Posts Tagged With: Ashland

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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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.

 

Categories: Ashland life, Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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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Lake of the Woods: Relaxation in the Cascades

All is quiet the day after Labor Day at a Lake of the Woods beach.

Mount McLoughlin dominates the Cascade Range during our kayak cruise. A bald eagle watched us at one end of the lake.

Lake of the Woods is the crown jewel of lakes in the southern Cascade Mountain Range within an hour or so drive of Ashland, Oregon.

At 4,949 feet elevation, the natural lake offers relief from summer heat with swimming, boating, fishing and other fun managed by the Lake of the Woods Resort.

We hitched up the trailer on Labor Day and headed for Aspen camp, one of two National Forest Campgrounds on the lake.

The resort was a short walk away from our quiet, deserted campground. We resisted the restaurant but found firewood at the camp store.

The lake's level fluctuates just two feet during a normal year and water temperatures warm to the 70s at the surface. Brook and rainbow trout as well as Kokanee salmon swim in its waters.

Fish Lake was our destination on a nearly seven-mile stroll from North Fork Campground, just a short drive away. We found a greasy spoon cafe that fit the bill perfectly.

Brown Mountain is a backdrop for Reg's stroll.

Fall was in the air as nighttime temperatures dropped into the 30s.

The trail from North Fork campground to Fish Lake follows the North Fork Little Butte Creek.

A boardwalk keeps Trekkers dry during the wet spring months.

 

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Lower Table Rock raises our spirit

Warm temperatures, clear skies and the hope of spring wild flowers coaxed us out of the house for a return hike to the top of Lower Table Rock.

This geologic wonder, along with neighboring Upper Table Rock, is located just outside of Medford, Oregon, an easy drive from Ashland. Both are remnants of a 7 million year old lava flow that made its way down the Rogue River. Erosion has led to the two mesas we see today.

Lower Table Rock looms 800 feet above the valley.

Trails lead to the top of both mesas, but we chose the longer Lower Table Rock trail. Summer sun can be brutal, so spring is prime hiking season. Trees were beginning to leaf out and wild flowers lined the trail along the way. Once we reached the top, the trail followed what was once a grassy airstrip…where brave pilots would have experienced a mighty bumpy landing.
Vernal pools border the trail in early spring and are considered micro-ecosystems. The ponds support a federally protected species of fairy shrimp and a state endangered plant called Dwarf Wooly Meadowfoam, a plant found nowhere else in the world.
If you're in the area and looking for an easily accessible day hike then Lower Table Rock is tough to beat. Be sure to take along water and a picnic lunch. Find a spot to relax and enjoy the views…they are spectacular!

Spring was bursting as we hiked the 5.2 mile round trip.

The view from the top with Mt. McLoughlin in the distance.

 

Categories: Ashland life, Day hike near Medford, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Spring brings the top of southern Oregon into focus

Mount Ashland offers some challenging ski runs, including a steep drop off just behind us.

Trees frame Mount McLaughlin in the distance.

Skis mark a lunch stop on Mount Ashland.

We revisited Mount Ashland today after we aborted a recent summit attempt due to wind, cold and terrible visibility.

What a difference two weeks make!

Our snowshoes and encouragement from friends Judy and Chris got us to the top at about 7,500 feet, where more than 22 feet of snow fell this winter.

The ski resort is closed on Wednesdays, but skiers face good conditions for some spring skiing tomorrow. It is just a 40-minute drive from downtown Ashland, Oregon.

A beer and pizza stop at Growler Guys on the way home topped off a glorious day.

 

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

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