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.

100 Mile Bakery

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418 A St. * Springfield OR 97477 * 541-603-6354 * 100milebakery.com

Since we’d just nommed our way out of Ashland that morning via   The Village Baker Voice of Calm Stacey Marie and I were craving a healthy lunch en long route to picking up Astrid. We’d never heard of 100 Mile Bakery but discovered its existence thanks to what could be my last moment of faith in modern technology.

Driving into Springfield Oregon, we hove to and tried to find the bakery via smart phone map. At that point I realized that the only times I’d taken a wrong turn lately was with ‘route finding’ tech, either via bogus info or because a non-driver was looking at a screen and giving adamant directions while not seeing what was ACTUALLY GOING ON OUTSIDE. Sure enough, after a quarter of an hour we ‘discovered’ 100 Mile Bakery – 2 blocks from where we had parked.

Sigh. Well, sheer bliss once we honed in on the prize…

Stacey and I enjoyed soups and salads and teas and THEN, of course, desserts. We were wondering at the taste magic of our meal and it turns out that all the ingredients are grown within a 100 mile radius of the cafe….hence the name! The fact that the place is housed in a former church also adds to the saintly appeal. Coming off the occasionally bizerko  I-5 corridor the bakery certainly had a refuge vibe.

 Blessedly there WAS pie. They had kiwi-blueberry, but I grabbed a hazelnut crumble pot which is essentially a pie-in-a-jar. Stacey bought a wild nettle green onion corn muffin – have you ever heard of such a thing?!! Turns out there’s no better fuel for a marathon session of ‘Hair Nation’ karaoke. If we got tired we would just take another bite and away we’d rip! Open windows be damned! Talk about divine inspiration. Our legendary caterwauling will haunt portions of the I-5 corridor for time immemorial.

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100 Mile Angel in front of their Holy Site

Also inspired was a declaration of war against the demons of modern computers. Did I take lots of pictures of 100 Mile Bakery? Did said pics get lost when my phone took a walkabout? Did my iPad’s email – the travel-y  reason for getting it in the first place – INSIST on not working unless it was upgraded, and after it  ‘improved’, now only uploads photos of drawings to Pies with evil lines clawing across the image? Were my photo references here saved thanks to taking iPad pictures of pictures on my phone in case my phone croaked? Were you even able to follow that?

I’m so sick of this time sucking shit I’m declaring Rebellion against Information Technology Tyranny. The goal is noble; stop being so dependent on techy crap that’s so fussy the only thing it consistently does is raise blood pressure. Here’s a sample of the Underground’s secret weapons;

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D.O.D.’s got nothing on these babies

 Paper and pencils. Dumb phone. Polaroid camera not pictured, and PAPER MAPS. We’ve gone hard core. Unless I burn those maps for toasting marshmallows those lovelies will do. Their freakin’.  Job. J

oin the rebellion! And meanwhile I’ll feed you more information on the fly….when I manage to , errr, upload my pixelated pie stories.

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Semi-Bonus?!?:  As if to prove my point, the gods gifted me with a messy but okay sketch of 100 Mile angel baker, so I’m including it despite the ‘polished’ version above. Note the double duty as an info-dump for pie notes – they’re circling her like a holy aura.

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She’s guarding the sneak peek at future Pie entries!

I’m coming back for more crumble pot pie, 100 Mile Bakery!

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Surfing and Strolling near 100 Mile Bakery

SURFING: NO.

STROLLING: There’s a lot of hiking around here, but we managed a fair stroll simply by getting turned around and misreading street signs.

The Village Baker

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372 E Main St *  Ashland  OR 97520 * (541) 482-4087 * www.artisan-bakers.com

It took an ambulance to get me to The Village Baker, but I didn’t get TAKEN there by an ambulance, which will make sense in a minute.

My perambulating journey to this business began in the motel room where the infamous Stacey Marie and I were resting. We were making a pit stop on the long drive to pick up Astrid, and after shouting ourselves hoarse to ‘Hair Nation’, were ready to hit the sack. Ha.

Due to a nagging cough, after two weeks of sleep deprivation I decided now was the time to take a surprising different pill my new doctor prescribed me in lieu of what I’d been given by my last doctor a ways before.  I put it off because I’m sensitive to some medication and am reluctant to try unfamiliar ones – FOR GOOD REASON, cue ominous music – but wanted to do the adult responsible thing and get a decent night’s sleep.To be a safer driver. HA.

” Got some bad news ” I informed Stacey before I was unable to swallow or speak.

” Should I call an ambulance?” Voice of Calm Stacey asked.

And that’s how I ended up standing in a motel room wondering how long it would take for an ambulance to arrive if I stopped breathing. Then I proceeded to swirl and spit water as if my life depended on it, probably because it did.

10 minutes and a gallon of water  later, here comes the west coast’s crankiest ambulance duo.  They sat me in the back where my first thought was, ” Ooo! First ambulance ride.” Then they proceeded to act totally put out that I was actually sitting up and breathing.

” But you should’ve seen me 10 minutes ago! ” I apologized, then realized how absurd it was to feel bad for those guys  because I wasn’t turning blue. While checking vitals they took my water -which I longingly pined after, seeing how it had only totally saved my arse  – and begrudgingly offered me a lift.

I refused a ride with these curmudgeons but saint Stacey took me to the ER at midnight since for god’s sake, despite the dry heaving what if I’d swallowed or absorbed that satanic shit.  ER declared me fine but did say those types of medicines can be very dangerous, and Stacey revealed she’d read that particular doozy can be fatal if they open up in your mouth, which mine did. Awesome!

No sleep the rest of the night for some odd reason – what a perfect time to compose an all caps letter firing my doctor – and next morning we shook off the willies and tallied forth to seek pie. Thus The Village Baker.

NICEST BAKERY OWNER EVER. He chatted with us and woe onto him I spaced virtually everything he said, could it be due to leftover adrenaline from nearly kicking it the night before. I do remember that they bake a LOT of excellent goods, sell wholesale to various venues in the general area, and give away extra bread to feed the hungry. Freaking awesome people!! Faith in strangers restored!! I’m so glad we walked in there.  In homage here is a terrible picture of a wonderful person, complete with floating mini ambulances:

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The heavenly bread

 I was so wackadoo I walked out with a roasted red pepper loaf instead of a sweet treat.  That #$$**ing little pill apparently put me of all people off sweets.  In any case I’m happy to say the loaf was scrumptious and was eaten barbarian style, aka ripping chunks off by hand. Never came close to a knife. It was epic. Seriously, do yourself a friendly favor and when you’re visiting Ashland, hit up The Village Baker. 

Bonus ( for me ). Now that we’ve featured the saint above, I present my vengeance. There’s nothing quite like finding out your saviors are actually two Oscar the Grouches driving a fancy can.  Pie to the face!

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Ker-SPLAT!

 Safe and yummy travels to Ashland, ya’ll!

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Surfing and Strolling near The Village Baker

SURFING: I’m gonna call the surf break here, ‘Poison Wash’, counting gargling and spitting water for 45 minutes as surfing because heck,  that’s a lot of moving water. Preferably giving insanely bad chemicals a ride outta one’s mouth. Highly recommended surf break if you like a thrill.

STROLLING: We didn’t check out the surrounding parks and hills – oh they’re there! – but Stacey and I did walk the ‘straight shot’ to downtown and back from the motel which ended up being 6 miles.  Come to us for all your navigational needs.