Ashland life

Ashland life

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.

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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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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! 

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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.

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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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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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Fish Lake Resort reels us in

 

It was a beautiful spring day – a perfect day to take a short drive up into the Southern Cascades. We had plans for lunch at one of our favorite lakeside cafes, but…just our luck… it was closed for spring cleaning and general maintenance.

Disappointed, we continued on a few miles more until we spotted a roadside sign announcing “Cafe Open” and directing us to neighboring Fish Lake.

At Fish Lake Resort we found a general store, cafe, dock and campground, all nestled beside the beautiful Fish Lake.

Patches of snow still dotted the grounds, discouraging campers, but the cafe was filled with a friendly bunch of day trippers, so we grabbed a table and joined the crowd.

A couple of fishermen float past, hoping to catch a prize.

Fish Lake is surrounded by tall pines and mountain peaks.

Although there was plenty of seating at the lunch counter, the tables were filled, keeping these three women busy through the lunch hour.

 

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