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Silverton 24 August 2018

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Happy BD Rochelle

Travel day. “Remind me never to travel again on my birthday!“ Today should have been a fairly easy, backroads 250 mile ride, but that would be if the highway wallahs put signs in the right places. We had a confusion in Washington around Chehalis, and another around Hillsboro, Oregon; if only we ’d been born there, we’d’a known, y’know? More iceberg lettuce in the lunch salad in Longview than I have eaten for years.

So: 258 miles, 6.5 hours on the road, 75mpg, 2 major frustrations (that felt a LOT longer than 8 miles, but that's all they were), many minor frustrations but zero flaggers! Only one more difficult day between us and home, and while we're enjoying family and looking forward to Shakespeare, thoughts of home begin to abound.

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At left, a Poplar plantation. Little known fact: Trees in Oregon prefer to grow (a) in straight lines, and (b) without any other life forms on their terroir.

Better known fact: travel days don’t generally produce good photos. Sorry. But we are in Silverton and with Rochelle's sister-in-law and brother for her birthday dinner. Maybe there'll be pictures...

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Sharon and Chuck joined us for dinner at the Silver Grill, Silverton's premiere restaurant. Sharon is, according to the waitress, one of their two top repeat customers.

Overall, delicious, if a little slow – Friday night, and they were slammed, and we weren't in a hurry. Rochelle and I shared a passion fruit lemonade (delicious, no picture), a Naughty Librarian salad, a tasty version of Gazpacho with enough of their excellent, slightly bitter olive oil to taste, good house-baked bread, and an Eggplant Duo – not entirely successful, in my admittedly highly critical view: the baby eggplant preparation was superb, as was the stuffing of the Eggplant Parmesan. House-made Buttermilk Ice Cream and Strawberry Sorbet with local berries for dessert – the Buttermilk Ice Cream was outstanding, surprising, delicious, and Oregon berries are the best; the dish would have been better without the unremarkable sorbet. The eggplant in the Parmesan was a healthy lengthwise slice marinated and delicately cooked (flame broiled? but why?); the meat was good, but the skin was too tough to eat. "The chef says he prepares it that way, and some people eat it, and others don't," the young busser explained. "If he doesn't keep the skin, the eggplant just falls apart." The hole in that argument was that half of one serving was tender and perfect, but of the two orders at our table, one and a half were too tough-skinned to eat. I think the chef can make this recipe work better. We're going back tomorrow night, and I'm hoping he'll have better luck with a protein dish. For me, the meal was disappointing, as our previous visit to Silver Grill was excellent.


All in all – not surprisingly – a stressful day. We will do better tomorrow.



Cold light of tomorrow, we realize we were hugely overcharged – we were given someone else's bill and, trustingly, it being Sharon's favorite restaurant (in Silverton), paid it. Sadly, I am now going over to Google and TripAdvisor and skewering them. Inexcusable.

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