We have received the equivalent of 87 inches of rain at Illahe Lodge since New Year’s Eve.
As part of our normal maintenance at Illahe Lodge, we purchased eight new Sealy Posturepedic cushion firm beds for Illahe Lodge earlier this month. The beds arrived about a week ago and are now available for our guests’ use.
For the first time, we have two guest rooms that have a queen bed and extra long twin bed.
In addition, one guest room was converted from having two twin beds to now having just a double bed.
One of the changes for 2017 is the addition of a weather station at Illahe Lodge so we are able to track the amount of rain, high and low temperatures, wind direction and speed, and humidity. We had quite a bit of rain in January, although it didn’t seem like it was anything out of the ordinary.
We have been busy pruning apple trees and that project is almost done. (We just have one of the old trees left to prune.) Most of the eight gravenstein trees that we planted in 2015 each produced a few sample apples in 2016 and we will be letting them produce more apples in 2017. We planted a Hudson’s Golden Gem, Dorsett Golden, two Coos River Beautys, two Wintersteins, a Spitzenburg, and a Mendocino Cox in 2016 and they will be allowed to have a few sample apples this year.
We will be planting a different strain of gravenstein, a Brown Russet, and a Red Boskoop in a few weeks. If all goes as planned, we will be adding Orenco, Grimes Golden, Braeburn, Sierra Beauty, and Rome Beauty trees when the winter rains arrive this fall.
We have planted three corn patches at Illahe Lodge now. As soon as the most recent planting reaches about six inches tall, we will plant another one. This approach enables us to have corn from late July until the end of our fall season.
The tomato plants have fruit and we anticipate having extra tomatoes available for purchase in July or August. We’ll post information about buying tomatoes on Facebook when we have extra tomatoes.
This year, we are experimenting with radishes and carrots in hopes of being able to serve our guests more fresh vegetables that are grown at Illahe Lodge and – eventually – accommodate guests wishing to stay at Illahe Lodge with short notice.
The summer squash, cucumbers, melons, and winter squash are growing nicely as well.
Yesterday, we picked four boxes of transparent apples and made about 12 gallons of applesauce. Most of the gravenstein apple trees that we planted last year have fruit on them and our mature gravensteins are loaded. We are keeping our fingers crossed, but right now it looks like we are going to have a good year for our favorite apples.
We have continued the expansion of our fruit orchards that began last year with about 20 fig trees, eight apple trees, and three crabapple trees. This week, we planted eight additional apple trees and two peach trees.
The criteria that were used to select the apple trees included flavor, extending the growing season, historical interest, and varieties originating in Oregon. After a year-long search, we were able to locate Coos River Beauty apples – a variety discovered in Coos Bay, Oregon. We also added a Hudson’s Golden Gem – a variety discovered in Tangent, Oregon. Down the road, we hope to add an Orenco tree – another Oregon variety.
After a busy fall, we’ve seen the Rogue come up several times, including once where – in our area – it was higher this year than it got during 2015. Things are a little slower at Illahe Lodge in the winter. When weather or the river permit, guests are coming in to relax and go fishing. In addition, we hosted a group of ultrarunners over New Years. A second group is planning to come in March, weather permitting. For those of you who are interested in ultrarunning, our ultrarunning guests usually leave Galice in the morning of the first day, arrive at Illahe Lodge in the afternoon, spend the night with us, and then run back to Galice the second day. They say that this is a great way to spend the weekend. Some of these guests use Rogue as a training run for their races.
In addition to providing lodging to guests, we are also working on several projects at Illahe Lodge. With the rain, a few trees have fallen down and we are waiting for the weather to dry out enough that we can clean up the debris. One of the guides who helps us with big trees will be in to help us deal with that, when the weather cooperates. In addition, the tree pruning has started. Some of the guides are planning to come in and help us with the tree pruning. Here too, we have to wait until the weather cooperates.
In terms of indoor projects we are also working on the orchard plan that we started last year when we planted eight gravenstein (apple) trees, three crabapples, and roughly 20 fig trees. This year, we are planning to plant a variety of additional apple trees (including Hudson’s Golden Gem and Coos River Beauty – two apple varieties that were discovered in Oregon). We’ll be planting two peach trees, strawberries, and some blueberries as well. Other plans that we are working on include creating a covered smoking area for our guests.
Hope we see you on the Rogue in 2016! Illahe Lodge is open year around. Reservations are required. Give us a call if you are looking for a place to stay in the area and are looking for a country home environment.
We’ve spent much of the last 10 days working on my father’s Rogue River Long Boat. He designed and built the boat himself in the 1970s. This style of boat originated on the Rogue and was used extensively in the early days of motor boats on the Rogue. (As a bit of history for those who aren’t aware of it, motor boats were used on the Rogue before driftboats arrived on the scene and about 50 years before rafts were invented. This isn’t the case on some other rivers.)
Over time, my father’s boat had developed a few leaks that he wanted to deal with. In addition, it had been growing moss with the warm water. At 79, my father decided he was too old to row around 400 pounds of moss. The paint was peeling as well. These were issues that he wanted to deal with in preparation for the fall fly fishing season.
I helped him with removing and mounting the engine on the boat, acted as “go fer” (go fer this and go fer that), and did most of the painting.
My father is down to putting the gas tank, seat cushions, seat backs, oars, etc. back in the boat and getting the boat back in the water.
We picked about 60 pounds of tomatoes, 60 pounds of cucumbers, 40 pounds of squash, and 60 pounds of pears between yesterday and today. (Much of the produce is shown in the picture below.) All of the produce was sold before it was even picked.
We are scheduling appointments with people who are interested in purchasing fresh produce. The people who are interested in purchasing our next available produce will be here on Wednesday. Another group will be here on Saturday.
If you are interested in being contacted when we have extra produce available for purchase, please let us know. (You can send a note through the website or, for faster response, give us a call at 541-247-6111.)
We are starting to get some ripe tomatoes – and have a lot more tomatoes on the vine. Many of these tomatoes will be served to our guests as fresh sliced tomatoes, tomato juice, and in salads.
We sell our extra tomatoes. The 2015 price is $50 for 40 pounds of vine ripened tomatoes. (Tomatoes are picked up at Illahe Lodge. Please bring your own boxes!) Individuals wishing to purchase tomatoes should contact us at 541-247-6111 to be put on our list of people who want to be contacted when we have extra tomatoes. We anticipate having extra tomatoes available for purchase by the middle of August.