All In A Day's Drive

Don't miss Alsea: 'It'd just take a blink and you'd be through it'

Don't miss Alsea: 'It'd just take a blink and you'd be through it'

Watch All in a Day's Drive Wednesdays on KMTR NewsSource 16 at 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

ALSEA, Ore.— As you head west on highway 34 from Corvallis to the coast, it's easy to miss the town of Alsea.

You'd have to pay close attention to even find it on the map. But this small town has plenty of charm.

Much like a Robert Frost poem, Highway 34 is indeed the road less traveled.

“If we didn't slow the cars down, it'd just take a blink and you'd be through it,” John Clark said. Better known as “John Boy”, Clark owns the Alsea Mercantile store.

But, by breezing through the town of Alsea, you'd be bypassing a small town with a grand view.

“Get your feet wet, enjoy some country life and get away from the city,” Deb Thalman-Estes said. “There's no horns, no traffic lights and no stop lights.”

The town of Alsea has much more to offer than just a spot to come take a picture, although many people enjoy that. But it's also a short drive from the coast, Mary's Peak, the waterfalls and in prime fishing season, it's a pretty good place to come and hook a steelhead.

“We have excellent fishing and hunting. And in the fall, that's a big part of our economy,” Clark said.

John Boy, as he's known to everyone in town, may look like an outlaw, but he's a prominent business owner in this community.

“They used it as a senior citizens center out here and we bought it and turned it into a bed and breakfast,” Clark said. “It fills another one of those niches.”

Any other good you might need, you can find at this one stop shop. From tape measures to canned goods, motor oil to fine wine and fishing tackle. It's all likely on the shelf at the mercantile. 

“We offer more than the goods that we have, but also a personality that people kind of enjoy when they come in here,” Clark said.

Just down Main Street, you'll find some down home cooking. It's here where Deb’s Café owner Deb Thalman-Estes and her family cook up homemade goodness six days a week.

“I've taught them that hard work does pay off. We're offering something that's really hard to find no matter where you go,” Thalman-Estes said.

“You always have a good meal here. And they have pie that'll knock your socks off,” diner Rex Burnett said.

It's Deb's personal promise that nobody leaves her place hungry.

“Absolutely not. And if they do, they better be telling me, so I can fix it,” Thalman-Estes said.

And although you can see the entire town in about an hour, they're hoping you'll stay just a bit longer.

While people can hike to the Alsea Falls, the park’s campground won’t open for the season until May.