|Photo from website|
Bill printed out a one-day fishing license and early our first morning we set out in search of a spot. Lots of small lakes in the area - lots! Unfortunately there is little if any public access as private homes surround each of them. While checking out one of the turnouts our battery light came on the dash.
Combined with a new humming noise under the hood Bill figured it was the alternator and we headed back to town. Whipped out the IPhone and in less than ten minutes we were pulling into Tony's Garage just off the highway.
It took one minute to confirm it was the alternator and three quick phone calls to confirm they could have a new one from Eugene in two hours. They were very busy but assured us they would move quickly once the part arrived.
Alright, let's go check out Florence. We headed to a city park where the sign said no dogs, but the park worker said come on in :-) A walk around the perimeter and through a small neighborhood we found the new Military Museum where we thought the dog park was. A local police car was pulling out and I asked where the park was - down five blocks.
Hoping to find a public "facility" we opted to head back toward the main street. Just before we turned on the street for Tony's the police officer pulled up. Said he'd seen two loose large dogs "heading your way" and he had gone back looking for us to make sure we didn't run into them with our dog. Seriously? Great guy.
Grabbed a couple sodas and made use of the McDonalds, then returned to Tony's where the part had just arrived. Hung out in the small lobby and Tony gave Bill a couple ideas for fishing access. As promised, 40 minutes later we were back on the road.
Old Town Florence is a pretty and peaceful area along the Suislaw River with numerous eateries and small shops. We again consulted BringFido.com and found the Maple Street Grille. Hands down the best meal I've had since we launched. The owner waited on us, and the previous owner stopped by to say hi to her and a couple local customers (this matters later).
|Fresh tomato and zucchini soup and crab cake|
After lunch we went to check out Tony's recommendation. Cleawox Lake in the Honeyman State Park not only has lake access, but picnic tables right on the water. A beautiful park with multiple activities including bike trails, kayaking, ATV riding, fishing and interpretive programs. I was surprised it wasn't busier on the weekend. Bill caught and released a couple (we think they were perch?) while I read and Tessa napped. Perfect.
|Honeyman Interpretive Center - a beautiful building|
|Oregon Dunes edge Cleawox Lake|
|A beautiful day to be lake side|
While we had full hookups I decided the next day to get laundry caught up and a little house cleaning done. Sue had recommended another couple places in Old Town so we chose the one with outdoor seating for lunch. Restobar 1285 did not disappoint! My manicotti and Bill's crab melt were both delicious. We even had a few minutes of light rain which smelled and sounded wonderful. The owner waited on us here as well - and guess who it was? Yep, the previous owner of Maple St who we saw the day before. Gotta love small towns.
And love Florence we did. Not only is it a decent size town with most amenities and gorgeous ocean, lakes and forests, but the local people are incredibly friendly and helpful. And damn the food is really good too!