Ashland life

Ashland life

Just a Short Walk

Lunch

Many of our restaurants offer curbside pickup, so we grabbed sandwiches on our way out.

Twenty minutes into our hike, we stepped off the trail and settled into a lunch spot with a view of Mt. Ashland.  Day 45 of isolation for us also happened to be Reg’s birthday, so we celebrated with a hike along a short section of the iconic Pacific Crest Trail.

Our turnaround spot was the Hobart Bluff viewpoint, a destination we thought was just over two miles from our starting point.  Four miles later, after climbing steadily uphill and dodging a few patches of snow, we arrived.  A much longer walk than we intended, but well worth it!

Hobart Bluff Viewpoint

Regardless of the cloudy haze, the view from the point was astounding.

Categories: Ashland life, Day hike near Medford, Oregon, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Timing is Everything

Because Reg and I both were quite sick in early March, we are entering into our fourth week of self-isolation at home in Oregon.  Did we have the virus?  Who knows, but timing, as they say, is everything.  These past few weeks have given us much time to reflect.

We may be stuck indoors, but we enjoy the ever changing view out our front window.

We returned from England and our South West Coast Path adventure last year in early October.  As it turns out, over the past six months, our timing has been extremely fortunate.  Two days after returning home, I found myself driving 600 miles south, to California, to assist my 93 year old father who was still living in my family home…alone.  I bullied him (yes, I did) into a move to an assisted living facility, both for his safety and our family’s peace of mind.  A fortuitous move as his health declined rapidly over the next couple of months.

We said goodbye to my Dad (pictured above) three days before Christmas.  He was the last of his generation on either side of our families.  He hoped to one day celebrate his 100th birthday, but that was not meant to be.  In January, with the help of an amazing realtor (who snapped the official “sold” photo of Dad’s house) we sadly closed the door of the home and life he loved.  Our boys and their partners all made the trip out to California, joining us, along with my brother Kenny, as we said our final goodbyes.

Reg and I returned home in February, feeling somewhat lost as we came to terms with the fact that we were now the “older” generation.  As we settled back into a routine we began to feel the pull of adventure once again.  Perhaps another distance trek would get us back on track.  But where?

As you can see, we are not at a loss for ideas.

Once again, timing proved to be everything.   The decision of where to go was taken out our of our hands.  For the time being, we will remain armchair travelers, experiencing adventure through our television programming.  While not as exciting, it has allowed us some pretty amazing adventures…ones we’d never dream of attempting.  For now, we’ll focus on remaining healthy and settling  for walks around the neighborhood.

 

 

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

Mount Shasta stands between us and lunch.

Heading south into California.

Yesterday’s blue sky was simply too inviting to ignore. While the temperature was just a little cold for much in the way of outdoor activity, the day was perfect for getting out of the house and scouting out a lunch spot south of the border.

Mount Shasta provides a spectacular backdrop for this California ranch.

We have a soft spot for The Dutchman, a quaint hometown cafe in the center of the sleepy, little community of Montague, but we pulled up to see a “Closed Monday” sign hanging in the window.

Not ready to call it quits, we continued south along a 2-lane road toward the larger California town of Weed…to another of our favorite local cafes. The view of Mount Shasta was irresistible, and by the time I finished taking photos, Reg had (patiently) worked up quite an appetite.

We don’t often see the top of the mountain without clouds.
Another storm is due to roll in shortly and, once again, Mount Shasta will be hidden behind snow and clouds.

On a good day, 14,000 foot Mount Shasta is visible for miles in Northern California and from some spots of Southern Oregon, but yesterday’s clear view was a rare wintertime treat.


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Hot Dog! An American Icon

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

Reg and I had the chance to ketchup with a favorite childhood memory today when the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile hauled buns into town. I hate to say it, but we relished the idea of reacquainting ourselves with such an iconic symbol from our baby boomer childhoods.

The two Hotdoggers who pilot this deli delight on wheels shared some fun facts with us. Just sink your teeth into this: The Wienermobile measures, 60 hot dogs long, from front to back.  It’s 18 hot dogs wide, and 24 hot dogs tall. Now that’s a lot of weenies!

Inside we found a couple extra seats…I think we’d make a pretty good Hotdogger team!

The Wienermobile is equipped with four passenger seats located behind the driver seat and the seat in the shotbun position. Let me be frank, driving this thing is no picnic! The teams of Hotdoggers who canvas the country spend three weeks at Hot Dog High, a boot camp where driving and parking skills are put to the test. They also beef up their knowledge of Oscar Mayer products.

Make your own jokes here folks…

And who can forget that deliciously popular “I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener” song that premiered on television in 1965? Sometimes dreams really do come true!

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

An Early Case of Spring Fever

The unseasonably warm temperatures and brilliant blue sky were irresistible this morning. In record time we gathered our snowshoe gear, packed a lunch (well, Reg packed the lunch) and followed the crowd up to Mount Ashland.

The parking lot was already filling up by 10:00 Sunday morning.
Mount Shasta was visible in the distance.
We definitely beat the crowds to the snowshoe trail.

In the past, we have always followed the trail leading to the top of Mount Ashland. It’s a steep route with beautiful views across the Rogue Valley. Since we’ve struggled up that hill several times in the past, we chose the lower trail out to the Grouse Gap shelter hoping we’d find a dry spot to sit and eat our lunch.

Along the way we crossed the Pacific Crest Trail, buried somewhere beneath snow, patiently awaiting next year’s crop of hopeful hikers. The shelter proved to be the perfect lunch stop, complete with covered picnic table, the remains of a still slightly warm fire and an unlocked restroom! Perfect!

Oh, and the view was pretty nice too! Could it be that spring is right around the corner?

The back of Mount Ashland is a relaxing contrast to the hustle-bustle of the chairlifts and skiers on the other side.
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A Crisp Morning Walk

Although the skies were blue, temperatures hovered in the 30s (Fahrenheit) most of the day, requiring a fast pace to keep warm on a morning walk.

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Holiday Magic

A relatively warm evening brought crowds to downtown Ashland for the 26th annual Festival of Light Celebration.  As the crowd finished counting down from ten, Santa kicked off the holiday season, activating more than one million lights throughout town.

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A Glorious Morning

 

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With more than a hint of fall in the air, it was a glorious morning to walk up the hill above our home.

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There’s No Place Like Home

Cool nights and warm sunny days have kept us close to home where we are enjoying an abundance of fall color.

 

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Blooms On The Pacific Crest Trail

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Friends Lan and Jeff suggested a morning hike along a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail that would lead us to Little Hyatt Lake reservoir.  A couple thousand feet above Ashland we found spring blooming throughout a series of lush, green meadows.

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We reached the spillway below the reservoir and climbed to a ledge overlooking the lake.  A perfect spot to rest and have a bite to eat before our return trip.

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Categories: Ashland life, Day hike near Medford, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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