Posts Tagged With: photo

The Way of St. Francis: Ups and Downs on Day One

Pieve Santo Stefano was our destination today, an easy stage according to our guidebook. And I guess it wasn’t too bad, although we did climb 1,700 feet before arriving at this lush green meadow.

The meadow was irresistible and knowing that our feet were not yet trail tough, we enjoyed a snack and the view, sans shoes and socks, while we recharged body, mind and spirit.

Eventually, far below us, Pieve Santo Stefano came into view. It was a good day…a quiet day. We saw just two bicyclists and three other picnicking walkers during our eleven mile/six hour day. The Hotel Santo Stefano has been a good choice for these two weary Pilgrims.

Tomorrow we lace up our boots and tackle a more challenging walk to Sansepolcro.

Categories: The Way of Saint Francis, The Way of St Francis | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Way of St. Francis: Packed and Ready to Go

Ready or not, we’re off to Italy where we’ll begin The Way of St. Francis, a pilgrimage that traces the pathway traveled by St. Francis of Assisi in the early 13th century.

Our journey begins in the eastern portion of central Tuscany in Chiusi Della Verna, a small community located below Santaurio (Sanctuary) Della Verna. It was in this area that St. Francis is said to have received the stigmata. We’ve allowed two nights here to explore the history and beauty of the region…and to catch our breath after what promises to be two pretty hectic travel days.

Then we start walking, traveling mostly southward, with a goal of reaching Vatican City (not quite 300 miles away) by mid-May.

Many thanks to Sandy Brown for allowing me to use the above map, his incredibly detailed trekking guide, the links and foolproof instructions for downloading the GPX tracks onto my phone app and for hosting the Way of St Francis (Official Group) Facebook page. The information is invaluable!

As always, we will post on our blog when we’re able, so feel free to follow along on our journey as we walk The Way of St. Francis.

Categories: The Way of Saint Francis, The Way of St Francis | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Walks, Wildflowers and Wine

Brad and his girlfriend Ashley kept us pretty darn busy during our recent visit to Chico. Ashley planned an action packed Saturday, beginning with a wildflower walk atop North Table Mountain near Oroville, California.

Formed by ancient lava flows, and looking suspiciously like our own Upper and Lower Table Rocks just outside Medford, Oregon, it rises 1582 feet above the valley floor. The wildflowers were spectacular!

We meandered along a series of interconnected trails, eventually arriving at Hollow Falls where we cautiously followed Ashley down the face the cliff you see behind us in the above photo. Fortunately, we discovered a trail that led us easily (and safely) back up to the top.

After a quick bite to eat, we took a short drive north of Chico for some wine tasting at The Abbey of our Lady of New Clairvaux, located in the tiny town of Vina. The history of the land dates back to 1843 when it was a part of a 22,000-acre Mexican land grant. Established in in 1955, the monastery sits on 600 acres and is one of only 17 Trappist-Cistercian monasteries in the United States.

Our tasting included a variety of whites and reds, all of which were quite good. Even Brad, who loves his beer, admitted the reds were pretty good.

New Clairvaux Vineyard offers a unique setting and is well worth the detour when traveling through Northern California.

Categories: family travels, Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Roxy Ann Peak

A weathered old oak tree points the way to the top of 3,576 foot Roxy Ann Peak. Lucky for us we didn’t begin at ground zero, but from the city of Medford, 2,200 feet below. Still, a good workout for our upcoming Italian trek.

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

Mount Shasta-Between the Clouds

After an ill-fated attempt at snowshoeing last Thursday, when the weather was so foul that I turned around after just 20 feet and fought my way back to the truck, Reg and I found Mount Ashland far more hospitable today.

In addition to the spectacular view we had of Mount Shasta (top photo), our ongoing uphill efforts were rewarded with another distant view of Mount Mcloughlin (above).

Today was the perfect day for a snowshoe trek on Mount Ashland. Clouds above us and clouds below us left us with incredible views that went on forever. No reason to hurry back to the truck this time!

Categories: Ashland life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Way of Saint Francis: Training Begins

I stopped for a quick photo this morning as Reg and I neared the top of the 500 foot climb behind our home.

With our upcoming Italian pilgrimage (The Way of Saint Francis) just around the corner, today seemed like a good day to reacquaint ourselves with our backpacks. If the weather cooperates, we should have a couple months to work out any kinks!

Categories: The Way of Saint Francis, The Way of St Francis | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 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

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