We enjoyed a leisurely morning at Rogue Elk Campground using the showers and making a big breakfast. A fellow camper stopped by to visit and we ended up spending almost an hour chatting. He told us some great stories of his logging and truck driving experiences in Washington and Oregon. His very sweet dog loved Francis and I think they both would have been happy to hang out with us all day but check out time was approaching so we needed to pack up camp.
We began driving southeast toward California without a specific destination in mind. We expected to make it to California that day or the next at the latest. Before we left the campground, I had packed us a lunch of sandwiches and fruit so we could limit our stops. We drove until we reached the town of Medford where we decided to stop at a coffee shop for a while. After a quick consult with Google Maps, we found Rise Coffeehouse. It was big and open with lots of natural light. The coffee and service were great. Shortly before we left, a group of musicians came in to set up for a Christian music event. We got to chatting with one of the musicians, Clay, who took the time to show Francis some things on his guitar and said a lovely prayer for us to wish us safe travels.
A search of freecampsites.net helped us find what looked like a good place to spend the night. It was a bit of a distance away so we would not make it until around 9. Our drive took us through the city of Ashland which has a very attractive downtown. Ashland is home to Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Not long afterward, about 30 minutes away from our destination, while driving on a dark windy road, we heard the unmistakable sound of a tire losing air. We pulled over to the side of the road and our fears were confirmed. The tire was not completely flat but it had lost a lot of air and we could see the small hole where the air was seeping out. We spent 20 minutes looking for the tire patch kit we were sure we had brought but to no avail. The darkness and the hilly country road made it a bad spot to change the tire. Back to looking at Google Maps, we decided to fill the tire with our air compressor and drive slowly to the closest place we found and deal with the tire in the morning.
As luck would have it, Callahan’s Mountain Lodge and Restaurant was right around the corner. It looked more high end than the places we normally stay and we were a bit afraid to hear the price. After we explained our situation, the desk clerk gave us half off the regular price for a room and a coupon for $25 off breakfast in the morning. The room was lovely. It had a fireplace in one corner and a jacuzzi tub in another. Once I saw that tub, I decided that flat tire was actually a lucky break for me!