Portland…after the storm

Portland got dumped on Tuesday and Wednesday. The expected 3-4 inches of snow piled up into a good foot of the white stuff, sending the city to a screeching halt for the rest of the week.
We stubbornly refused to postpone our scheduled trip, and arrived yesterday (Friday) to icy roads and slippery sidewalks…but beautiful blue skies Saturday morning. Cold, but otherwise perfect weather for a little urban hiking.

A beautiful, but cold day along the Portland waterfront.

I spot the telltale signs of past benchwarmers.

This woman has the right idea!

Enjoying the brilliant sunshine on a cold winter day.

 

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How we found Lost Creek Bridge

 

The Marina Grill at Lake of the Woods is open on weekends during winter.

Our Thanksgiving weekend was drawing to a close, but we had time for one more outing before my dad and brother made the long drive home to Southern California.

Because the predicted rain had not yet arrived, Reg and I suggested a drive into the mountains to grab a bite to eat at one of our favorite spots – Lake of the Woods.

Once refueled, we continued onward, choosing not to backtrack, but to continue forward, returning home along a different route.

Our summer memories faded quickly as we watched the storm clouds roll over the lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a small sign along the highway that caught Reg's attention. “Historical Bridge next left” it said and before we knew it we were bouncing along a narrow country road in search of a piece of Oregon history.

The official construction date of the Lost Creek Bridge is listed as 1919, although many locals claim the bridge was built as early as 1879 – 1881, which would make it the oldest standing covered bridge in Oregon. It was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1979.

If you want to document your visit, there is a registry to sign on the bridge…but be sure to bring along a pen. If one was ever provided, it is long gone. You will also find a picturesque little park adjacent to the bridge which is just perfect for a picnic lunch.

At just 39 feet long, Lost Creek Bridge has the distinction of being the shortest of all Oregon covered bridges.

Facts about the construction date of the bridge are a little fuzzy.

Lost Creek Bridge has been closed to traffic since 1979.

Just across the road a herd of curious cattle keep an eye on us.

 

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A Wild River and the Wild West

The Klamath River flows 263 miles, from Oregon into California, before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Early in the 20th century, construction began on a series of dams along the river. Today, those dams have become a source of major controversy, primarily because they block historical salmon spawning grounds, and are facing removal.

Taking advantage of a break in our gloomy weather, we packed a picnic lunch and headed south into California, where we drove up the Klamath River to explore the Iron Gate Reservoir, a lake created by the lowermost of the above mentioned dams.

We were surprised to see Pilot Rock, a Southern Oregon landmark, rising in the distance from the bank of Iron Gate Reservoir.

We had the road mostly to ourselves with the exception of an occasional car or truck.

Fishing, boating, swimming, camping and hiking are popular activities.

Not quite ready to return home, we backtracked along the reservoir and Klamath River until we came upon the turnoff to the California town of Montague. In hopes of finding afternoon coffee and a piece of pie, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a cute little town, big on historical charm.

The town of Montague was founded in 1887

Bits of the old west are seen everywhere.

This short poem expresses the spirit of Montague.

 

A downtown sculpture celebrates Cowboys of yesterday and today.

 

At The Dutchman Cafe a fresh pot of coffee filled our cups...

 

...and vanilla ice cream topped our dessert!

 

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Quit is not in this trekker’s vocabulary

What takes 13 pairs of shoes, 6,000 calories day, 252 days while losing 25 pounds?

Check this out.

 

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Gold Hill stage stop serves history and fine wine

The Del Rio vineyards cover about 400 acres.

The tasting room, a former stage coach stop, features picnic grounds with a small stage and large shade trees.

The building's interior retains its historic features.

Del Rio grows 11 varietals offering an array of fall colors.

After a walk around the gold mining town of Jacksonville, Oregon, we found an old stage coach road through the foothills of Jackson County northwest of Medford. It delivered us to a stage stop in Gold Hill, home to one of more than 80 wineries in the area.

We sampled three white and three red varietals accompanied by conversation with the friendly staff in the tasting room at Del Rio Vineyards. Our favorite? The 2015 Viognier. It went well with the sense of history oozing from the old hotel.

 

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Yellow cautions winter’s approach

Leaves stubbornly cling to branches, creating bright patches of fall color across an increasingly bare Ashland landscape. Enjoy them while you can…winter is on the way.

 

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Ashland Halloween Parade is a real treat

Ashland is a community of striking contrasts, geographically and especially demographically, as these first two photos so perfectly illustrate. The great thing about Ashland is that more often than not, it works!

This community really knows how to come together for a holiday parade (we love our parades) and Halloween is no exception. I hope you have as much fun as we did!

This officer not only had a sense of humor, but he also had the honor of leading the Halloween Parade.

This young man perched atop his van, surveying the crowds as if he were Lord of the Lands.

Jellyfish

Puss 'n' Boots?

Little Bo Peep

Hmmmm.....

The only political statement I saw.

Everyone got into the act!

Crowds gather at the square.

Crowds fill the street too.

 

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Ashland has me seeing red

There is nothing more spectacular than fall color, rinsed clean by gentle rains and positively glowing against gray skies.

I took advantage of a break in our weather this morning to stretch my legs and to see what Mother Nature has been up to in our Ashland neighborhood. I hope you'll enjoy what I found!

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Coastal Trail reveals hidden beauty

The Coastal Trail weaves like a thread along the rugged Pacific Coast, stringing together scenic viewpoints, state parks, hidden coves and dense forests. The trail also offers numerous opportunities to stretch one's legs, which is exactly what we did while sightseeing on our most recent camping trip on the South Coast of Oregon.

Armed with our Coast Trail and Travel Guide and a picnic lunch, we drove north from Brookings, Oregon one day and south, into California, on another day. The beauty stretches for miles in both directions. The views are easily visible from the road, but I'd encourage you to take a short (or long) walk and enjoy all the Coast Trail has to offer.

The Pacific Ocean appears endless from the cliffs above.

A window to the rocks below.

A misty fog is a familiar sight along the Pacific Coast.

Driftwood creates patterns along the beach.

Forest growth is so dense that it creates a tunnel along the Coastal Trail.

It's hard to resist climbing a tree like this!

Reg is dwarfed by soaring evergreen trees.

A splash of color.

 

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A California diversion leads to secret World War II radar station

Radar Station 71 is preserved as a National Historic site.

The buildings are perched on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean.

Fake dormers were added to make the buildings look like farm structures.

 

A narrow, one-way dirt road near the mouth of the Klamath River in California's Del Norte County led us to an important World War II site today, perched above the Pacific Ocean.

Disguised as farm buildings, the early warning system housed radar to watch for Japanese submarines and planes.

Radar Station 71 is the last preserved coastal outpost that was part of a string of such defensive sites. Fifty-caliber anti-aircraft guns stood guard. American military watched, ready to summon help from San Francisco if a Japanese attack was imminent.

We couldn't help but imagine what it was like at this outpost more than 70 years ago when our nation's security depended on the people at this place.

 

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