The owners of an iconic restaurant along the fish-rich Grande Ronde River hope to rebuild after fire gutted their establishment last month.
Bill Vail says he and his wife Farrel are awaiting word back from their insurance company and will look at that with an eye towards what it would take to get the milkshake machine and grill going again at Boggan’s Oasis.
“That’s still our plans,” he said late last week.
The Vails have owned the restaurant at the intersection of Washington’s Ronde and Highway 129 since 1983 but witnessed it burn to the ground on the evening of Nov. 18.
Bill says that the fire was too hot to make a determination about what caused it.
“Our large grill totally melted,” he said.
But what has since burned just as bright, and for far longer, has been the outpouring of support for the Vails and Boggan’s. A Go Fund Me account for the 80-plus-year-olds had raised over $3,600 as of last week.
“It’s left us so we could hardly talk on occasion,” said Bill. “It’s come from all across the United States and even Europe. That’s one of the reasons we want to rebuild.”
In the meanwhile, the lights are on in the cabins, though you’ll want bring your own grub — “We can still put them up, but we can’t feed them at this time,” Bill said — and the shuttle service is still operating.
As for the steelheading, well, let’s just say the Ronde looks a lot better than it did for much of last steelhead season.
“The water is absolutely beautiful,” Bill said last Friday morning. He reported some floating ice, but otherwise it was “very, very fishable.”