Now that Christmas is behind us, and all the romance of those gorgeous snowy days is a bit dim, we decided it was time to head over the mountain for a break. We wanted to check on the MoHo, make sure that the space heater Mo set up was working properly, see the new fancy chain drive that was installed on the shed roll up door, and just hang out for a couple of days in a place where snow is a rarity. We also thought it might be fun to see just how much the hole in the kitchen ceiling had grown.
Most of the time when we drive over the snowy pass, we take our toad, the Tracker. It has studded tires and 4 wheel drive and could probably climb a tree if needed. But we wanted space and comfort and it was only a 2 hour drive, so we opted instead to take the Lexus. With something called ECT (a button!) and Overdrive OFF, she did just fine in spite of the dicey conditions on the pass.
Our Oregon State DOT wrote something up in the newspaper last summer about coming up with a name for our pass. I sure hope they do it soon. It is definitely a real pass, with a summit and lots of snow. For now, we just call it Highway 140, and say we are going “over the pass”. Sure would be nice to have a name. I am voting for Sky Lakes Pass since it travels just south of the Sky Lakes Wilderness. Hey, Jeanne, maybe Brown Mountain Pass, or Mt McLoughlin Pass, or Pelican Butte pass? The road doesn’t go over a single one of those big mountains, but ‘passes’ right in between all of them.
It isn’t much distance from home to Medford. We are near milepost 44 and the highway starts in Medford at 0. Probably 25 miles this side of Medford is out of the snow zone, so the pass itself is really only about 15 miles of actually winter pass driving. Medford and Grants Pass are in zone 7 on the agricultural scale, the same as the foothills of California. There is occasional snow, and a cold enough winter that tulips and lilacs will bloom, but most of the time there isn’t anything to shovel and the daytime temperatures are almost always above freezing. Within half an hour of leaving home, we were out of the snow and into the rain and fog that is common this time of year in the Rogue Valley.
Once we arrived at the cottage, we were happy to see the MoHo shed looking shiny and the MoHo all safe and cozy inside. Mo had a big roll up door installed, and they hadn’t put in the chain drive when we were here last. Both of us got a big kick out of how incredibly easy it was to open the big door with that fancy drive. Sure beats trying to push the thing up with a pole. It is Heavy!
Once we knew that the MoHo was all safe and sound and that the little space heater had kept things just toasty in there, we went inside the chilly damp cottage to see how things were faring. Funny how something like the hole in the kitchen ceiling just seems interesting instead of devastating when the cottage isn’t a full time proposition. I sure would hate to have this happen in my real house. Mo found a roofer in the area who seemed reasonably experienced and made an appointment for him to come and give us an estimate for a new or repaired roof.
This guy was interesting, to say the least, and he really likes to talk, especially in circles. Hopefully he knows what he is doing. He said there were at least 4 and maybe 5 layers on that old roof, and that he would take it down to the wood, replace anything that is rotted and start fresh. Mo decided on shingles instead of metal, since there isn’t any snow to slide off in Grants Pass to speak of anyway. He said that he would tarp the roof until he could get to it. Tarp??!! Blue Tarps??!! I have spent the last 40 years laughing at what my friends and I called “North Idaho Roofing Jobs”, blue tarps everywhere. Now I am going to have one? I hope maybe he uses something other than those awful blue tarps.
We spent the rest of our time enjoying the break from plowing and shoveling snow. The leaves from the oaks were wet and thick on the ground, but since we can’t seem to coordinate our visits with a legal burn day, Mo thought it was better to just let the leaves wait where they are instead of making a big wet pile of them somewhere else. I liked that idea a lot, since I am the major leaf raker, and while Mo did puttery house repairs (her favorite hobby), I sat in front of the big south facing window knitting.
We have a nice old fashioned and very good gas stove in the house that had it warmed up and cozy in no time. Dinner was leftover ham from Christmas on the first night but the second night after running some errands we decided it was time for real pizza. Living in Rocky Point most of the time, means it is a minimum 40 minutes on a dry good day from town to home. Hard to get a pizza back from the shop while still hot.
The cottage, however, is just 3 miles from town, and the Legendary Abby’s Pizza. I remember eating Abby’s pizzas when I lived in Medford back in 1969! The store was full but not overcrowded, with lots of happy folks eating pizza and enjoying the big fire in the center of the dining room. Our pizza was great, the half carafe of Burgundy wine was certainly not fancy, but obviously we had a good time.
Dang, that pizza was GOOD! Or was it the wine.
The best part was the ten minute drive back to the cottage! We really like this part about living near town. Grants Pass seems to have some nice stores and restaurants, and even though the population is technically smaller than Klamath Falls, the stores are all bigger, newer, and nicer for some reason. Home Depot is well stocked and probably 1/3 bigger than our shop in Klamath. Is it access to the interstate that makes the difference?
This morning we woke again to a foggy day and deer in the yard. The mama looked familiar, with what is probably last year’s yearling and this year’s fawn. The doe and the yearling get over the fence, but the fawn always seems to end up wandering along outside the fence. I suppose he will eventually get big enough to actually jump with the other two.
Both of us are getting a bit antsy to get the MoHo out of her pretty shed and on the road. Before mid month January we will be heading south to the desert via the old favorite, I-5. I really miss that hot springs pool at Catalina Spa in Desert Hot Springs. I think we owe a nice Palm Springs dinner to Rick and Paulette as well, and I even miss those silly windmills spinning away.
I also showed Mo some of the reviews that Nina wrote about San Diego, so we are going to give it a try this season after our 7 day Passport America stay at Catalina Spa. Looking forward to something a bit different that we haven’t done before. I haven’t been to the San Diego Zoo since I was a kid. Yippee!!