Most Recent Posts

Eel Lake: Winchester Bay

I know that many people go to the coast specifically to walk the beach -- and I love the beach too -- but I also like walking through the coastal forests with its salal and rhododendrons filling in the understory. While at the coast a couple weeks ago, we stopped by Eel Lake to explore. Eel Lake is a good-sized, fresh water lake, surrounded by forest.  Located a few miles south of Winchester … [Read More...]

Pick it up. Pack it out.

While walking at Row River Nature Park recently, we found a baby Canada Goose that had become tangled in fishing line. Its parents swam nearby as we freed it, but I'm not optimistic about its survival. It did swim off and join its family, but the encounter left it tired and perhaps injured. It wasn't swimming as fast or as well as it should have been. We walk our dogs every week, usually … [Read More...]

Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area: Sumpter, Oregon

In the middle of the 19th century, all around our newly established state, people began discovering gold. The southern Oregon gold rush in Josephine County began in the 1850s, Bohemia Johnson discovered gold in the Bohemia mines in 1863, and the town of Canyon City in eastern Oregon swelled to a population of 10,000 (larger than Portland at the time) once gold was discovered there. Further east, … [Read More...]

Bloom Time

Spring is here! Everywhere I go, I see mounds of brilliant yellow daffodils and smell the sweet fragrance of Daphne. After such a drab, gray winter, I am ready for some color. Luckily, we have a number of local parks and gardens where I can easily see flowers in bloom throughout the growing season. If you also enjoy flowers and gardens, here are nine near-by locations to explore. If you plan … [Read More...]

Wigwam Memories: Swisshome

"Daddy, Ed, and I spent an hour or two pulling slab wood off the Erskine sawmill conveyor belt leading  to their wigwam burner," writes Joe Moreland in A Place to Rest My Head, his memoir about growing up in the coast range after WWII. Needing to build a chicken coop, they drove to Swisshome one evening to get scrap wood from the sawmill. Joe writes: "... in those days, every mill had a … [Read More...]

Willamette Fish Hatchery: Oakridge

The Willamette Fish Hatchery sits just outside of Oakridge.  I can't tell you how many times I've driven down Highway 58 without noticing the road sign pointing toward the hatchery. Luckily, at some point it captured my attention, and the hatchery ended up on my "things to see" list. When we stopped by the hatchery last fall, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I knew there would be ponds … [Read More...]

Cottage Grove

Marten Flume Trail: Brice Creek

For me, part of the joy of hiking is exploring trails I haven't been on before. Sometimes we return to an old stand-by, but usually when we want to go hiking, we pull out the map and look for a new … [Read More...]