Saturday, June 30, 2012

June caches and Cub Scouts

I'll start with Thursdays adventures. Cliff (of Turner and Stitch) and I spent a day at Cub Scout camp to teach kids about geocaching.

I guess I'll start with saying that we had very little info going into this. I had traded a few emails with another geocacher about it, but details were scarce. In fact I had to look up the camp online to find the location. Even then all it said was Ruth-Hyde park which I had never heard of. Turns out to be a camp owned by the Girl Scouts. After some asking around the bank of girl scout mothers I finally got directions. So on the big day we show up and we never saw our contact. The camp manager had no clue we were coming, but was glad to see us. They crossed out soccer on the event sheet and put us in.

Despite the mix up we had a lot of fun. There were well over 100 kids (about 20 at a time every 40 minutes) and only a few in each group had heard or geocaching. We hid some temporary caches on one of the trails up there and let the kids loose after some basic instruction.

Things to know for next year if we are asked again, and if I still live around here
  • Make sure to contact the camp director personally
  • Bring more GPS's
  • Try to get another volunteer or two
  • Put stuff in the caches
My old Garmin legend just wouldn't hold a signal and even my new Garmin 20 seemed a bit off. Lots of tree cover. Would have been better if we had more time to have set up, but we spent a lot of our morning trying to figure out what we were doing.

The kids like to have turns with the GPS and with only a couple of them and 5 temp caches we just couldn't let them all have a turn. It would be nice to have a few extras, but the cheap ones I could get like my Legend just didn't seem to work well enough. One scout mother looking at the GPS which said about 90 feet 30 feet from the cache said "This just isn't going to work, that's not good enough" (Makes me wonder how I ever found 1000 geocaches with it? hahaha)

Anyway my other news is that I found 2 caches today

Home Sweet Home
Shack by the Track?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The food of downtown Grants Pass

Here is a food cart follow up story.

I know that with this economy real restaurants downtown have been hurting. To be honest I don't frequent any of these places despite working close to some. As I said before I usually would rather pick something up. So that leaves me with fast food or our one food cart.

Its unfair to focus on one cart so I've decided to do reviews of everyplace downtown I've been. For the sake of ease I'll call downtown A through M streets. 4th through 8th.

Taste of China: On A street near the high school. This started as a truck over by the Alibi Tavern. Its simple Chinese food and pretty cheap. Its probaly the place on this list I go to the most. My favorite Sweet and Sour Chicken with fried rice. If you call ahead they will have your food ready to go.

One Fifteen Broiler: On D street next to the Dutch Bros coffee house. This is a good steak house. I've been here several times for lunch and dinner. Lunch menu is a little limited for me. I'd recommend going for dinner and having steak.

Powderhorn Cafe: Famous for a group of old (influential) men that use to meet here for coffee. That made it kind of a landmark for locals. Almost all of those old men are gone, but it can still be hard to get a table. Good for breakfast and lunch. Try some pie while you're there.

4th Street Deli: This bakery and Deli is only open early now. They use to have great soup and sandwiches for lunch. In the mornings they have donuts and other baked goods plus Biscuits and Gravy for $2.50.

Circle J Cafe: On G street. Might be the closest place to me for lunch. They have hamburgers, pizza, sandwiches,  sweet potato fries... and probably salads. Like a lot of these its a small place and can get kind of crowded. My favorite a burger with the sweet potato fries of course.

Blondies' Bistro: In the shopping center on G street. I've been for lunch and dinner. Its a pretty nice place. I recommend the steak sandwich.

Laughing Clam: On G street by Blind George's. Good if you like seafood. They have Fish and Chips, Prawns, Clam Strips, Crab Cakes and the dinner menu has jambalaya. They also have hamburgers. I like this place, but I've had some under-cooked items. It can be really busy at nights when they have live music.

China Buffet: On the corner of 7th and G. This was a Sambo's back in the day. They have a lot of choices in the buffet. It was decent, however this place has a very poor record with health ratings.

Hannah's: At 5th and H. This is a southern restaurant. They have things like fried chicken, jambalaya, hush puppies, fried okra... you know southern stuff. Good, but can be slow and expensive.

Rosso's Trattoria: An Italian place on 6th street. If this place was a food cart I'd have their Italian Wedding Soup everyday... well maybe every other day. It is small and can get packed so I recommend going for lunch early.

Royal Barge Thai Cuisine: On H street. It might not look like much, but I like this place. I recommend the BBQ chicken and some Won Ton Soup.

Taqueria: On H Street next to the Rogue Theater. This is essentially the same as Si Casa Flores over by Fred Meyers. I'm not always a fan of Mexican food, but I do eat here. I like their enchiladas and the huevos rancheros.

Thai BBQ: On 6th Street. I've only been a couple of times, but I liked it. I can't recomend anything specific. Go try it and you tell me.

If a place isn't on my list I haven't eaten there (or forgot about it) places I haven't been. G Street Bar & Grill, Mediterranean Bar & Grill, Wonder Bur Cafe, Blue Stone Bakery, Lupita's Taquaria, Four Seasons, Luigi's Italian Sandwiches, and the Gold Miner. There is another BBQ place that was called Chick n Ribs its something else now, but still BBQ. And there is another yellow building across from 7/11 its Latin Cuisine of some kind. Never tried those either.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More on food carts

Here is another news story on our local food cart.

For those too lazy to click the link, someone tossed a home-made bomb into their garage. Luckily it didn't do any damage. The best part being that when he called the Sheriff they didn't have anyone to send out. They also say that many people have been harassing them.

So a little background on this. Right now in Grants Pass you can operate a food cart with permit on the street. You pull into a parking spot and sell right from there. He just has to follow city laws and not stay parked in any one spot more then 2 hours. This makes people angry because he could potentially park in front of any business. They don't pay property tax and other overhead costs. Some think that because of this he can undercut other restaurants prices.

I do think it would be better if he had a more permanent place to park. Maybe someplace like the farmers market parking lot could allow food carts on weekdays by permit. I would love to see more carts in town and a bigger variety of food. Maybe its time to dust off the old writing desk and pen a letter to the editor. I don't really want to attend any city council meeting and argue with weirdos, but if you don't the more vocal will get their way.

As for Sàigòn Xích lô I'm still a fan. They are very nice people, and the food is good. If you haven't tried it go show them some support. While you're downtown walk around and check out some local businesses.