Since our last update we have settled into our new spot at Jacks Landing RV Resort in Grants Pass where we will stay until July 13th as we mentioned before. We have also reserved this same spot for when we finish our 2 week stay in Portland, from July 13th to July 27th, through the month of August. It’s just convenient and truly the best campground in the Grants Pass area in our opinion. And we have room to park the Jeep, Diane’s Prius and my trike.
We won’t bore you with everything we have been doing but rest assured we have stayed busy with Dr. appointments, touching base with our financial advisor, messing with the DMV, going to the Growers Market (Grants Pass has a great growers market that matches or exceeds any we have run across so far in our travels), selling more stuff from the storage units, made an appointment with a mobile tech to look at our Aqua-Hot system that has not been correct from day one, getting things ready for the garage sale and of course catching up with friends every chance we get. Heck, we have been so busy we haven’t had a chance to go out for a motorcycle ride yet!!! That’s just wrong!!
**FLASH** Diane received the results from one Dr. and we are happy to announce that she is still cancer free!! This makes 2 ½ years now!! Can you say HAPPY DANCE!!!
Instead of boring you with everything mentioned above we thought we would tell you a little about Grants Pass. It seems funny that after living in Grants Pass for roughly 15 years we are now treating it like tourists. Not that we were oblivious to what the town offered but it just feels different now not having to work things around,,, well,,, work. If that makes sense. I LIKE IT!!
Way back when, Early Hudson’s Bay Company hunters and trappers, following the Siskiyou Trail, passed through the (Now Grants Pass) site beginning in the 1820s. In the late 1840s, settlers following the Applegate Trail began traveling through the area on their way to the Willamette Valley. It’s said the town’s name was selected to honor General Ulysses S. Grant’s success at Vicksburg. Grants Pass post office was established on March 22, 1865 and the city of Grants Pass was incorporated in 1887.
In 1922, a group of local businessmen incorporated the Grants Pass Cavemen. Taking their name from the nearby Oregon Caves National Monument, this group was one of many groups of boosterism common in the United States at the time. For decades afterwards, this group would represent their city in countless public gatherings, dressed in furs and bearing spiky caveman clubs, performing such uncivilized acts as capturing female crowd members and politicians and putting them in their cages. To honor this group, in 1971 a fiberglass statue of a caveman was erected. The primitive man has guarded the entrance to Grants Pass since. The caveman is 17 feet tall, on a rock pedestal.
The topic of doing away with the Caveman has come up numerous times. Some say it’s not the image Grants Pass should portray. But hey, history is history and should NOT be changed in my mind.
The caveman was torched by a couple of teenage morons in 2004. But the town rallied, repaired the statue, and had it back on its pedestal the following year. And it still stands.
A huge supporter of Grants Pass is the local bank named Evergreen and has been serving the area for 80 years. One of the many things they have done is come up with Bear Fest.
Retired Evergreen Bank President Brady Adams came up with the first Bear Fest project in 2003. Adams had seen an article about Chicago having artists paint and displaying cows throughout the city and thought bears would be a good symbol for Grants Pass. Thirty bears were displayed on the streets of Grants Pass then auctioned off, netting $175,000 for local nonprofits. The idea caught on and has continued.
In 2004, they also allowed artists who didn’t have space for the large bears to work in a rented warehouse. The next two years produced 124 bears. There are, however, only so many people who have a place to display a 7-foot-tall fiberglass bear, so not all were sold, leaving the bank with a storage problem. So the bank built its own 23,000-square-foot warehouse and made it a place that welcomed the community to use and visit. The Warehouse is commonly referred to as the Bear Hotel.
A lot of the bears are stored in the “Bear Hotel” during the winter months while other things that Evergreen supplies like Eagle sculptures and a great door display all lit with LED Christmas lights are put out on display during the winter holiday seasons.
For the 2014 summer Bear Fest season there are a total of 80 bears lurking about downtown. Evergreen choose the number “80” in celebration of their 80th Anniversary. There are adult bears with cubs, baking bears, bartender bears, ringmaster bears, hiking bears, climbing bears, sleeping bears – you name it, there are bears doing it. These sculptures range from about 3 feet tall to over 10 feet tall. We will share a few pictures of the bears to give you an idea of what they are and how well they are done.
We may toss in a few more pictures as our stay here goes on.
We will throw in a couple pictures of the Hellgate boats also just too wet your whistle. We have tickets for a Dinner Cruise boat ride on July 3rd so there will be more to come about them. We have ridden the boats before and they are a BLAST!!