somewhere on the property. We went in search, and it was quite the scavenger hunt to find it, since it’s hard to give directions for tourists who want to find a statue in a forest. It turned out to be in the woods surrounding the concert area. We began on the wrong side of the event area, over by the Little Red Shed.
I tried a couple of times to get a photo without the man in it, but he told me he didn’t mind if he was in my photo. I told him, “Well, then, you’re going to be in my blog.” He replied, “If so, you’ll have to put that my name is Chris.” I introduced myself too, then asked what he was drinking. In the photo above, you see Chris enjoying a Hammerhead Ale in front of the Little Red Shed.
We did find the bronze Jerry Garcia sculpture and it is fascinating.
The sculpture stands over 7 feet tall and is not easy to find but once you find it, it’s not easy to disregard. There are faces and skulls and animals and objects embedded all around this sculpture. I hope that all of it is specifically relevant to Garcia, and things that true fans will appreciate.
We weren’t really hungry hungry at that point, but hungry enough to know that we would want food before the concert was over. We decided to compromise by sharing a gigantic salad at the Black Rabbit Restaurant in the main building. On the way, we continued to enjoy the little discoveries available to anyone who slows down to take a good look.
We wandered over to the concert then, and had the loveliest time. I’ll tell you in my next post. But before I go, I’ll show you one more thing you can do at McMenamins facilities. You can get “passport” stamps. I love getting stamps. You can earn them by visiting different places, solving puzzles, participating in experiences. When you fill a page, you get a prize.
By the end of our visit, we had filled the Edgefield pages (two pages because it’s so big). Pedro had been eyeing these stuffed black rabbits from the moment we walked in, and he had wondered aloud if they were available as prizes. Sure enough, his hunch was right, and after I presented my completed passport pages, Pedro got a rabbit.
Our second day there, we went on FOUR tours, ha ha! So I’ll add a post just about Edgefield tours.