By the time we got out the door this morning, it was already sunny and very warm. We were overdressed in t-shirts and vests! My weather app said it was 58 degrees but that can’t have been right. Breakfast was from Morning Glory today. We arrived right at opening time of 8:00am and the line was already out the door. Shouldn’t they take a hint and open earlier on Saturdays?
Service was pretty efficient, and within a few minutes we had our toasted bagels (multigrain for Rich, three-seed multigrain for me) and cream cheese on the side (veggie and spicy cilantro). We had the usual coffee and tea, but this time my tea was a nice black tea with mint—very good! We ate everything at our gazebo in the hot sunshine, watching (and unfortunately hearing) all the cruisers come ashore.
Once we started to bake in the sun, it was time to get up and move. We wandered through Agamont Park, taking some photos of neat berries that look like tiny apples hanging on a tree we haven’t yet identified. Then, outside the Rock & Art shop, we noticed a windowbox made into a bog garden! So amazing! It looked like someone went crazy at California Carnivores and bought at least one of everything. Rich spent some time taking photos of all the different pitcher plants, sundews and flytraps.
Our plan for today had been to explore the Hunters Beach and Hunters Cliff trails, until we realized that the bus doesn’t go near there. This led to a frustrating few minutes trying to figure out what else we could do. We settled on taking a walk at Eagle Lake and checking out the old foundation. The bike shuttle wasn’t full so we were able to take it to Eagle Lake and then walk south, ultimately planning on ending up at Bubble Pond.
It’s a little under a mile to the intersection with the “hidden” trail we discovered last year that would take us to the foundation. We found it again easily and hiked over to the arches, making sure no one was watching us so we didn’t give away the spot. The arches were as awesome as last year—but Rich had another surprise in store.
He began looking for the note we’d read about in Matthew Marchon’s blog post about Mary Rinemold and the lover that had been turned into a loon. We looked around for a full 10 minutes without success. Matthew intentionally (and understandably!) hadn’t divulged its location online. We thought maybe it was up on top of the arches, even!
But I was drawn to the areas that were more at eye-level or might be in an area where Matt was casually poking around, since of course he hadn’t known about the note in advance and just found it by accident.
Eventually, I spotted it! And when I did, we couldn’t believe we had missed it. So exciting! We carefully removed it from its spot, extra-carefully unfolded and unrolled it, and were able to read it easily (and take a few photos). Eerily, a loon was calling the entire time we were looking for and reading the note.
After a picnic “lunch” of peanut butter crackers and a few candy fruit slices left over from Rein’s (blueberry, watermelon and pomegranate) and watching kayakers and paddleboarders float by without having a clue we were there, we headed back out to the carriage road.
Our next little goal was to look for the Eagle Lake Cascade, which is about a quarter mile south along the carriage road (count 5-6 drainage ditches, and head into the woods at the bridge with wooden rails). But the falls were almost completely dry today, with just a few drips of water wetting the rocks and the moss growing within. Still a great find! (Thanks again Matthew!) A few red squirrels accompanied us in the woods at this spot. They didn’t seem to want the acorns we’d gathered for them.
We finished our hike by continuing south to Bubble Pond—along the way, checking out our guess at the route of the cog railway as it climbed the side of Cadillac—where we relaxed for half an hour and then got the bus back to the Village Green.
On our way back to our room, we stopped at Rock & Art to see if they still had the big Ferocactus that was about to bloom last year. Unfortunately it was nowhere to be found, and we weren’t about to ask the creepy goth girls working there if they knew anything about it. They had two cactuses in the corner that were funny: a hairy Oreocereus that was supposed to look like Bernie Sanders and a crested cactus with orange spines that was supposed to represent Trump, near a sign that said “Cactus Caucus.” They had some really nice polished stones, as always, and again we admired the bog garden.
Dinner tonight was at Rogue Cafe. We weren’t even sure if we’d be able to get a reservation because they were so busy this year, but we called this morning and left a message, and they called us back while we were on the Eagle Lake shuttle. We had no trouble getting a reservation for 5:30. We headed out around 5:00 and were well on our way when traffic slowed just before our destination. WTF was this? Oh, a sobriety checkpoint. We eventually passed through and got to the cafe on time.
When we arrived, were the only ones in the place! This is always fantastic. We started with wheat-oat bread, biscuits and homemade pickles, and Peaks IPA. Then Rich had the late summer veggie gazpacho and I had the 3-melon salad (watermelon, cantaloupe, some kind of white melon, greens simply dressed with roasted hazelnuts).
Then for entrees, Rich had Asian braised sirloin which came with carrots, cauliflower and a potato cake. I had crispy fried haddock with lemon aioli, also with the cauliflower and carrots and roasted potatoes. Could we resist dessert? Well, we were pretty stuffed, but we saw they had lavender crème brûlée again and had to get it! Awesome as always.
We made it back through the checkpoint without any problem and headed back to the room for well-deserved rest.