Tuesday 8/25/09 This beautiful country is Umpqua Valley...the land of Umpqua in Douglas County of Oregon. It looks very much like the Tollhouse area with rolling hills & lots of oak trees. They have four seasons but none of them seem to be extreme. Lots of very small communities around here with a very country feeling. Today we are going to explore a few places near here. One of the visitors guide books that I am using has a web site with I'm sure lots of info of this area if you care to take a look www.nrtoday.com
Our first stop is the covered bridge, Rochester that was built in 1933 and is only about 3 miles from our campground. Of course the first time looking for it we missed it....you ask, how do you miss a covered bridge, we didn't turn on the right road. Finally we find it, park & walk through it. There are lots of covered bridges in this area however this one is the closest. It's in a quiet and oh so peaceful valley with farms, horses & sheep everywhere....just like the Meryl Streep/Clint Eastwood movie.
This valley, because it is so like our area is big wine country, lots of local wineries that have brochures out for tasting tours. It seems to be big business up here. Will & I are not interested in wineries but in looking through the brochure I find a Becker Vineyard owned by Charlie Becker. Now for those who don't know, my maiden name is Becker & my father was Charlie Becker so of course I said to Will, we have to go there, I want to buy a bottle of Becker Wine. So off we go following our wine tour map on back roads that don't even seem like they have been discovered yet, but there it is, Becker Vineyard www.beckerwine.com slogan...Small Winery: Big Wines! Fortunately, the tasting room is open everyday and Charlie is in the tasting room with two other ladies sampling the wine. He wants to pour Will & I a glass of wine, but I say no and introduce myself & tell him why I came there. His father was also named Charlie & was from the Rochester, New York & Cleveland, Ohio area, we talked for a few minutes then I spot a great yellow Becker Baseball cap which of course I had to have and then purchased a bottle of wine. Not being a drinker I didn't know what to pick until I came to the bottle... Rose....which was my mom's name, Rose Becker....sold, I'll take it. So that's my unusual souvenir from this area.
It's lunch time so we are treating ourselves to lunch in historic, downtown Oakland www.makewebs.com/oakland and then a walk thru the town and Oakland Museum. Unfortunately, Oakland is a very small town with a population of 945, many old buildings dating back to the late 1800's but struggling to survive. We head over to Trolly's, and old soda fountain with a restaurant and new bar. It's restored beautifully and Will has a wonderful hamburger with homemade french fries and I have veggie quiche. It's all good but very expensive, it always reminds us why we don't eat out much....very costly. We walk around the town, several antique stores or junk stores as Will calls them, a great old hardware store with a fourth generation running it today. We then visit the Oakland museum that is set up with individual rooms and most everything has been donated by members of the community. Well done & very interesting.
We then head over to "our" town, Sutherlin, OR www.VisitSutherlin.ci.sutherlin.or.us and look around, visit the tourist center then home as we have to pack for tomorrow. We are heading for Crater Lake on Wednesday & will spend the night, returning home on Thursday. It has been a really great day and we are so glad we extended our stay here. Signing off for now with much love to family and friends.