Reluctantly, drive out of Ashland & head up OR-99W, only to find Central Point’s cute little museum closed, and its Rogue Creamery “cheesy”.
So, “saddle up” and head into Gold Hill, with comparable results.
Finally, in Rogue River (yep, it’s not only a river and a national forest, it’s a town, too), and find a reason to wander about, and something to chase after. Do a bit of “strolling” and find perhaps the tiniest railroad station ever (it’s about the size of a tool shed), and a charming rock garden.
Head off for Wimer, and delight finding (if no lovely, lovesick Francesca), a lovely “bridge of sighs”. (Is it just “luck”, or is it by “design”, covered bridges are placed in lovely settings?)
Back in Rogue River, manage to go “3-for3”, as their Woodville Museum (once a jail) is also closed.
Am now ready for “The Big Time”, so head into Grants Pass and am immediately delighted by their Historic Downtown area. An occasional strip mall here, a modern building there, but, by and large, well-kept heritage-worthy buildings.
At Grants Pass Pharmacy beg nostalgia with a chocolate malt at their “Historic Soda Fountain”, only to be disappointed no bobby-soxed, pony-tailed, plaid-skirted, white bloused, lovely is, while sip-sharing a fountain Coke, gazing into the eyes of a chino-trousered, crew-cut young man. (Norman-baby, would your paintings live so long in memory were they composed of teen girls with untidy hair, body piercings & flabby “spare tires” slopping over wholly tattered jeans?)
At post office, middle-aged “John” answers “technology takes too many jobs away” and offers that disappearance of “gas pump jockeys” accounts for angst among desultory teenage boys. He’d happily support (we didn’t discuss any corresponding tax implications) a return to “those Depression programs which got kids into work camps”. (He also wishes his options for President included “a Kennedy, or a Ronald Reagan”).
Across Fox St, some charming murals with a “rotogravure” quality; which takes my mind onto songs with words no longer meaningful (e. g., “Easter Parade” uses “you’ll find that you’re, in the rotogravure”; “Oklahoma” includes “eisenglass windows you can roll right down”).
Across from trompe l’oeil featuring a Hotel Josephine of better days, dine at 115 Broiler, an old-fashioned Italian restaurant replete with Venetian wall homages & Frank, and Dino, and Tony for aural gratification.
The wheelchair-bound, middle-aged man who enters a few minutes later displays immediate arrogance about seating, challenges an older waitress about meal options, and proceeds to embarrass ME, by pointing out to all within hearing, he’s from California’s Silicon Valley. His companions, a gray-haired man and woman sit, mostly silent, as this guy shares, at considerable length and volume, his dyspeptic vision of the world. Am tempted to pop “The Question”, but, am already bored by his shallowness, and a prospect of his pontifications prevents pursuing my thought.