Monday, June 29, 2009

I do nothing without a reward!

I'd like to be the big outdoors guy, spending several days on the trail, camping out, eating unidentifiable freeze dried "things". I love the gear... the mini camp stoves that heat a pot of water in about 3 seconds, the cute little tent lantern, my space efficient backpack. But it's time to give up any pretense that I am "that guy". It was driven home to me once again yesterday and today, as w and I took a one day backpacking trip to the Little North Santiam river trail. Very pretty river views, and a river of sweat inducing 3 mile hike in Sunday with plenty of elevation gain. How I ever thought I could do 15 or 20 mile hikes I have no idea. Three miles in, my shirt soaked, and I'm already looking forward to leaving the next day. And berating myself for not throwing some cans of beer in my pack. Working up a sweat with no possible hope of cold alcoholic reward is a sorry existence and disturbingly masochistic behavior. So we had a nice night, Chopper (the cute boy in the top pic, lounging riverside) was very happy, although at 12-1/2 years old he's probably thinking we're trying to kill him with that hike, we brought along some of w's fabulous cashew chili for dinner that was sublime....and how much better it would have been with a cold beer...sigh.....
Then it was up early the next morning to our true reward. A faster hike out, where sliding into the comfort of the Subaru's seats felt like a true luxury. Off down the highway, where we had been talking about breakfast at the Swiss Village restaurant off Highway 22 in Lyons (about 25 minutes west of Salem) for the past 24 hours. All that outdoor beauty, and we can't wait for a home style breakfast cooked for us. See what I mean about not being "that guy"? Anyway, should any of you find yourselves going to Detroit Lake, Opal Creek (to digress: for those who haven't heard of it, Opal Creek is a big, old-growth wilderness area here in Oregon. But what kind of wilderness is it if it has its own website? Just sayin'!), or Bend, make time for b-fast at Swiss Village. A mother-daughter team just re-opened it a month ago, and it was one of the best morning meals I've had in a long time. The coffee was outstanding, not the usual "office roast" you find in most country diners. We were told mom is really into coffee and wouldn't serve the usual commercial shit. God bless mom, because that tasted so good this morning. Our cooked to order breakfasts were awesome as well. My biscuits with homemade gravy (above left) was delicious. Not heavy or greasy, the gravy just right. Eggs cooked perfectly and an excellent sausage patty alongside. Just what a fat and cholesterol starved body needed! w's breakfast (right) of eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, and a muffin was sublime, mostly made that way by the BEST HASHBROWNS I HAVE EVER HAD!! Made there, thickly grated, buttery crisp outside, perfectly potatoey inside. It's almost worth it to make the 70 drive from Portland just to have them, and if you're cruising through for a hike or camping trip, make time! For the money, this is what the diner that inhabits all of our dreams should be!

1 comment:

kab said...

We are shocked, SHOCKED that you took no alcohol to soothe your sore muscles (from the inside). As I read your sad tale to Dave, his jaw dropped and I swear he had tears in his eyes. (Dave said he'd do without a sleeping bag if it was a choice between that and his gin. Just sayin'.) But thanks for the tip on the Swiss Village...great!