I can usually rate a road trip by the receipts that come from my purse once home. Accordingly, our recent excursion around Oregon included the most amazing pie I have ever had in my life at Blue Reaven Farmstead in Amity Oregon, another receipt recounted an absolutely perfect scoop of homemade strawberry ice cream, so rich and smooth it barely even melted in the summer heat at an outdoor table at a place called Alf’s Ice Cream in McMinnville, there I also experienced their Junior burger which was perfectly built, so much so that I ate it with the tomato on (which I never do) precisely because of the specificity with which it was arranged, and I was not disappointed.
I also unloaded a brochure from the Oregon Vortex, where the energy vortex made me look shorter and fatter than I am, a bird seed store in Eugene where we talked about the dilemmas of bird seed for some 20 minutes with a fella, my entrance tag from the university art museum exhibit we attended of Rick Bartow’s work, and the tea booklet from the nice tea shop next to where we saw two movies at the Eugene Bijou Metro. We saw Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, and The 100 Year Old Man That Jumped Out The Window & Disappeared from Sweden, which was absolutely great!
On the first night of our trip we caught Shellac live in Eugene, as noted in an earlier blog entry. Then, we visited the great artist Dave Archer at his home and studio in bucolic Roseburg. We went with Dave to see the new Terminator movie because one of his space paintings was used in it. We saw it at an hour ten, in the background of the hospital. It was great! Roseburg isn’t really restaurant row (not yet anyway, but I feel a hipster arrival happening at any time what with the amply empty downtown storefronts. Artists of Oregon, are you listening?), so dining is a bit of a challenge and found us at the McMinneman’s in town for a burger.
We have known Dave for a number of years, he is one of our favorite people in the world, and as always it was great to spend a few days with him, and scruffy, and his protege Brent, and Brent’s dad James. Dave Archer is the man responsible for the space paintings craze of the 1980s, and while that alone would make a career for most people, it’s just the tip of the iceberg for him. He is also the artist who paints with a Tesla Coil, he worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he’s been inside the pyramids, sailed across the ocean, he had done it all and then some!
It was hard to leave Dave, it always is, but we decided to check out the Oregon Vortex. It’s some kind of naturally occurring electro-magnetic force. They had us stand with a stick on our head, one inside the vortex, one outside, and apparently I am much shorter and fatter in the vortex than outside the vortex. It’s like being on TV. After the vortex we both decided we didn’t feel good about leaving Dave’s house so abruptly, so we headed back up to Roseburg. I am so glad we did. Dave is one of our dearest friends, and one of the greatest artists alive today. He really deserves his due, he is a genius, a wizard, and a master. Someday he will be revered the way Rembrandt is.
We spent another few hours hanging out talking before officially departing to Eugene. Eugene is about an hour from Dave’s house, so onto I-5 we went. It’s funny how much we love driving in the car together. I guess that A Year At The Wheel really sticks with us?
So on to Eugene we went on a Monday night!
Whenever we find ourselves in anything resembling a city we find ourselves in a couple of places, the first of which is usually the arthouse theater the other is ethnic food. On the way to Eugene we decided to eat at the awesome Mexican restaurant we discovered on our last visit a year or two ago (WTF Fest/Tour I believe) it was called Nachos. Much to our dismay, Nachos is gone.
Shane saw a sushi place downtown that looked good, and it really was, we ate like kings, and to add to the kingly feeling, when I went to the washroom there was a bidet! I have never used one before, and it had been a long day already, so a try at it I had to have! When the stream of water hit my nether regions I was quite impressed, and then had to try nearly every different setting. When I finally emerged miso soup and our appetizer awaited me.
We then headed to the Bijou to see ‘Me & Earl & The Dying Girl’, which was pretty good. Typically sad, but it was cool to see Pussy Riot get some mentions in the film. Afterwards Eugene seemed pretty well closed up, so we headed to the not-so-nice motel I made reservations at.
On Tuesday we really rang it out, we started at the Metropol Bakery, stopped in a shop that sells only bird seed and bird feeders, and then we went to the art museum, and saw an exhibit of Rick Bartow’s work, called ‘Things You Know But Cannot Explain’ which was quite interesting. Then we raced back to the Bijou to see ‘The 100 Year Old Man That Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared’ which was an excellent Swedish film. It was funny and sad and wonderful overall.
In a novel urban experience, we went to a tea shop next door to the theater and had a wonderful to of vanilla chai tea (unheard of for us) and plotted our dinner plan. We agreed on a BBQ & Soul Food restaurant for dinner, which was very good! And then to our final destination, to see Mike Scheidt of YOB open for Sabbath Assembly.
Our friend and artist extraordinaire Sean Shock was doing sound, so it was a double bonus to get to see him! The crowd wasn’t too big, and we were able to get a table right up front to watch Mike Scheidt perform. Shane was excited to see Sabbath Assembly too so we stuck around for two more bands and then Sabbath Assembly finally took the stage. The first words from the singer’s mouth was something to the effect “It’s Tuesday in Eugene, so don’t expect much”, and the band delivered well on their word. Rather than criticize, I will say, seeing Sean, and Mike Scheidt perform made the entire evening well worth it!
The next morning, we took advantage of the pool at our sketchy motel and then headed back toward home. We made a final Eugene stop at the awesome Wandering Goat Coffeehouse for some excellent coffee, a mighty delicious vegan scone, and some of the best biscuits and gravy ever – also vegan!!!
For our return route we decided to again take 47 so we could stop at all the places we passed by on the way to Shellac on Friday. It was a beautiful drive, and we stopped for the most incredible pie at a little roadside shop in Amity Oregon called Blue Reaven Farmstand. That was some amazing pie!
The drive was beautiful, and the joy of having time together, just the two of us was really great. We arrived home as the sun began to set, and I fell asleep in a joyous dream of great friends, and art, and love, and pie.
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