The Rolling Pin Bake & Brew

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230c 2nd. St. * Bandon OR 97411 * 541-252-5244 * therollingpinbb.com

Shaped and size like a rolling pin, you would not BELIEVE the yummies they fit in here.

The Rolling Pin rolled up into downtown Bandon where they appear to be absolutely dominating the cupcake business. SPECIAL GUEST RACHEL and I barged in and noted they have sweet and savory deliciousnesses, including, I just realized, hand apple pies!

However, hand apple pies were not available on our visit, so we dove into their Herculean cupcake menu. If ever there was a cupcake to be had, ‘lo, it is here. This is your chance to escape reality. Besides the usual suspects, check out these flavors (short sample!); Tuxedo, Almond Joy, Kokomo, Lemon Lovers, Earl Gray, Funfetti?!? Each sounds like a magic carpet ride. The only cupcake missing was one shaped like a seagull head, which sounds disgusting and it is but hear me out. Years prior I was with Rachel’s mom’s golden retriever on the beach where he was romping away. I kept wondering why this bouncing bundle of joy was making people scream until he ran up to me and smiled.

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GAH!

Perched on his tongue staring at me was a perfectly preserved seagull HEAD. My turn to shriek. I’d love to see Bandon Bake & Brew create a seagull head cupcake in honor of doggo’s great caper, but for some reason they might not go for it.

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Le Piece de Resistance

SPECIAL GUEST RACHEL and I took some Death By Chocolate/Not Seagull Head cupcakes to her pad, to be devoured under the watchful eye of her fantastical makaw. There are many reasons why Rachel is a special guest, for example, anyone living with a giant wild bird that can live for 80 years and bite your finger off is quite the brave character. Ask how she ended up with this loving commitment. Until then, let it be known Rachel and I met in college and became besties, which means we love each other and can destroy lives with shared knowledge of each others’ shenanigans. I’ll just state the fact that Rachel is a hospice nurse –  a most badass of jobs –  and even more crazy impressive is the fact that a hospice nurse in my parents’ home knew Rachel and absolutely worshipped her. To achieve this level of badassery is incomprehensible to me, so for god’s sake Rachel deserves all the spaghetti I can cook and pie and cupcakes whenever needed. That said,  a hospice nurse choosing Death By Chocolate cupcakes implies subconscious irony only and not of plotting a pleasant way to check out. I swear.

Oh! And those devilish cupcakes? Definitely magic. Even when scarfed under the watchful eye of Rico the Flying Dragon:

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Rico on HIS magic carpet ride

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Surfing and Strolling near Rolling Pin Bake & Brew

SURFING: I didn’t have my gear with me, but it appears if you find a place without giant boulders and no boats to mow you over and no territorial teenagers, you’re in luck. Likewise find days when it is not windy HA!!!

STROLLING: I combo-ed this with a half-arsed surf check. You can get a great lengthy stroll along Bandon beach, complete with tide pools and doggies running around with severed bird heads.

Bandon Baking Company & Deli

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160 2nd. St. SW * Bandon OR 97411 * 541-347-9440 * Bandonbakingco.com

To heck with it, here’s a quote straight from Bandon Baking Co’s website; “… When you NEED a cookie, pastry, dessert, French styled croissant, or a hand crafted loaf of bread – The bakery has been the go to place for locals and travellers alike…”

Yes I DO need! And so does my SPECIAL GUEST pal Rachel. That means a local (her) and traveller (me) did indeed go to the Bandon Baking Co.  and picked up a couple of ‘pie bars.’ These were basically pie slices shaped into slabs which I justified as ‘power bars’ because of the shape. And by inserting ‘Deli’ into their name, this implies the joint is not only a bakery, but serves full meals. Thus Rachel and I had those health bars for breakfast. A more delicious breakfast can not be had, nor more suitably sustaining for scuffling around Bandon beach in the 40 knot winds or whatever loco is on tap that day.

The Baking Company itself is easy to find, though she and I have not always been so navigationally savvy. One day many moons ago we decided to whip up from the San Francisco Bay Area to her hometown of Bandon by way of the scenic coastal route. Mistake. Nothing like driving behind RV’s scraping the side of the road pretending they’re tractors for hours and hours. Then we saw a sign for our next highway, which, relieved to free ourselves from the slow lane,  we foolishly took. Two hours later we find ourselves on the highway we wanted – but 150 miles SOUTH of  where we wanted to pop out. Oops! Could that highway sign have not been more specific? Must we be forced to consult actual maps?

 We arrived in Bandon Oregon in the pitch dark and many hours later with only a smattering of people worried about what the hell happened. I’m positive we ate at Bandon Baking Company on that trip, but too bad we did not eat pie THEN. Now thanks to the knowledge that comes with age, we know that pie is needed for any road trip.

I have no photo of our bakery pit stop, but here is a rendering of a photo we took in college – I’m pretty sure this was right before our incredible journey north:

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Pisces sign or This Explains Everything

 

Thank you for feeding us, Bandon Baking Company!

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SURFING: I didn’t have my gear with me, but if you find a place without giant boulders and no boats to mow you over and no territorial teenagers, you might be in luck. Likewise find days when it is not windy HA!!!

STROLLING: I combo-ed this with a half-arsed surf check. You can get a great lengthy stroll along Bandon beach, complete with tide pools and doggies running around with severed bird heads.

 

Estes Park Pie Shop

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509 Big Thompson Ave. * Estes Park CO 80517 * 970-577-PIES * Estesparkpieshop.com

I can’t quite find the word to describe the feeling, seeing one’s former garage contents behind museum glass under the heading, ‘ What they used back then’, but I can try. ‘Kerfuddle’ comes to mind. You see, months earlier I had emptied out my folks’ house and ginormous STUFF ( refer to The Sequoias entry ), some of which was apparantly museum-worthy mountaineering gear. There’s another word for realizing those moldy hats and clippings and strewn-about-junk has historical value which needs to be shipped off, and that’s, ‘areyoukiddingme’. The plus side is while sorting this mess I got to poach any extras I wanted – and now I found myself staring at our garage items and my own camping gear on reverent display at the American Alpine Club in Golden, Colorado.

“ Are you donating that backpack too?!”  A happy docent pointed to my backpack.

“ No! I’m still using it!” I blurted, clutching it tighter.

And truly I was. The reason I passed through the American Alpine Club was our garage storage had scored new digs, and I wanted to check it out. Afterwards I planned to visit my Dad’s best friend who has done measly things like the west traverse of Everest. Dad’s friend’s name was helpfully written in marker across the back of the day pack, so my excuse for couch surfing was to return it to the rightful owner. Meanwhile that pack was still in great shape so why not keep it alive and exploring?

You can’t visit mountaineers without bringing food, and if you listen closely you can hear my brakes squealing,  *ERT!* when I spied a sign that said, “You need pie!”  Why yes! YES! I do need pie always! Everyone gets pie!

Estes Park Pie Shop is located in the gateway to Rocky Mountain National park, surrounded by stunning mountains and many elk and stores that will make you wish you’ll never see another wooden carved bear in your goddamn life. Not knowing what our family friends would like, I picked up three kinds of pie.  Again, this is where my notes went kablooie, but I do recall a multiberry, a peach, and an apple. The trick with the apple was, Estes Park Pie Shop has different kinds of crust ; crumble, pastry, or lattice. My goodness! In the name of fairness, I won’t reveal the preferences of Sir Mountain Climber and his gorgeous wife. I will tell you this: Estes Park pie after a hike is divine!

Also divine were the hiking views. Kathy ( wife of climber ) patiently took me on a Rocky Mountain hike which was spectacular despite me dumping my head in puddles to cool off. On the way back down the loop we ran across a ranger’s hiking llamas. I know they exist but had never seen one in person so close, nor did I realize they were so expressive. Here’s one featured on historical binder paper with what turned out to be historical tent sweepers, who knew:

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 History buffs can ogle fascinating tent sweepers in the American Alpine Club museum, or via docent tour of Astrid’s gear. Decidedly younger pie and llamas are best viewed by Estes Park Pie Shop.  And the famous backpack? It’s now officially part of Astrid’s pie hunting and camping tools. Onward!

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Surfing and Strolling near Estes Park Pie Shop

SURFING: Noot. But there’s couch surfing all over Colorado. I hope.

STROLLING: Rocky National Park. During every little day hike I swear I could hear the angles singing ‘AAAAAAA!’ It’s that beautiful. Big caveat, as a surfer – aka sea level denizen – expect to suck wind at altitude while getting passed by people, dogs, llamas, insects, etc…use this time to take photos and dump your head in scenic puddles if you’re an overheater like myself.

 

First Rise Baking

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630 Fleet St. * Brookings OR 97415 * 541-254-9164

These ladies are so cute! Look, even the only sign I could find ( online ) to copy for their store was a design by a kid. Major bonus points for deciding, “ To heck with the professional woo-woo, lil’ Jenny’s contribution is the best idea ever.” Pies of the West loves their choice.

I walked over to First Rise Baking from Dee-Ann’s Tea Room Cafe in a successful attempt to pig out on baked goods from Brookings. Once inside I realized if I was a local, I would spend copious amounts of time here. Plus, they had HAND PIES. And by ‘had’, I mean that literally, because they had run out! Another excellent sign.

Their scones seemed like the next closest thing to hand pies? So of course I took a couple and they were freaking yummy. While making my decision I chatted with the bakery lasses and promised not to screw up their picture. Here is the cartoon version, they really are this adorable ( and don’t sport whiteout in real life )

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3 Knockouts!

Hanging above their heads is a pair of boxing gloves – there’s a story there –  which also happened to be ANOTHER sign. Shortly after arriving home an old injury flared up and prevented me from surfing for months. What did I do to stave off lack-of-surf-psychosis? Cardio kickboxing! And guess what, beating the shit out of huge bags burns about a bazillion billion calories. Hooray! I can keep eating lots and lots of pie!

Back to this crew. After eating lots and lots of pie all over,  I’ve discovered one consistency; people who bake pies are what’s right in the world. They’re truly splendid folks. In a world where the jerks dominate the news, meeting bakers is always an uplifting ( insert baking pun ) experience. Consider this declaration with extra weight (ooo another pun ) since it’s via me, a total introvert who cops out of  ‘too much’ hooman interaction on a regular basis. So hail bakers, I say, sprinkle your sugar and dazzle and boxing glove mojo all over the world.  Shoutout to First Rise Baking!

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Surfing and Strolling near First Rise Baking

SURFING: The Ultimate Rule of Surfing applies here, which is, if you leave your surf gear at home, you are guaranteed to get abnormally good surf conditions for days. Particularly in seasons and locations where you KNOW the surf will suck. This insult is survivable by knowing if you can’t surf, and know it’s good, don’t look. Thus I blew past the entire Oregon Coast with only minor pining glimpses outside Astrid’s windows.

STROLLING: There sure is, but I was unfortunately on this hurry-ish demon thing called ‘a schedule.’ However I did stroll from Dee-Ann’s to First Rise. Overachieving in Brookings!

 

 

 

Dee-Ann’s Tea Room Cafe

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434 Redwood St. #6 * Brookings OR 97415 * 541-469-7240

Walking into this joint I feel like I stepped back in time, in the best possible way. Dee-Ann’s is an ‘old’ fashioned local cafe , literally, as it is festooned everywhere with vintage-y tea pots. As one who uses the occasional teapot as planters, storage, flower vases – in short, everything but tea – I approve. Also noted, it appears local yokel people eat and *gasp* actually meet up in person here I SAW NO COMPUTERS.

 This place had pie written all over it, and sure enough I ordered a big berry slice to go. Yum yum! If you want a hunk-a home-baked cafe style berry pie look no further. Comfort food at its finest! Delicious!!!

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Dee-Ann’s Genie

Now flash forward from ‘old’ to ‘now’; to jog my memory I made reference notes on the places that got eaten by the Great Data Apocalypse. Helpful? No. Creative? Sure. My message for Dee-Ann’s instructs you to come in for biscuits , and that it got a great review from ( all caps copied precisely )  ITALIANS.

ITALIANS, of all people! It’s better not knowing what on earth I was thinking. The takeaway is, if THE ITALIANS give a good review, you better try the food! Nice work, Dee-Ann’s!

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Surfing and Strolling near Dee-Ann’s Tea Room Cafe

SURFING: The Ultimate Rule of Surfing applies here, which is, if you leave your surf gear at home, you are guaranteed to get freakish good surf conditions for days. This especially applies to seasons and locations where you KNOW the surf will suck. MY Ultimate Rule of Surfing is, if you can’t surf, and know it’s good, don’t look. Thus I blew past the entire Oregon Coast with only minor pining glimpses outside Astrid’s windows.

STROLLING: There sure is, but I was unfortunately on this hurry-ish demon thing called ‘a schedule.’ However I did stroll from Dee-Ann’s to First Rise. Overachieving in Brookings!

 

 

Bailey’s Bakery & Cafe

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26910 Sandridge Rd * Nahcotta WA 98637 * 360-665-4449 * Baileysbakerycafe.com

Incognito bakery and baker! Okay, Bailey’s Bakery isn’t incognito, but the baker we talked to wished to remain anonymous, which only adds to this place’s appeal.

Bailey’s is a charming cottage that’s popped up in the semi-out-of-the-way northern part of the Long Beach peninsula. You wouldn’t stumble across it, you have to know it’s THERE. Local knowledge helps, and that’s where my SPECIAL GUEST KIM COOPER comes into play.

 Bailey’s is perfectly situated for an aprés bog hike bite, and that’s exactly what Kim and I did. We swooped in – two damp wee Sasquatches – and stared at the counter display. Pies, Cinnamon rolls, cake, rooooaaaarrrr! Incognito Baker Dude told us that all pies were made with buttermilk, which limited my diary impaired arse but boy can you imagine the FLAVOR of all those desserts?!

I ‘made do’ with chocolate cake which swear to god was like the most scrumptious fudge I’ve ever eaten.  Kim grabbed more pie of course, and both of us went amazeballs over Bailey’s cinnamon rolls. They’re called, ‘ Thunder Buns’; say that out loud and test your maturity level.

In homage to the fabulous Bailey’s, here is a montage of Thunder Buns and other impressions of the Long Beach peninsula. No one but the artist is to blame for this mess:

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Thunder Buns disapprove of over-arty-fartiness

Bailey’s baking prowess and Thunder Buns make me wax philosophical. What if, instead of thunder clouds, we had Thunder Buns? Would the air smell of cinnamon rolls instead of ozone? Would Thor wield a rolling pin instead of a hammer? That’s a god to believe in!

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Surfing and Strolling near Bailey’s Bakery & Cafe

SURFING: This is located on the Long Beach Peninsula. Alas no surf attempts this time ‘round.

STROLLING: Willapa Wildlife Refuge looks intriguing, but we hiked around Cape Disappointment, which was anything but. Later we explored Leadbetter Point, which was a cross between peninsula, forest, beach, and bog hopping. Everything was lovely.

Cottage Bakery

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118 Pacific Ave. S * Long Beach WA 98631 * 360-642-4441 * Cottage Bakery 

 Cliche alert! The Cottage Bakery and Delicatessen appears to be a ‘local hub’, but not without excellent reason. First of all, it’s impossible to miss – plopped in the center of the one and only main street in Long Beach, you’d have to be completely daft to miss it. Secondly, its capacious space holds every imaginable kind of baked yummy any hungry heart could desire. This place is a tractor beam for munching…if you can’t find something you want at Cottage Bakery, you’ve got hella issues.

Guess what this includes. These industrious folks bake so many pies they’ve built a veritable display WALL of the stuff. I’m not kidding – it took three fully separate photos to document the entirety of Cottage Bakery’s pie offerings, and three times three minutes for friend Kim and I to decide what to order.

And who is this mysterious Kim? Why, a Pies SPECIAL GUEST of course!

Kim, super friend,  hails from Home Break; a biologist, bad-ass sewer, hiker and surfer. She won my heart in many ways, but her tale of an expert wave dude blurting out, “You’re more fun to watch than a good surfer!” won me over big time. This is the most relatable quip ever uttered. In addition to inspiring poetry, Kim cut her real estate teeth as an agent in the maniacal Home Break market, and is now agent-ing in these parts. Come to Kim for all your real estate and pie insider knowledge.

 Cottage Bakery was too hopping busy for me to feel comfy barging around with a camera, so here’s Kim standing in front of an abstracted Pie Wall. Homeland Security engineers, take note.

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 Those wee fish are a nearby sculpture reduced and doubled to photobomb my drawing. I have to obviously point out that despite marine reference we did NOT buy fish pie – good god –  and no, Cottage Bakery makes no such thing.  What we ordered will remain vague as my friggin’ fluttin’ phone/compuder/whatchamachiedoodle up and broke/got lost/went to hell and my digital notes went *poof!*  I’ll rely on my famous ( -ly bad ) memory. Know that Kim and I bought fruit pie slices; she ate hers the second we walked back to her house, and I ‘waited’ to eat mine about 30 minutes later. One half then, one half that night. Discipline.

Pie Wall – try THAT on the border instead.

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Surfing and Strolling near Cottage Bakery

SURFING: This is located on the Long Beach Peninsula. Alas no surf attempts this time ’round.

STROLLING: Willapa Wildlife Refuge looks intriguing, but we hiked around Cape Disappointment, which was anything but. Later we explored Leadbetter Point, which was a cross between  peninsula, forest, beach,  and bog hopping. Everything was lovely.