READ MY BLOG POSTS! (PLEASE!)

READ MY BLOG POSTS! (PLEASE!)

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Shakespeare Doodle

As you can see we’ve been busy.*
We have always written this Blog for our own amusement.
We hope others will read the posts and be entertained and maybe educated).
Our pics and vids are posted (copyright 2010-2017 JoshWillTravel) for your visual stimulation and to better tell the stories. All other images (photos and youtube videos, etc.) are for educational purposes only and not used for any commercial gain.
*There is a lot of NEW and FUN stuff!   ENJOY!

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Read Our Blog Pages>

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Recent April 2017 Blog Posts> 

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Tasting Flight at Dancin Vineyards – Jacksonville, Oregon

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GBTA 2013! Read the Blog Post!

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Blog Posts from January 2017!>

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Happy Puppies!

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POP!

It’s our Blog’s 4th Anniversary! READ THE BLOG!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/its-our-blogs-4-year-anniversary/

恭喜發財! Happy Chinese New Year 2017! 新年好呀!新年好呀!
THE YEAR OF THE RED FIRE ROOSTER! 祝贺大家新年好!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/happy-chinese-new-year-2017/

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Blog Posts from Our Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon>

Ashland Creek 1

Ashland Creek in Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Master Blog! Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-35M
Seagulls! Moonstone Beach in Cambria> http://wp.me/s3dhVM-seagulls
The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria> 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi
Historic Downtown Cambria, California> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3yI
The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-4lQ
Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3ik

Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/moonstone-beach-cambria-california/

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More of Our Previous Blogs:

It’s Rex Manning Day 2017!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/its-rex-manning-day/

Return to Paramount Ranch Park in Agoura, California: Part 2 Hiking the Site>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/paramount-ranch-park-agoura-california-part-1/

Return to Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California: Part 1 Western Town>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/return-to-paramount-ranch-01-apr-13-part-1-western-town/

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Friends of Paramount Ranch 2017 – Agoura, California

The Wabash Cannonball!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/the-wabash-cannonball/

HAAPPY SAAINT PAATRICK’S DAAY!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/haappy-saaint-paatricks-daay/

SPRING FORWARD! HAPPY PURIM! FULL MOON!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/spring-forward-full-moon/

Let’s Go To Malibu Beach!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/lets-go-to-malibu-beach/

“This is what happens Larry!”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/this-is-what-happens-larry/

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“This is What Happens Larry!”

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Janis Joplin’s Psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356c Cabriolet

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Saturday Morning…>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/saturday-morning/

Procrastination (noun)
-the action of delaying or postponing something
-the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished
-the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones
-carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones
-putting off impending tasks to a later time

“PROCRASTINATION”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/procrastination/

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RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS!

REAL GOOD EATING in the San Fernando Valley!>

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20S

Sushi Time at Okumura> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Xm

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Pp

Dinner at the NoHo Diner in North Hollywood> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20z

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

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Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino>  http://wp.me/p3dhVM-13W

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-2Vc 

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

Pizza Time! Mulberry Street Pizza!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/pizza-time-mulberry-street-pizza/

AND THERE ARE MANY MORE! OVER 600 BLOG POSTS! HAVE FUN!

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!
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RETURN TO HOMEPAGE> http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com
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The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!
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IMPEACH TRUMP!

Seriously,
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TELL THE USA TO DUMP TRUMP on facebook> 
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TREASON!



 

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Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon!

Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon!

THIS BLOG IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION!
COMPUTER INTERNET PROBLEMS AGAIN FORCED US TO PUBLISH!
WATCH AS THIS BLOG IS CONSTRUCTED!
First Posted 4-4-2016 and Last Updated 4-13-2016

Roadtrip to Oregon!

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Spent the week in Ashland, Oregon on the ranch. Saw three plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and ate, drank, shopped and had a great time away from Los Angeles!

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The View From The Green Room On The Ranch in Ashland Oregon

And we stopped overnight in Cambria, California on the way home. Saw the Saturday sunset over the Pacific Ocean, stayed at the Bluebird Inn Motel, had dinner and drinks, spent Sunday visiting Cambria and the Pacific Ocean at Moonstone State Beach.

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Saturday Sunset Over the Pacific Ocean at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

And now we are back home in Los Angeles to tell the story!

NOTE: This Blog is actually composed of multiple Blogs and there are also other Blogs and several Periscope videos (saved on Katch) linked to this Master Blog. Please RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to view them!

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Ashland Creek in Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon Spring 2016

We traveled to Ashland, Oregon and back. We left Monday evening after dark at 9pm and drove the 5 freeway all night. It’s about 770 miles from Los Angeles to Ashland and we did it in about 9-1/2 hours.

Going over the Tejon Pass just out of Los Angeles, there was rain, sleet, snow and hail blowing sideways directly into the front of the cars climbing the grade. It wasn’t quite a “whiteout”, but it was unexpected and caused a little delay due to slowing traffic and bad conditions. Luckily, it didn’t last that long and coming down the Grapevine was a nice leisurely cruise.

We fueled up in Valencia (9:15pm) as we left Los Angeles, and stopped for gas in Santa Nella (12:15am) and Corning (3:30am), California along the 5 freeway to Ashland, Oregon.

Arriving in Ashland, Oregon (6:30am) before sunrise on Tuesday morning, we stopped for a big Breakfast at the Breadboard Restaurant (opens at 7am).

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On the Menu: Country fried steak, 2 eggs over easy (we asked for over medium), potato “homers” home fries, toast & jam, and 3 cups of coffee. Great way to start the day!

GOOD MORNING ASHLAND, OREGON!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Entrance to Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Allen Elizabethan Outdoor Theatre on the hill behind the trees

We went over Lithia Park for a morning walk after breakfast, but it was too cold by Ashland Creek for this Southern California boy on Tuesday morning.

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Cold Tuesday Morning at Ashland Creek in Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon

Right Click and “Open in New Window” to Read the Blog
“Tuesday Afternoon in Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon”>
 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3mi

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Historic Ashland Springs Hotel on Main Street in Ashland Oregon

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Tuesday Morning – The View of the Rogue Valley From The Ranch

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Tuesday Morning

We went back to Lithia Park later in the day after it warmed up and walked the park from the playground to the picnic area (and Periscoped and saved it to Katch) and then back.

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Tuesday Afternoon in Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

Right Click and “Open in New Window” to Watch the Video
Walk with me Lithia Park (Periscope saved on Katch) > https://ktch.tv/8ZmC

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Tuesday Afternoon – Japanese Garden in Lithia Park – Ashland Oregon

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Tuesday Afternoon – Lithia Park Lovers – Ashland Oregon

Right Click and “Open in New Window” to Read the Blog
“Tuesday Afternoon in Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon”>
 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3mi

 

Tuesday Evening – Dinner at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

Our first night in Ashland, we had the fine idea to drive up to Medford (only about 20 minutes north on the 5 freeway) to the Texas Roadhouse BBQ for a big dinner.

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On The Menu: BBQ baby back pork ribs, bone-in ribeye steak with fries, side of chili, dinner salad, bread & butter, salted shelled peanuts and a coke.

 

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Tuesday Evening Sky – Ashland, Oregon

 

Wednesday

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Wednesday Morning in Ashland Oregon

Take A Drive To Grizzly Peak! (weather permitting)
Out and Back to the National Forest on Dead Indian Memorial Road

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Mount Shasta and the Road to Grizzly Peak in Southern Oregon

Wednesday morning we set off to have an adventure in Ashland, knowing that we had a brunch meeting and a matinee performance of “Twelfth Night” later in the day.

We decided to head up towards Grizzly Peak on Dead Indian Memorial Road past the Ashland Airport and the Bella Fiore Winery (Read our Previous Blog) and drive as far as we could until we had to turn around and come back for brunch. We also hadn’t filled up the gas tank, so we had a limited range in terms of “as far out and back”.

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Dead Indian Memorial Road to Grizzly Peak in Ashland Oregon

We made it past Mile 22 and into the National Forest before we turned around! We saw and wrote our name in the snow. We saw snow covered Mount Shasta and a lot of beautiful Oregon country as we drove up and into the pine forest. We turned around when we reached our time, range and weather limit: we had to get back for brunch and we had just enough gas to get down the mountain, and we reached an elevation where the road got icy.

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JoshWillTravel the Road to Grizzly Peak in Southern Oregon

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The ride back to Ashland was equally beautiful and we stopped for photo opportunities along the way. Dead Indian Memorial Road has great views and a lot of safe turnouts to pull over, enjoy nature and take pictures. I’ve been all the way to the summit in late spring and summer and it is beautiful! There’s a hiking trail to the top and great views of Mount Shasta from the parking lot (again weather permitting).

NOTE: Dead Indian Memorial Road is not really maintained during the winter, at night or in inclement weather. And the weather can change quickly so be prepared! Watch out for snowplows, service trucks, other equipment, black ice, horses, deer, elk and snowmobiles! Travel the road to Grizzly Peak carefully!

“Grizzly Peak (elevation 5922 feet) affords an outstanding view of the Rogue Valley and the city of Ashland. This short trail to the summit passes through a mixed forest of fir and pine. The trail also offers outstanding views of the Cascades including Diamond Peak, Mt Mcloughlin, and Mt. Shasta. In early summer wildflowers put on a spectacular show along the trail. Keep an eye out for elk and deer, as well as many other animals including Golden Eagles and other birds of prey.”

Season: April 1 to November 15 – No Fees!
Trail Length: 3 miles one way
Difficulty: Moderate – Use level: Moderate to High

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE BLM Website> http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/site_info.php?siteid=346

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Wednesday Brunch at Greenleaf Restaurant on the Plaza in Ashland, Oregon

We drove back to downtown Ashland and parked at the entrance to Lithia Park just off the plaza. A quick walk down the street and we arrived at Greenleaf Restaurant and met our host for brunch. We’ve eaten here before, it’s a local favorite, they serve both breakfast and deli sandwiches all day, with a lunch menu after 11:30. There is indoor seating, seating on the patio on the pedestrian friendly lane, and “to go” counter service. They have picnic style boxes available on the menu for people wanting to take their food on an adventure.

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Brunch at Greenleaf Restaurant on the Plaza in Ashland

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Greenleaf Restaurant & Deli on the Plaza in Ashland

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Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland Oregon

On The Menu: 2 eggs over easy (asked for medium), bacon, fruit, english muffin, orange juice and iced coffee

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Brunch at Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eggs Benedict at Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland (from a previous trip)

 

We filled up the gas tank at the historic 76 Station in downtown Ashland and then parked the car in a 4 hour lot.

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Fill Up at the Historic 76 Station in Downtown Ashland Oregon

We walked over to the OSF campus and the Angus Bowmer Theatre for the “Twelfth Night” Matinee at 1:30pm.

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE BLOG>
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3c4

 

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Mini-Burros!

 

Wednesday Evening Dinner at Sesame Asian Kitchen in Ashland

Trying something new, at the recommendation of our host, located just off the plaza next to the entrance of Lithia Park and the pedestrian friendly Guanojuato Lane. It’s an Asian Fusion menu and they have indoor and outdoor seating.

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On The Menu: Ji Bao with Chicken, Orange Chicken, Asian Salad, Ginger Beef with Noodles (we it sent back) and a coke.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

It was the first time we tried Sesame Asian Kitchen and it wasn’t good. The Ji Bao with chicken was tasty but dry and could have used lettuce or some kind of vegetable to give it some moisture. The asian salad was basically cole slaw without mayonnaise. The orange chicken was okay, but could have definitely used more orange or flavor in the sauce. There’s no picture of the ginger beef and noodles because we sent it back! The beef was so completely overcooked it was like jerky…inedible. Our server had a trainee shadowing him but the service was just okay and there wasn’t really an apology for the bad beef. They get a lot of tourist business because of their location, but we probably won’t be back again.

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Rogue Valley Sunset (Wednesday Evening) – Ashland, Oregon

 

Thursday

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Good Morning Oregon!

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Thursday Morning – Ashland, Oregon

 

Thursday Morning at Noble Coffee and Walking the Railroad District

Noble Coffee on 4th Street has the best coffee in town. It’s a local favorite and far away from downtown in the Railroad District.

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Noble Coffee Shop on 4th Street in Ashland Oregon

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Noble Coffee

There are some very good restaurants, the Peerless Hotel, cool shops and galleries, a small park and the railroad tracks in the neighborhood, as well as the Grange Co-op and a lot of cool old buildings and houses.

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The Railroad District: NO TRESPASSING! – Ashland, Oregon

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The Peerless Hotel on 4th Street in Ashland Oregon

 

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Revive Antique Shop on 4th Street in Ashland Oregon

 

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PUSH An Art Gallery on 4th Street in Ashland Oregon

 

The Goodwill Store (on Tolman Creek Rd) in Ashland

We’ve been to the Goodwill Store in Medford on previous trips, so this trip we decided to check out the branch in Ashland on Tolman Creek Rd. and we weren’t disappointed. This store gets really good stuff donated from the Ashland community, a lot of whom are well-to-do retirees from other places. We made a decision before embarking on this road trip, that we weren’t going to buy a lot of things or spend a lot of money on thrift store items, so we limited our shopping to small and inexpensive gifts and souvenirs. At the Ashland Goodwill Store we found a Penguin Snowglobe with a working music box inside for $3.00 and chose three comic books (Sgt Rock Special #6, the Spawn Bible #1 and Buckaroo Banzai #1) from the large selection of packaged and in good condition comics that had been donated (there were a few hundred) at $.49 each for sentimental reasons.

 

Thursday afternoon we drove north on the 5 freeway to Medford, Eagle Point and Central Point for lunch and some food shopping.

We started with Lunch at Kaleidoscope Pizzeria in Medford

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Lunch at Kaleidoscope Pizzeria in Medford

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Kaleidoscope Pizzeria – Aloha Pizza: 1/2 Pepperoni & 1/2 Canadian Bacon

On the Menu: Caesar Salad, 3 pieces of Aloha Pizza with pepperoni and a coke
(and we took the leftover pizza “to go”)

We drove around Medford after lunch and went Food Shopping at The Butcher Shop, the Rogue Creamery and Lillie Belle Farms Handmade Chocolates.

The Butcher Shop in Eagle Point is a cool specialty shop that is a far distance away but worth the drive if you like good meat and seafood. They also have fresh seasonal produce, cheeses and other food items as well. We picked up some steaks for freezing and a big piece of sushi grade Ahi Tuna for supper later.

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The Butcher Shop in Eagle Point, Oregon

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

A visit to the Rogue Creamery is a regular stop when we visit Southern Oregon. It’s owned by friends and the award winning cheese is incredible! They make it all on premises by hand, with their special recipes, and age it in special caves that give it the rich flavors.

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Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

There’s always a nice selection to choose from, they have patio seating and make grilled cheese sandwiches on premises. There also a good selection of Rogue Ales, crackers, fresh pasta, jams and gift items available for purchase in the small shop area inside.

And then a stop next door at Lillie Belle Farms Handmade Chocolates…

We LOVE Lillie Belle Farms Handmade Chocolates in Central Point!
Read the Blog!

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Handmade Gourmet Chocolates from Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point, Oregon

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Right Click and “Open in New Window” to Read the Blog “Lillie Belle Farms Handmade Chocolates in Central Point, Oregon”> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3kb

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Handmade Gourmet Chocolates from Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point, Oregon

We sampled the cheese and chocolate while we were shopping and drove back to Ashland with an insulated grocery bag full of good stuff. The Ahi Tuna was excellent with soy and ginger for supper!

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Ahi Tuna Sashimi with soy sauce and ginger

We had a ticket to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s adaptation of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Yeoman of the Guard” Evening Performance in the Thomas Theatre at 8pm and we were told to arrive early for the audience interaction “pre-show” at 7:30pm.

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE BLOG>
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3c4

There was no intermission and it was a short show, so about 9:45pm we walked the plaza at night and headed upstairs to the Brickroom for a post show cocktail and some food.

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Natural Lithia Water Fountain on the Plaza at Night in Ashland Oregon

After Theatre Drink at the Brickroom: Stoli Rocks with a splash of pineapple and an order of small fries with barbecue sauce to soak it up before heading back to the ranch.

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The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO READ OUR PREVIOUS BLOG
 The Brickroom in Ashland, Oregon> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1AV

We took our time driving The Ranch at night hoping to see some wildlife on the way. We’ve seen elk, deer, coyotes, jack rabbits, skunks, an owl and squirrels on the road at night, but this time nothing at all….

And we ate the leftover piece of cold Aloha pizza from lunch before going to bed.

 

Friday

Coffee at Starbuck’s at Pioneer & Main Street in downtown Ashland on Friday morning. Then we walked down to the Village Bakery and bought a chocolate covered croissant (and Periscoped it but didn’t save it). On the walk back we stopped into the new smoke shop in town, Smokin Deals Custom Glass & More and took a bunch of pictures for this Blog.

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Starbuck’s Coffee at Pioneer & Main in Downtown Ashland Oregon

A long line for Coffee at Starbuck’s in downtown Ashland on Friday morning:

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Venti Mocha Frappuchino with whipped cream

 

Village Bakery on Main St in Ashland

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Chocolate Covered Croissant from the Village Bakery in Ashland Oregon

 

Picker’s Paradise

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Right Click and “Open in New Window” to Read the Blog
“Vintage Disney Storage Finds #6 – Disney Stuff! Thrift Shop Finds in Oregon”> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3bb

 

Our planned afternoon activities were cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances so instead we drove over to the OSF Box Office and switched our ticket to the Friday matinee of “Great Expectations”. We parked the car in the 4 hour lot and went to the show.

 

“Great Expectations” Friday Matinee in the Angus Bowmer Theatre

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE BLOG>
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3c4

 

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Friday Afternoon View from The Ranch

Wonderful Friday Night Dinner at The Loft in Ashland Oregon

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On The Menu: fried calamari, mussels florentine, bacon cheeseburger & fries, duck breast with cauliflower/brussel sprouts and chocolate tart with sea salt caramel ice cream

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Friday Evening View From The Loft in Ashland Oregon (Brickroom Patio)

 

We saw three plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival while we were in town: a Wednesday matinee of “Twelfth Night” set in 1930’s Hollywood,  a country version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Yeoman of the Guard” on Thursday night and a Friday matinee of the world premiere adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”.

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE BLOG>
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3c4

 

Saturday and SOUTHBOUND!
Ashland, Oregon to Cambria, California

 

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Southbound! Saturday Morning on the I-5 at Mount Shasta

We left Ashland, Oregon on our return drive on Saturday morning at about 9:30am and arrived at the beach in Cambria, California 9 hours later at 6:30pm just in time for the sunset.

NOTE: Here’s the story of how we ended up in Cambria for the sunset>

When we set out there was no predetermined destination or idea of where we might end up. At some point we would decide “enough driving” or find our journey’s end.

When we stopped at Taco Bell in Oroville for a Burrito Supreme the original choices were Reno, Yosemite and San Francisco. Both Reno and Yosemite would require a lot of extra driving and it was already late in the day to arrive in Yosemite at night without a reservation and there’s the cost of the entrance fee as well. So we set out for San Francisco and continued south on the 5 freeway.

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The Winters cutoff (Highway 505) was great and we made excellent time and then hit a lot of traffic at the Highway 80 junction. And as we approached San Francisco there was a lot of traffic going into the city, so instead we headed for San Jose and Santa Cruz.

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We drove by our friends house, but no one was home, so we waved and kept going. And then again at the 680-880 junction there was a line of cars backed up a mile to go over the hill to the beach, so we vetoed going to Santa Cruz and continued south on the 101 freeway.

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We had the option to get off in Napa-Sonoma as we approached San Francisco and we could have done “wine country”, and we probably should have since we were right there, so as we approached Arroyo Grande and Paso Robles there was another chance to stop and taste the “fruit of the vine” but we weren’t sure where to go as it was after 5:30pm on Saturday evening.

So San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach would be our destination, but then we remembered it was Spring Break and we saw the sign for Highway 46 to CAMBRIA and thought “Hearst Castle” and there are a lot of fond memories of visiting as kid. We could make it to the beach by sunset, have some food and try to find a room or place to camp near the ocean. A quick turn of the steering wheel to the right and we were on our way to Cambria and Highway 1 with the thought of maybe driving to Big Sur on Sunday…

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“Sea of Clouds” – Highway 46 west near Cambria, California

Coming down the hill on Highway 46 west we saw the fog rolling in over the ocean and coast. It looked like a sea of clouds and the mountain tops were islands in the sky.

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Fog Rolling In – Highway 46 west near Cambria, California

It didn’t take long to get to downtown Cambria and we drove down Main Street and found a parking place at the beach. There’s a wooden boardwalk along the shore to protect the plants and tourists. Greenspace and protecting the environment are of major interest to the local people and the beautiful unspoiled landscape is one of the major tourism selling points.

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Sunset On The Boardwalk at Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California

We parked our car and watched the sunset between the clouds and the ocean, it was just a sliver of orange off in the distance. It was beautiful and a fine end to a long 9 hour drive.

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Pacific Ocean and a Sunset on the Beach (in the fog) – Cambria, California

HELLO CAMBRIA, CALIFORNIA!

We got lucky and with one phone call got a nice motel room at the Bluebird Inn on Saturday night in a town with “No Vacancy”, then had a nice dinner at Robin’s restaurant and cocktails at the Cambria Pub & Steakhouse (open until midnight) and Mozzi’s Bar (open until about 2am).

A good friend’s parents were the long time owners of the Bluebird Inn Motel and our friend worked there before moving south and getting married. There was an open invitation to come visit but we never made it back to Cambria (another reason for the side trip). After the sun set we tried to call our friend to ask him where to eat in town, but dialed his old work number at the Bluebird. We were surprised when he answered “Bluebird Inn”, but then asked “I know you are full, but do you know anyone with  a room?” He said, “We just had a cancellation, so I have a king bed, non smoking available.” Ten minutes later, we were at the Bluebird Inn.

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“No Vacancy” at the Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria on Saturday Night

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“No Vacancy” at the Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria on Saturday Night

Dinner at Robin’s Restaurant was recommended by Ben at the front desk, he said his boss liked to eat there and enjoyed the food. He also recommended Linn’s and the Sow’s Ear. We got settled into our room and called over to Robin’s and got an 8:45pm dinner reservation (they take reservations until 9pm) and a little after 8:30pm we walked over to the restaurant which was 2 blocks from the Bluebird Inn Motel.

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Dinner at Robin’s Restaurant in Cambria

On The Menu: Naan Pizzette (a BBQ chicken pizza on naan bread), chicken sate with peanut sauce and cucumber salad and two bottle of hot sake.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

And then cocktails (Stoli rocks with a splash of pineapple) at the bar at the Cambria Pub & Steakhouse and later at Mozzi’s Bar. We left our eyeglasses behind at closing time, so we had to walk over on Sunday afternoon to retrieve them… must of been having a good time.

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Stoli Rocks with a Splash of Pineapple Juice

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Sunday morning, it was overcast and gray, we enjoyed a continental breakfast at the Bluebird Inn (included with the room), then checked out at noon and went to find our eyeglasses at Mozzi’s Bar.

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Continental Breakfast at the Bluebird Inn Motel on Sunday Morning

On the Menu: Continental Breakfast included coffee, orange juice, mini-croissants, pound cake, fruit (bananas & tangerines) and strawberry yogurt.

The Bluebird Inn Motel gets a big thumbs up! Big thanks to Ben and Holly for their advice on where to eat and what to do and for being super-friendly and helpful while doing their jobs at the front desk. The room was also large, super clean and comfortable, with a real King Bed and a vanity area with a large size mini-refrigerator and small microwave. The new owners “refreshed” the bathroom and walk-in shower and there was plenty of ultra-hot water even though the motel was full. Even though the room was on the end next to Main Street, there was no traffic at night and it was pretty quiet.

We spent a nice day walking around Main Street and downtown Cambria visiting shops, galleries and historic sites. At about 4pm it was still overcast, so we drove down to State Beach to see the ocean again and hoped the sun would burn through.

Main Street in Cambria is filled with Galleries and “Antique”, Gift and Thrift Shops!

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Country Collectibles Antique Mall in Cambria, California

scrabble tiles

Magnetic Scrabble Tiles $.40 each (x 13)

If you like to shop for pretty things and cool art there’s lots of here. There are also a lot of restaurants, wine tasting rooms and places to indulge your sweet tooth.

Want some candy? Visit Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria!

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Want Some Candy? Visit Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Cambria is also a Historic California Town with a very interesting past. Many of the businesses on Main Street occupy buildings on the State Registry of Historic Places. There’s also a History Center, a Chinese Temple and the Santa Rosa Catholic Church built in 1870, a beautiful chapel on a hill complete with an old time cemetery.

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Santa Rosa Catholic Church in Cambria, California built in 1870

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Santa Rosa Catholic Church Cemetery in Cambria, California est.1870

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Santa Rosa Catholic Church Cemetery in Cambria, California est.1870

 

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It was a gray day in Cambria and along the coast, so we decided not to drive north to Big Sur, and later decided not to drive Highway 1 to San Luis Obispo because of the weather. The sun did come out for a very brief moment when I was at the beach taking pictures.

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Sunday Afternoon at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

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Sunday Afternoon at Moonstone State Beach in Cambria, California

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Sunday Afternoon at Moonstone State Beach in Cambria, California

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Sunday Afternoon at Moonstone State Beach in Cambria, California

 

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SQUIRREL! No Fear! Do Not Feed The Wildlife!

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Sunday Afternoon at Moonstone State Beach in Cambria, California

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Seagulls at Moonstone State Beach in Cambria, California

Right Click and “Open in New Window” to Watch the Video “At the Pacific Ocean in Cambria, CA” (Periscope saved on Katch) > https://ktch.tv/97x_

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Sunday Afternoon at Moonstone State Beach in Cambria, California

NOTE: I’m always happy to take a picture of a couple in love when it’s not inconvenient. I’ll even offer “would you like me to take a picture of the two of you?” I don’t usually post pictures of myself, but I asked the couple I just photographed if they would take a picture of me at the beach. (breaking the fourth wall here because someone asked for it)

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Peace! JoshWillTravel on Sunday Afternoon at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

We made a quick visit to the Harmony Cellars Winery in Harmony, CA (population 18) just south of Cambria, they were about to close so we just took pictures and didn’t drink wine.

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Harmony Cellars Winery and Tasting Room in Harmony, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

We left Cambria about 6pm on Sunday and drove back to Paso Robles and the 101 freeway south because it was still gray along Highway 1 south and I wanted to see a good sunset. It was a beautiful evening drive back through wine country on Highway 46 . We made it back to the freeway and headed south on the 101. We stopped for gas and Taco Bell on the way.

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A Pit Stop and a Beefy Burrito at Taco Bell in Nipomo California

NOTE: We stopped at Taco Bell twice on our way south. In Oroville on Saturday as we previously mentioned for a Burrito Supreme and in Nipomo on Sunday for a pit stop and a Beefy Burrito. We ate inside both times which was a good thing because both burritos completely fell apart after two bites and made an absolute mess. In Oroville we ordered at the Drive-Thru but it took too long so we parked and went inside to get our burrito.

We stopped again along the 101 freeway in Goleta, just north of Santa Barbara and watched a beautiful sunset as the sun went down over the ocean and the freeway.

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After the sun went down, we got to Santa Barbara, and other people were driving like f*ckin’ idiots and doing stupid things the whole way back to the San Fernando Valley. We drove safely and arrived home about 9:15pm without incident after another great road trip!

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See Southern Oregon! (btw Sacramento CA & Bend OR)

Travel Answers about Southern Oregon!

Visit our Ashland, Oregon facebook page: www.facebook.com/theatreinashland

Q: What is a must see between Sacramento, CA and Bend, OR?

My husband and I will be driving from Sacramento, CA, to Bend, OR, in early August, what are some must sees along the way?  I just discovered the Mt Shasta Lavender Farm will be closed for the season August 4 the day we will be doing our drive north.

A: Must see between Sacramento, CA and Bend, OR?

Food, Wine & Theatre in Ashland Oregon with JoshWillTravel

Food, Wine & Theatre in Ashland Oregon with JoshWillTravel

Ashland in Southern Oregon is just across the California border on the 5 freeway.

Home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University, the city is a great place to stop and stay overnight or for a few days.

The OSF theatre season runs February to November, and there are free Green Shows during the summer. There are several other theaters in town and nearby, and the university has a full schedule of music, dance and drama programs as well. The Britt Festival Pavilion hosts great concerts and the Oang Medford Armory always has events scheduled.

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park was just voted one of the best parks in the United States, and is right off downtown. There’s hiking, biking, sports, a playground, a lake for swimming, ice skating in winter and bandshell concerts in summer.

There are lots of really great restaurants in Ashland! Beasy’s On The Creek, Peerless Hotel & Restaurant, and Amuse to name just three of the best. Other food places of note are Callahan’s Lodge and Restaurant, New Sammy’s Cowboy Bistro outside Ashland, Puck’s Doughnuts and Noble Coffee in town.

The historic Ashland Springs Hotel with Lark’s Restaurant is located on Main Street and the Lithia Springs Resort is just north of town. Both are good choices if you’re staying overnight, and there are many other hotels, motels, B&Bs, and other accommodations available in Ashland or any of the neighboring towns.

Rogue Valley, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There are great wineries that offer tastings throughout the Rogue, Applegate, Umpqua and Willamette Valleys like Weisinger’s Winery, RoxyAnn Winery and Grizzly Peak Winery, named for the mountain and there’s great hiking at Grizzly Peak Trail and Mt. Ashland Ski Resort.

Visit historic Jacksonville (Oregon) and drive by Medford, but be sure stop in Central Point at Lillie Belle Farms Artisan Chocolatesand the Rogue Creamery cheese shop before continuing north.

Visit our facebook page “Food, Wine and Theatre in Ashland, Oregon with JoshWillTravel” for more info: www.facebook.com/theatreinashland


Q: “Can’t miss” in Oregon Wine Country? Where’s best base? Best time to go?

We’re planning a trip to explore the best of Oregon’s wine country and would appreciate any insider suggestions as to when is the least expensive and least crowded time to go, where to stay to maximize the experience and what we should be sure to do!

It will be my boyfriend and I, less expensive is ideal, I prefer white wines but know this is red wine country!  Want to do as little driving as possible but understand that wineries are spread out….

Are there any festivals or events we should check out?

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

A: Oregon Wine Country!

Visit the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon.Stay in Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Visit historic Jacksonville, home of the Britt Festivals and Medford, home of the Harry & David Country Village.

There are lots of great wineries: Grizzly Peak Winery, RoxyAnn Winery, Weisinger’s Winery, Trium Wine, EdenVale Winery and many others. You’re also just south of the Applegate, Umpqua and Willamette Valley wineries, so there are great day trips available.

There are also many great restaurants, places to shop, tourist activities and nice places to stay in addition to the wine and theatre available in Ashland. Please see my other answers for more details!

There’s skiing at Mt. Ashland Ski Resort if there’s snow.

Another great day trip is north 2-1/2 hours to Crater Lake National Park


Crater Lake National Park in Southern Oregon

Crater Lake National Park in Southern Oregon

Q: Place to stay w/ Kids at Crater Lake?

Driving up to Crater Lake this summer w/ 3 kids in tow. Would love a recommendation for a place to stay for 2 nights as close as possible to the lake.

Place to stay w/ Kids at Crater Lake National Park?

A: The best place to stay inside the park is the historic Crater Lake Lodge inside the park on the rim of the lake. Spend the extra money and get a room with a view if available!

From the nps.gov website: http://www.nps.gov/crla/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Crater Lake Lodge has 71 rooms and is normally open mid May through mid October (2014 Operating Season is May 16 – October 12, 2013). Advance reservations are strongly recommended and can be made on-line or by calling (888) 774-2728 

Cabins At Mazama has 40 units and is located in the Mazama Village complex. It is open late May through early October (2014 Operating Season is May 23 – October 5, 2014). Reservations are recommended. (888) 774-2728

RESERVATIONS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!

Accommodations for spring and summer book early and sell out fast! Check the nps.gov website for info.

There are additional places to stay (motels and cabins for rent) and activities (rafting, fishing, horseback riding, and more) available outside the park near Lost Creek Lake, Prospect, Fort Klamath, along the Rogue River and Highway 62 down the mountain.

 

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I Posted This Travel Answer About Crater Lake!

Crater Lake is a volcanic caldera lake in southern Oregon. It’s the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and famous for its deep blue color, water clarity and elevation. The lake partly fills a nearly 4,000 feet deep caldera that was formed around 5,677 BC by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama.

Crater Lake, Oregon (photo from wikipedia.org)

Aerial View of Crater Lake, Oregon (photo from wikipedia.org)

Q: Place to stay at Crater Lake National Park? A: The best place to stay inside the park is the historic Crater Lake Lodge on the rim of the lake. Spend the extra money and get a room with a view if available! From the nps.gov website: http://www.nps.gov/crla/planyourvisit/hours.htm Crater Lake Lodge has 71 rooms and is normally open mid May through mid October (2014 Operating Season is May 16 – October 12, 2013). Advance reservations are strongly recommended and can be made on-line or by calling (888) 774-2728 Cabins At Mazama has 40 units and is located in the Mazama Village complex. It is open late May through early October (2014 Operating Season is May 23 – October 5, 2014). Reservations are recommended. (888) 774-2728 RESERVATIONS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED! Accommodations for spring and summer book early and sell out fast! Check the nps.gov website for info. There are additional places to stay (motels and cabins for rent) and activities (rafting, fishing, horseback riding, and more) available outside the park near Lost Creek Lake, Prospect, Fort Klamath, along the Rogue River and Highway 62 down the mountain. http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravelhttp://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

24-JUL-13: Rogue Valley, Oregon

Rogue Valley, Oregon

“Doot, Doot, Doot…looking out my backdoor!”

Rogue Valley, Oregon

Rogue Valley, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

 

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15-JUN-13: Rogue Valley Sunset – Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Sunset – Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Sunset - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Sunset – Ashland, Oregon  (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

 

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06-MAY-13: Ashland, Oregon

Ashland, Oregon

Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland is a city in Jackson county, Oregon, near the Oregon and the California border, and located at the south end of the Rogue Valley. It officially became a town with the name Ashland Mills in 1855. As of July 1, 2011, the city had a total population of 20,255.  It is the home of Southern Oregon University (SOU) and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (www.osfashland.org).

U.S. Travel Association - www.ustravel.org

U.S. Travel Association – http://www.ustravel.org

 

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11-MAR-13: Rogue Valley Spring

Monday again.

Rogue Valley Spring - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley Spring – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Thinking of Spring!

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My January Trip to Ashland, Oregon

Ashland, Oregon Visitor's Map

Ashland, Oregon Visitor’s Map

Ashland, Oregon is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (osfashland.org) and the theater season runs February to November.  I’ve visited Ashland regularly over the years during the OSF season and have seen many great theatrical productions (I’ll blog about those experiences in the future).  Without the tourists, the town is very quiet in December and January,  The purpose of my trip this time was to visit my father and stepmother.  He has health problems, I haven’t seen them in a long time, and my presence would enable her to take a little break from some daily “caregiver” duties.  So given the circumstances and the time of year, it was a very different type of trip this time.

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LAX  - Alaska Airlines/ Horizon Air - Los Angeles to Medford

LAX – Alaska Airlines/ Horizon Air – Los Angeles to Medford

I flew roundtrip Los Angeles, CA to Medford, OR.  The NON-STOP two-hour Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air commuter flight flies out of LAX and arrives in Medford, Oregon.  It’s the best way to get to Ashland from Los Angeles short of a private flight.  I’ve done the thirteen hour drive and it’s a LONG haul even stopping overnight along the way (and then there’s still the return trip) or you can fly and stop over in San Francisco, but that’s definitely NO FUN (and you never know about the weather in SF).  Depart 8:15pm on Saturday night, so there’s no line at Check-in, paid the CHECKED BAG FEE and got through Security relatively fast for LAX. I got stuck behind an Asian couple with too much stuff and had to laugh out loud as they tried to maneuver at least 10 plastic bins along with their carry-on bags and coats while trying to remove their shoes, belts, and personal electronics.  I had my bag and 3 bins (one for my personal electronics, one for my laptop and one for my shoes and coat) ready and quickly cleared through x-ray.  After passing the oppressive full body scan, I secured a seat and an electrical outlet at the “computer counter” in the waiting area at the gate until the flight boarded on-time.

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Alaska-Horizon Airlines LAX-MFR (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

 

The Theme from "Jaws" is playing in my head as I take my seat.

The Theme from “Jaws” is playing in my head as I take my seat.

Alaska/Horizon Air flies a small prop-jet plane and the flight is usually full.  There are two seats on each side of the aisle and they don’t recline.  There’s not a lot of space and there’s a lot of engine noise, so it’s a good idea to bring noise reducing headphones.  Definitely “no frills”, but there is snack and beverage service with complimentary Oregon wine and microbrew beer on the menu.  Just watch your elbows if you have an aisle seat!  My flight was full and as I took my seat I saw the two small children flying with their mother in the two seats in front of me.  The little girl was standing on the seat giving me the “eye” and the theme from “Jaws” started playing in my head.  I met and joked with the mother as I took these pictures.  Luckily, both children were quiet and slept the entire flight until we landed. The little boy didn’t want to wake up and threw a screaming tantrum as the plane taxied to the gate.  I’ll just say they got the door opened just in time…. .

A little angel?  Or an airplane nightmare waiting to happen?

A little angel? Or an airplane nightmare waiting to happen?

Medford Airport, Medford, Oregon

Rogue Valley International – Medford Airport (MFR) – Medford, Oregon

Arrived on-time at about 10:30pm at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR), a small and very modern airport twenty minutes north of Ashland on the 5 freeway.  No problems at baggage claim and was picked up at the curb.  We drove to The Ranch with a side trip through the Burger King drive-thru on the way home.  The dogs were so glad to see me.  After eating, talking and getting settled in at the house it was time for bed.

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Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 1 - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 1 – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Rogue Valley is a beautiful farming and timber-producing region in southwestern Oregon. Located along the Rogue River and its tributaries in Josephine and Jackson counties, the valley forms the cultural and economic heart of Southern Oregon near the California border along the 5 freeway. The largest communities in the Rogue Valley are Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass.

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 2 - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 2 – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 3 - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 3 – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Woke up early and watched a beautiful Rogue Valley sunrise while getting a light dusting of snow.  The view from house is spectacular and the fog was nestled in the valley as the sun broke through the clouds.

Rogue Valley - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley – view from the house – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Spent most of the time during the week with my father, driving him around, chilling at The Ranch and eating out.  When he had an appointment, I would find somewhere to go and something to enjoy.   We went for nice Sunday brunch at the Jacksonville Inn (www.jacksonvilleinn.com) and then a great steak dinner at Amuse Restaurant in downtown Ashland, with fresh beignets and a banana cream pie tart for desert.

Banana cream pie!

Delicious banana cream pie tart!  Amuse Restaurant – Ashland, Oregon

Lots of other good eating during the trip!  I would recommend any of these restaurants. Lunch: Tacos at La Tapatia Market in Phoenix (REAL Mexican food), Pizza and pasta at Pasta Piatti in downtown Ashland, and you definitely must try the $20 Cheeseburger at New Sammy’s Cowboy Bistro in Talent (reservations recommended and pre-order the burger because sometimes they run out).  Dinner: In addition to Amuse (excellent every time I’ve eaten there), BonsaiTeriyaki sushi in Ashland (good, but it can’t compare to fresh L.A. sushi), and an amazing dinner of chowder, steak, chicken, prawns with incredible bread pudding for dessert at Beasy’s in downtown Ashland.  They stayed open late to take our party of four and the food and wine was five star!

Sushi dinner at BonsaiTeriyaki - Ashland. Oregon

Sushi dinner at BonsaiTeriyaki – Ashland. Oregon

Dad and I saw “Parker” at the local cinema.  We went “antiquing” in Ashland, Jacksonville, Talent, Phoenix and Medford.  Lots of fun stuff for sale, but being mindful of both money and suitcase space, I was mostly browsing.  I did find a great deal on a nice cut crystal vase and bought it as a gift for my mother. I also found a great “out of print” cookbook for my stepmother.

Cut Crystal Vase - "Such a Deal!" - Ashland, Oregon

Cut Crystal Vase – “Such a Deal!” – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We took a drive north to Center Point and visited Lillebelle’s Chocolates (located near the Rogue Valley Creamery and Rogue Valley Winery tasting room).  Definitely worth the trip if you appreciate amazing handmade chocolate ($$$).

Lillebelle's Chocolates

Lillebelle’s Chocolates – Center Point, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lillebelle's Chocolates

Lillebelle’s Chocolates –  Center Point, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I walked around downtown Ashland and the railroad district in the afternoons, window shopping and browsing at the boutiques, bookstores, outdoor gear stores and gift shops.  The town was empty, everything was on sale and it seemed that I was the only tourist in Ashland,  One thing about shopping in Ashland is that each shop has it’s own “laid back character”, and sometimes that also describes the owner or the person providing the customer service.

Downtown Ashland - Ashland, Oregon

Downtown Ashland – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland Library - Ashland, Oregon

Ashland Library – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2103 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland Springs Hotel - Ashland, Oregon

The Historic Ashland Springs Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland is a pretty little town, with lots of historic buildings, lots of shops, great restaurants, the OSF and Lithia Park all in the heart of downtown.  There are lots of housing options for travellers: the historic Ashland Springs Hotel, the Lithia Springs Resort, and many hotels, motels and B&Bs that cater to the tourists.*

Lithia Park is beautiful anytime of the year, but winter is exceptionally beautiful in Oregon.  The weather was pretty good for January.  It snowed a little the first day.  Then it drizzled a little and it was cold and grey most of the time, but the sun did come out a couple of times during the week.

RIGHT CLICK AND OPEN IN NEW WINDOW TO SEE AN ENLARGED PICTURE!

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

I went for a solo walk in Lithia Park and took some pretty pictures.  Ashland Creek was flowing fast because of the melting snow and for almost the entire time I was alone on the walking path. And it was wonderful!  Here’s a picture tour, CLICK TO ENLARGE!

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Elizabethan Theater - Ashland, Oregon

Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Elizabethan Theater – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park is the largest and most central park in Ashland, Oregon. It consists of 93 acres of forested canyonland around Ashland Creek, stretching from the downtown plaza up toward its headwaters near Mount Ashland. Its name originates from the lithium oxide found in the stream water.  The park has two large green area, a bandshell for public musical performances, two duck ponds, a large playground, tennis courts, community buildings and, in winter, an ice skating rink. It also offers picnic areas and miles of hiking trails.  The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Duck Pond - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Duck Pond – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

Had to get up very early to catch the return flight to LAX.  Cruised through Check-In, paid the CHECKED BAG FEE again and breezed through Security (no body scan or bad attitude in Medford) and waited for departure.

Medford Airport - Early AM

Wait, what?  TWINS?

Wait, what? TWINS?

Imagine my suprise when I was seated behind a nice lesbian couple with infant TWINS!  Again, a travel nightmare waiting to happen at 06:30 in the morning, but they both slept through the entire flight and didn’t cry at all!

Dawn out the airplane window

Sunrise, dawn breaks from the airplane window

The flight was only about half full and the seat next to me was empty, so I had extra room to try to stretch out a little bit.  I watched the sunrise out the window of the plane and landed on-time in Los Angeles at about 08:30am.

It’s a long hike from the plane to baggage claim at LAX, but I didn’t have to wait very long for my checked bag once I got there.  (TRAVEL TIP: get to baggage claim before your bag comes down the ramp at LAX!)  Didn’t have anyone pick me up because of the time of day and construction traffic on the 405 freeway.  Instead I had to wait 35 minutes for a “red shuttle van” in the carbon monoxide tank LAX calls passenger pickup.  Then I spent $40 and another 20 minutes circling the airport in the “red shuttle van” before heading out, and then another long 45 minutes on the freeway getting home.  I only tipped the driver $5 because of the time and because he was texting while driving.

I have mixed feelings about the trip.  It was great to see my father, stepmother and the dogs.  Ashland in January was beautiful!  Even good pictures don’t do it justice.  I had a great time and ate a lot fantastic food!  The difficult part was dealing with my father’s health.  I was glad to be home again and my dogs were so glad to see me!

Okay, if you’ve read all the way through, please let me know what you think!  I welcome you feedback and comments.  If you liked it, please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW.

The Big Boy keeping watch

The Big Boy keeping watch at The Ranch (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(All photos copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel – taken with my Blackberry camera)