So after Shasta, we planned on heading back west towards the coast again. I had hoped to make it all the way up to Oregon-just so I could say I was in a different state, but it would have been too much for all of us! So we were driving towards Willow Creek, which on Google Maps said 3 hours, but of course we have to make stops on the way. One thing I was looking forward to before this roadtrip started was lots of interesting stops or at least fresh produce/fruit stand stops since we were passing farmlands galore. HOWEVER, we didn’t see a single farmstand thus far on our trip-huge disappointment since I was picking distance from all the strawberries, artichokes, sunflowers, and other yummy looking farm fresh foods! I’m here, I’m a consumer, I want to buy some fresh fruit and veggies-sell to me… PLLLLEEEEAAASSSE!!! But no, no one was selling anything, sadly, we didn’t make any “fun” stops like we did on our drives down south in the past (lotsa farm stands, ostrich farm, local art galleries, cute little towns with cute little shops, etc). Well, it was also harder to make too many stops with the Kiggster since it is a hassle to either wake her up from her nap to walk around or take her in and out of her car seat so often. So I guess nothing was “worthy enough” of those hassles.
We did have to make a stop at this tiny town of Dunsmuir-really tiny, like blink your eye and you’ll miss it tiny. But we did stop at the Dunsmuir Botanical Garden for a nice river excursion.
Then at the actual botanical garden, we let her loose on the grassy lawn…
Her and grass are pretty tight these days…I mean tight as in she’s got a tight grip around their tiny little blades. I don’t know how much grass likes her because she likes to uproot them so much! She has become a very efficient and aggressive lawn mower.
Then after the Botanical Garden, we headed into the town of Dunsmuir where the people are. We stopped at this one restaurant there (not too many to choose from) and wasn’t expecting much from a small town restaurant. They actually had a pretty good menu so we put in our order and also asked for a side salad (we were going to feed Kiggster some cucumber and tomatoes from it). When the side salad came, we were shocked because we were expecting just no-nutrition-lettuce to fill a small plate and maybe a cucumber and tomato. However, what came instead was a nice small salad plate filled with mixed greens, arugula, frisee, shredded carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts and tomatoes! We don’t even get this kind of quality in most SF restaurants that serve an inexpensive side salad (maybe a 4 star, $$$$ restaurant we could get a $7 side salad with that stuff but not at your regular, eat-at-everyday places), but this was in Dunsmuir-who’s even heard of that town?! The guy working there was super friendly to Kiggster and even asked if she’d like some more sliced cucumbers (she ate a lot of the salad and even some of my veggies). I’m liking a lot of these small towns that are so kid-friendly and go the extra mile to make your dining experience better!
Apparently, 1 person owns a lot of Dunsmuir…I forget what the population count was but this person will become king/queen of Dunsmuir soon! We even passed a town where the sign said Population: 0…eeek 0?! Is it even considered a town at that point?! And why would you have a sign for a town with zero people?! Oh well. It was time to continue on our journey, though Kiggster was not wide awake and getting bored in the backseat. So I sat in the back with her and let her go wild with her paper obsession…
Oh yeah, those little fingers are very good at tearing apart even the tiniest shreds of paper and tissue! It’s actually kinda cute and therapeutic watching her tear paper-maybe it’s therapeutic for her too that’s why she does it! So she starts out with a big piece of paper/napkin, holds both ends and pulls really her hands away from each other ripping it in half or sometimes more. Then she drops some of it leaving just one big piece and repeats that cycle again. Drops those, and rips one piece, repeat and rinse! She does this until she’s got a gazillion tiny shreds surrounding her and when she’s down to the tiny shreds, she uses those meticulous little fingers to do the tearing and separating. All this without trying to put it into her mouth!
Then along our drive, we even noticed 4 deers and does along the side of the road-so cute! They were all in different locations but you close enough to each other that you could tell they were a family! I just wanted to open my door for one of the tiniest baby does so it could hop in and I could take it home! Hey, people in our complex have HUGE dogs and they’re loud and poop everywhere-a baby deer is so much cuter and quieter! Plus instead of getting a pony or something like that for the Kiggster, we’ll have a well trained deer, right?! Yeah, Honey wasn’t buying that one either…
So we finally reach Willow Creek at Coho Cottages and we booked the Tao House. It was the most expensive room on our trip ($135) but the BigFoot Motel was already all booked out (Ewww) and so were all other affordable places-others were waaay out of our price range. So the Tao room was the least expensive at Coho so we jumped on it.
|Our Tao House entryway|
|Queen bed when you enter.|
|A hidden kitchenette with microwave & mini-fridge.|
|Sitting area near front door.|
Then after dropping in all our stuff, we took a look at their directory of Willow Creek and upon a recommendation by the innkeepers, we went with Cinnabar Sam’s. Right around the corner from our cottages, there was the local fire station and I was staring at the cute little fire trucks. They weren’t like our modern fire trucks in the city but ones you’d see in like a fire truck museum-almost antique looking. So I asked the firefighter standing around if he’d mind if I let Kiggster sit on one of the bumpers of the truck for a picture and he said he couldn’t even take all our photos. Sweet! So naive, city-girl me decided to ask, “Are all these working fire trucks?!” He gave me this look like why would we keep broken trucks here, then said, yes we use all of the trucks.
Kiggster wouldn’t stop staring at it and at first we thought she might be scared or freaked out by it, but we soon discovered that she actually was very fascinated and intrigued by it. We were trying to take a picture so I would turn my body the other way to get her face in the picture, then she would turn. Then I turned the other way, then she would turn back to stare at BF, then I could do it again, then again, and again….you get the point. I was running circles and everytime, she would turn her head back to face and stare at BF. I wish we had a video of that because Honey and I couldn’t stop crackin’ up, she was hilarious!
Then we passed another one and she did the same thing! I think when she grows up, she’s gonna tell us that she wants to become a bigfoot-ologist because when she was little she remembered encountering several of its kind! So then we finally reached Cinnabar Sam’s after all our BF sightings! It’s actually been around for a long time and has now been taken over by the son. There’s lots of pictures and newspaper clippings hanging all around the restaurant related to fishing, hunting, bear hunting, deer heads, stuffed geese, stuffed bobcat…lots of heads all around. I felt like Dorothy saying to Toto, “
Toto Honey, I don’t think we’re in Kansas the city anymore!” The owner was super nice and made special accomodations to our meal just so it could be Kiggster-friendly, without us asking! I had the best fish and chips EVER! They weren’t fish bits or fish strips but fish fillets dipped in their fresh, housemade beer batter! Other restaurants (especially the city) usually only give 3 small (or normal) size pieces but here it was 3 whole fillet sized pieces and the fish tasted so fresh too. Well, it tasted fresh because the fish after being caught would be flash frozen and shipped directly to the restaurant. So Willow Creek was also another hippy-dippy, granola munchy town. On the restaurant menu, besides putting emphasis on trying to get the freshest and when possible, organic foods, they even had an option to have seared ahi tuni in your burger and no extra charge for hamburger patty alternatives (veggie burger, etc.)! That’s pretty granola munchy, but I loved knowing that I could get quality and not just quantity, but I got both here! Roderick got their daily, house-smoked ribs and let’s just say he didn’t do a lot of sharin’ that evening (yes, he still did share but not as much as usual)! The owner talked with us for awhile, telling us about this cool petting zoo in Oregon and how we should take Kiggster when she’s older, told Honey about this cool new company that works with schools, and eventually we all realized that we were all owners of the same timeshare! So we talked a lot actually, so much that Honey and I outstayed even the cooks and waitstaff! We closed that place up! But it was nice to meet such friendly people on our trip!
Well, there’s more to our Willow Creek outing but we will continue later because that was a lot of writing for one posting. Toodles but hopefully not for too long!