Posts Tagged With: Oregon

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

A Whale of a Good Time at Yaquina Head

When smoke continued to choke the Rogue Valley last week, we decided it was time to live dangerously. We hitched up our trailer and headed to the Oregon Coast…without reservations! Spontaneous and risky! And successful. Arriving early on the last day of a three-day holiday weekend allowed us to easily find a full hookup spot at a first come – first served campground.

Our favorite outing of the week was a trip to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse with friends and fellow campers, Lan and Jeff. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the lighthouse has the distinction of being the tallest (at 93 feet) on the Oregon Coast. Free tours of the lighthouse are available most days. Space is limited, so check in at the Interpretive Center to get your tickets.

As great as the lighthouse tour was, the stars of the day were the resident gray whales that linger off the coast near Newport from May through October or November. They swim surprisingly close to shore and put on quite a show for us throughout the afternoon.

Scanning the water, we were continually rewarded with a glimpses of a water spouts, followed by gracefully arched backs of the diving whales. The sight of a fluke (when the tail sticks straight up) never failed to raise a cheer from spectators.

Although the whales were swimming just beyond the rocks, capturing them with my camera lens was impossible…so, while we have no photos, we do have many memories of a beautiful afternoon spent at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and surrounding Natural Area.

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Goodnight From Harris Beach State Park in Oregon

We are enjoying a four-day escape from home where work has begun on a new roof for our town home. Longtime friends, Kathy and Doug, drove their trailer up from California, joining us to camp and explore Oregon's beautiful Coast. We finished dinner just in time to rush down to the beach and catch the setting sun.

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Lewis and Clark and two Oregon forts

 

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We are camped at Fort Stevens State Park and have enjoyed exploring an area known for being at the mouth of the Columbia River and the turnaround point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The campground is the largest Oregon state park with more than 500 campsites. Before you wince at that number, we must tell you that the loops are arranged such that we felt like we were in quiet, small campground most of the time. We were joined by many resident mosquitoes, however, who enjoyed the swampy surroundings and lush vegetation. A dense, tall forest keeps it comfortable for them. Our campfire and a ring of defense chemicals (including Bounce sheets) kept them at bay.)

Speaking of defense, Fort Stevens was a military installation from the Civil War through World War II, with many batteries, such as the one pictured, standing by to protect the Columbia entrance.

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Our son Andrew drove from his Portland home to join our expedition that included a walk to the ocean to see the 1906 wreck of the Peter Iredale, which ran aground while looking for the Columbia River mouth.

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To find where Lewis and Clark first saw the Pacific in 1805, we crossed the Columbia River on a three-mile bridge from Astoria and found the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse in Washington. Our 11-mile roundtrip trek from Cape Disappointment took us through forest where William Clark and his men camped.

The cape got its name in 1788 from an English captain who could not find the Columbia River mouth. Disappointing. I’ll say!

Some nice ocean views and Waikiki Beach (east!) marked our walk. Our destination was the North Head Lighthouse, which was shrouded with scaffolding while undergoing restoration.

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While looking for a place to spend the winter, Lewis and Clark canoed across the river to what is now Oregon and quickly built Fort Clatsop, part of Lewis and Clark National Park. We decided to go back by car.

We found that the Park Service had rebuilt the fort and we covered our ears while  a ranger demonstrated an early 19th-century rifle firing. During her talk, she told us that a misfire was called a “flash in the pan” and the gun’s parts gave us the expression, “lock, stock, and barrel.”

The fort is also the site of some family history. We brought Andrew here when he was one year old. Actually, younger sons Brad and Chris were here too, in a much more confined state.

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Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. We’ve been there…

…or have we?  When Reg reserved our “one night stand” at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park on the coast of Oregon, we both had a pretty clear memory of our prior visit and a mental picture of where we’d be staying as we headed up the Oregon Coast.

When Reg pulled into the campground I commented that it was much more forested than I remembered.  Without another thought we checked in, quickly set up camp and headed out to explore the ‘hood.

Following a one mile trail that looped around Lake Marie, Reg marveled at our surprise discovery.  “I never would have guessed this lake was here,” he said as we watched children splashing in the swimming area.  

When the camp host told us the Lighthouse was just a short quarter mile walk from our campground, we began to have reservations about our reservation!  Perhaps we were not where we thought we were…

Slightly disoriented, we arrived at the Lighthouse and realized why everything felt so unfamiliar.  As it turns out, we’ve never been to Umpqua Lighthouse State Park before…until today that is!  A chat with a crusty old sea captain type who was selling admissions to the Lighthouse Museum cleared up our confusion, reassuring us that we weren’t completely losing our minds.  It seems our memories (and where we thought we had a reservation) are from (we think) Heceta Head Lighthouse, just north of here…where there is no lake and the campsites are not quite so forested!

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Pleasant Hike on Humbug Mountain


It’s been awhile since we’ve given our hiking shoes a real workout, so today we put them (and ourselves) to the test along the 5 1/2 mile Humbug Mountain trail.  We hoped the promised ocean views would help distract us from the 1,748 foot climb.


The trail immediately began to rise, eventually leading us through a dense forest of amazing old-growth Douglas Fir, wildflowers and ferns.  As switchbacks led us back and forth up the mountain, Reg began to wonder just when we would see those Pacific Ocean views.  

At last we arrived at a break in the trees and were rewarded with a view north, up the Oregon Coast toward Port Orford.  We snuck several more peeks before trees grew dense and the trail took a turn, continuing up, up, up.  Surely, we thought, the view from the summit would be spectacular!

This little bench marked the end of the trail.  While I rested my feet, Reg documented our achievement with a quick photo.  Unfortunately, as the last picture shows, trees have blocked most of the views from the top.  Still, it was hard to be disappointed.  The hike was beautiful, we had made it to the top…and back down again…with plenty of energy to spare!

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

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.

 

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

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