Whew! It’s good to be back in Madera after nearly two weeks traipsing around Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. People ask whether we had a good time, and the answer is:
“Yes, but boy, are we glad to be back in Madera.” Like most vacations, the trip had moments we will remember for a long time.
- The flour-less chocolate cake. This was the dessert I chose at the Lobster Shop in Tacoma, Wash., mainly out of curiosity. I thought: What is a flour-less chocolate cake? It was a chilled texture combination of See’s dark chocolate and fudge, topped with whipped cream. It was the size of a teacup. I ate about a third and took the rest back to share with my sister and her husband, who were as thunderstruck by the wonderful flavor as I was.
- The generosity of friends. We happened to visit friends, a married couple in Ferndale, Wash., whom we hadn’t seen for several years. We called them about 10 minutes before we showed up. “Have you had anything to eat?” the wife asked. We said no, but don’t go to any trouble. Within half an hour, she put plates of steak, potatoes and vegetables before us. They had nothing for themselves. “We already ate. We had pizza,” he said.
- An unexpectedly beautiful drive. On Tuesday, we drove down the Oregon coast, which is a beautiful drive, but then we headed east toward Roseburg, on Oregon Route 33, along the Umpqua River. This drive, on an almost perfect roadway, took us through forested mountains, along rapids and ponds, over bridges, through little towns, and finally down into the Umpqua River Valley and into Sutherlin. We were one of few cars on the road. What a scenic wonderland that is, and how unexpected. One can drive from the ocean and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area at Reedsport to the Valley in a little more than an hour. Well worth the trip.