HWV Leaves the Valley! – Part 1 Azalea Mountain Store

This will be the first part of a new short series where we left the valley and took a trip to the southern(ish) region of Oregon – the entire time was only a few days, but we packed quite a bit into that time.  There should be several parts and some fantastic discoveries.   The first planned stop was the Azalea Mountain Store, which is along the route to our final destination –  Chief Miwaleta Campground and the Galesville Reservoir.

Where is the Azalea Mountain Store

The Azalea Mountain store is located along I-5 south of Roseburg and just a few miles north of the town of Glendale.  I was very interested in stopping at the Azalea Mountain Store, as I’d reviewed businesses near the campground where we’d be located – in case we needed anything.   In this case, we sure did – I made the trip 3 times in one day!  However, the Azalea Mountain Store was a pretty cool spot and really worth the side-trip.

Outside Azalea Mountain Store

The Azalea Mountain Store has an old-world feel, and rightly so, it is an old early 20th century Hotel and Post Office.  The outside is incredibly inviting and there are both single and double rocking chairs setup for folks to enjoy their visit.

Line of white painted rocking chairs.
Rocking chairs located outside the Azalea Mountain Store.  Freshly painted and waiting for folks to find a chance to take a rest.
Rocking chairs outside the Azalea Store with free books for customers to read.
TO the right of the entrance there are two more rocking chars with a small free book bin for folks to grab a book to relax with.

The Azalea Mountain store has a comfortable entrance and cheerful bell that rings when customers open the door – staff always welcome folks who arrive to visit the store and it’s a super friendly atmosphere. I love all of the friendly amenities that the Store has to make things easier and keep customers around and happy when they visit. There’s free wifi, which I thought was a bit unusual until I figured that the store really is the only spot folks can easily visit when camping or staying at the Chief Miwaleta Campground or visiting the Galesville Reservoir.

Free Wifi sign just inside the entrance at Azalea Mountain Store.
Just inside the front door is a sign that announces the free wifi available.

Immediately to the left when entering is a small sitting area where the original post office boxes can be seen as well as the door where post office workers used to welcome customers.

Azalea Mountain Store historic mailboxes and mail worker window
I love the sense of history that is maintained at the Azalea Mountain Store. This is a perfect sitting spot to catch up on the day’s news and read emails while using the free wifi and gathering camping supplies!
Tiny US Mail employee window.
The tiny window where post office workers interacted with customers.

There is a nice fresh coffee bar at the end of the section where the chairs and mailboxes are (apologies for no picture!) one small turn again and the cold storage, ice-cream bar, and fall alcohol offerings are prominently displayed. I love how the employees used this space to create a fall-themed display. Shows how much they enjoy their work environment. At the end of this are is a nice wine selection. On the left is a spot where customers can get several varieties of ice cream.

Fall-themed decorations
I love this fall-themed display.

I love the beautiful hardwood floors and the care that is taken with the entire store. It really reminds me of bygone times when entire communities counted on one store for all of their goods and also used the store as a meeting place and community center. There is a real community feel at the Azalea Mountain Store.

Every time we visited the Mountain Store the kid had to get some ice-cream. We didn’t mind as it was inexpensive and a nice treat while camping.

The old-school ambiance continues to above the ice-cream area where an older Azalea Hotel sign is lit-up and displayed. Presumably the second-floor is where the hotel rooms are or were. I couldn’t find a way to get up there and didn’t ask any of the staff.

Azalea Hotel sign
Really like this old Azalea Hotel sign above the ice-cream area.

As I proceeded more inside the Azalea Mountain Store, more areas caught my attention, little touches like the bulk-goods display below the counter. I can imagine that would be how folks got bulk-goods in the past.

Bulk-goods display.
I love the attention to detail and old-world feel to the Azalea Mountain Store. Here is a display of some bulk-goods that can be purchased.

The Azalea Mountain Store also has some nice fresh coffee available and a machine where customers could grind their own freshly made coffee (which is the best idea for camping). With that machine the grind size can be chosen, fine for expresso, middle for regular coffee makers, and course for percolator setups (my favorite while camping).

Fresh ground coffee at the Azalea Mountain Store.
Fresh-ground coffee? Yes, please!!

There is a ton of camping related items at the Store, and most of everything else. Lots of frozen goods, cold beverages and snack items too!

For folks who want to celebrate visiting the Azalea Mountain Store there are souvenirs available. Things like hats, mugs, and t-shirts can all be found.

Knitted Azalea Mountain Store Hats!
These knit hats look so comfortable!!!
T-shirts at the Azalea Mountain Store
I love the Azalea Mountain Store merchandise they have for customers.

I really loved visiting the Azalea Mountain Store – we stopped in at least every day. One day I had to visit three times, but since it’s only about 10-15 minutes from the Galesville Reservoir it wasn’t too big a deal. The free wifi and ambiance was completely worth it. From a note I read on one of the tables there are (at least) monthly community meetings here, and there was a planned Halloween themed event scheduled for October 31st. I love the small town feel and sense of community at the Azalea Mountain Store. Some of the staffers said they would be expanding their offerings and actually have a food-truck at the Galesville Reservoir as well as having paddleboards and canoes available to rent at the reservoir. What a fantastic spot. So glad I was able to visit and I wholeheartedly award the Azalea Mountain Store 5 HWVs.

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