Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fun Facts: Gold Hill, Oregon

According to the locals, a gold assay office built in the area in 1904 slid from its foundation in the early teens, coming to rest at an odd angle. Odd angles seem to create an illusion of objects seemingly rolling uphill. The same optical illusion can be seen in Pennsylvania's Laurel Caverns and at Santa Cruz, California's Mystery Spot which are copies of the The House of Mystery at The Oregon Vortex. Oregon Vortex is also famous for "height change" as the relative height of the two people changes varying on where they stand. Most people believe this effect happens due to a distorted background which results in a forced perspective, as with an Ames room. It should be noted, that photographs published at the official website of the attraction appear to demonstrate the same apparent height anomaly even when the potentially confusing perspectives of the background are removed, and can be done so with any pictures taken.

According to the legend, the Native Americans in the area considered the area of land as "The Forbidden Ground." Their horses would refuse to enter the area and, as result, neither would they. In fact, it is said that the area is void of most animals of all shapes and sizes who refuse to go anywhere near it. A geologist by the name of John Lister reportedly came to the area in the 1920s and was so baffled by what he saw, he stayed there the rest of his life performing all sorts of tests and developing theories. He opened the grounds to the general public in 1930 and continued to probe its mysteries until he died in 1959.  ** Gold Hill Website

Gold Hill is about a 40-minute drive from Ashland, perhaps shorter if you drive Hwy 5, but we chose to take the back roads and it proved to be the right choice.  Although we didn't make it to the Oregon Vortex on this visit, we did see a picture of a woman who is said to haunt the Del Rio tasting room and the local cemetery; and we had lunch where the locals have been gambling since 1887!

The barn says it all

The vineyards

The restored historic Rock Point Hotel and Stage Stop serves as Del Rio's tasting room. Inside, there is a photo of a woman who is said to haunt the historic hotel and nearby cemetery.  Abi was so impressed with the wine we joined their wine club and we are looking forward to our first wine party invitation! 
I was a little skeptical walking in but it turns out that Miguel's, inside the Miner's Roost, had pretty good Mexican food and excellent chips, salsa and Margaritas.  We unknowingly walked in the wrong door (the door on the right) and entered into a bar and gambling hall.  It turns out this bar has been a gambling hall since 1887.  Our server told us the locals have been gambling since the late 1880's and there is no gaming license.  The restaurant does not take a cut, they just make money if food/drinks are ordered and the dealers only work for tips.  Next time I will remember to look for the bullet holes in the bar!
Rogue River
More prettiness!
Cool railroad trestle!  Check out the couple in the lower left corner!

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