Ashland life

Ashland life

Crater Lake Detour

Our weather this past week has been positively springlike and today promised us more of the same…a perfect day for a Sunday drive. We climbed in the truck and Reg aimed uphill. Our sights (and appetites) were set on lunch at one of our favorite mountain area restaurants.

But then I said, “Let’s go to Crater Lake.” And so we did!

This was our first winter visit to Crater Lake National Park. Fortunately we didn’t need a cozy fireplace to warmup today since the lodge is closed for the season. Without snowshoes we had to settle for wandering along the plowed village road, peeking at the lake when we could.

Since we detoured from our original plan, lunch was a casual affair at the Village Cafe. While we ate we eavesdropped as a park ranger spouted statistics to a family of first time visitors:

Crater Lake is the deepest lake (1,949 feet) in the United States. Deeper than Empire State Building stacked on top of Seattle’s Space Needle.

Because of clouds, fog and bad weather, winter visitors have only a 50% chance of seeing the lake. (We felt lucky!)

No streams flow in or out of the lake. Water level remains constant due to precipitation, evaporation and seepage.

Today’s drive opened our eyes to just how close we live to this beautiful National Park. Winter, summer, spring or fall…this is a detour we’ll be sure to take again!

Categories: Ashland life, Road Trips, U.S. National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Happy New Year

As a New Year dawns, we wish our family, friends and followers a peaceful and happy 2018.

Categories: Ashland life, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Exploring the Rogue River

Twisting, turning and plunging through Southern Oregon, the Rogue River provides summer thrill seekers the opportunity to experience a whitewater-white knuckle ride of a lifetime.

However, we were not looking for quite that much adventure as we set off for a day hike down the Rogue on a crisp December morning. It was definitely not summer and we hoped to keep warm and dry as we made our way along a portion of the Rogue River Trail. Our destination and lunch spot of choice was an old mining cabin located 3 miles downriver.

A narrow trail made it tough to get a good angle for the above shot, but the dash at the top of the sign indicated the high water mark from the 1964 flood. It went on to explain that the water rose 55 feet above the normal summer level. We stared, trying to comprehend just how much water that would have been.

Expecting a rundown old mining cabin, we were surprised to see the National Register of Historic Places designation posted on the cabin. We were also surprised at what an amazing peek into history Whiskey Creek Cabin offered.

The cabin was originally built in 1880 and is the oldest remaining mining cabin in the Rogue River Canyon. A series of owners and caretakers lived in and made improvements to the cabin over the years. The last resident moved out in 1973, when the Bureau of Land Management bought the property and opened it to the public.

According to Wikipedia, there are only two ways to reach Whiskey Creek Cabin…by floating down the Rogue River, or hiking in as we did. Either way, it’s well worth the effort!

Categories: Ashland life, Day hike near Medford, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wimer Bridge Spans More Than a Century

Covered bridges never fail to conjure up romantic images of days gone by. All have stories to tell and the Wimer Covered Bridge in Southern Oregon is certainly no exception.

Spanning Evans Creek for more than a century, Wimer Bridge has experienced several transformations since it’s original construction in 1892. It was completely replaced in 1927 and then placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Refurbished in 1962, the structure closed in the mid-70s until repairs could be made. Reopened to traffic in 1985, Wimer Bridge once again transported vehicles across the creek…until disaster struck.

In 2003, a year before scheduled maintenance, the bridge collapsed, falling 40 feet into the water and injuring three people who were crossing it.

Five years later, with the help of federal funds and local labor, a newly rebuilt Wimer Bridge reclaimed its rightful place across Evans Creek and reopened to one-way traffic. As the years go by, there will, no doubt, be more stories for this bridge to tell.

Categories: Ashland life, Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lake of the Woods Rewards

Our local weather forecast promises a wet week ahead so we took advantage of the sunshine today, grabbed our friends Lan and Jeff and headed for the hills.

Lake of the Woods, about 30 miles east of Ashland, Oregon, is one of our favorite day trips. As we walked along the water’s edge, we were rewarded when swirling clouds revealed a view of the 9,495 foot peak of Mount McLoughlin looming over the Lake.

During warm summer months the waters of Lake of the Woods are alive with boaters, kayakers and children splashing along the shore. Winter months offer a cold and quiet beauty…and (Friday -Sunday) Lake of the Woods Pizzeria, a cozy spot to enjoy the view, an afternoon bite to eat and visit with good friends.

Categories: Ashland life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What lies Beyond the Bog?

Author MP Devlin knows the answer, but she’s not telling!

This photo caught my eye yesterday as we strolled along the streets of downtown Grants Pass in Oregon. Pictures like these always stir happy memories of time spent exploring Scotland, so I stopped to take a closer look.

Reg and I soon found ourselves engaged in a lively conversation with MP Devlin herself! We heard a little bit more about her novel (a mystery set in Northern Ireland) and learned that Beyond the Bog is her first published book. Pretty exciting!

Reg had lots of questions about her experience with the publishing process, filing her answers away for future reference because…you never know. I love a mystery and was too intrigued to leave without my own signed copy!

Wishing you all the best MP!

If you’re curious to find out what lies Beyond the Bog, it’s available online at lulu.com

Categories: Ashland life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blazing some new trails on wheels

image2I have finally made the leap into road cycling and few will be able to miss seeing the lime-green streak around the Jackson County foothills and bikeways. I have ridden Sue’s dad’s hybrid bike for three years and it was a great two-wheeler, but not so good on hills, especially with an old man in the saddle. Lots of Siskiyou Velo Club riders have encouraged me to make the change. So, why now? A book and an author. Free Country, by George Mahood, an Englishman who rode the length of Britain in a most unusual way. Find it on Amazon. Also, I have to thank one of Ashland’s finest gentlemen, Phil Gagnon, for getting me to try the bike club and road cycling.

Categories: Ashland life | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Alas, spring arrives in Rogue Valley

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A warm spring day welcomed us to Upper Table Rock, a U-shaped mesa overlooking the Rogue River near Medford, Oregon. Friends Jeff and Lan hiked with us on the 2.8-mile loop that climbs 720 feet. Wildflowers, vernal pools as well as views of Mount McLaughlin and the Siskiyou Mountains made the trip well worth every step.

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Categories: Ashland life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Buck Prairie outing ends season


Another day of sunshine provided us with a beautiful end to our disappointingly short snowshoe season.  Unusually cold winter temperatures and my poorly timed broken wrist caused a late start this year.  Never mind…our trek today along the Natasha’s Web loop trail at Buck Prairie Winter Recreation Area was well worth the wait.  The trail and clear skies rewarded us with an amazing distant view of 9,495 foot Mount McLoughlin as we headed uphill.

With springtime just around the corner, it’s time for carryoncouple to shift it’s focus.  Next week, we’ll hitch up the trailer (actually, Reg will hitch it up…I supervise) and head first south, then east as we put our love of the “RV way of life” to the test…stay tuned! 

Categories: Ashland life | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Soaking up the winter sun in Southern Oregon

Like most of the West Coast, Southern Oregon has had one heck of a winter.  While the excessive rain and snow have been great for our reservoirs, the seemingly never ending cold temps and gray skies have made for an unusually dreary winter.

A quick check of the weather report last Monday promised a two day window of blue sky…just enough time for friends Judy and Chris to quickly organize a snowshoe trip with us to our neighborhood ski resort – Mt. Ashland.


A service road leads below the back of the mountain and winds uphill, eventually revealing a 360 degree view at the top.  As the day warmed up, we managed to stay just above the fog rolling in below.

Categories: Ashland life | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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