Yeah, I’m really behind on my blogging. Must be because I’ve been distracted with SO MUCH COOL STUFF! No, It’s because winter has been really boring and I’ve spent so much time playing video games. It’s like spring will never come! But that’s a perfect time to look back at our last trip of last season, to Ashland Oregon, where we had tickets to see a few plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
We used to go to Ashland every year, sometimes in the spring and again in the fall, so we could see all the plays. Plus, it was a great vacation, we can drive there in a day without rushing, we camp at a nice county park, and it’s just an easy drive into town to see the plays, and then drive back out to our quiet park on the lake and our cozy trailer. Before we had the trailer we would go down and stay in a hotel, and it was so expensive to stay in a hotel and eat out the whole time, staying in the trailer is a big cost savings! Still, we went through some tight times after the 2008 recession and weren’t able to go for a while. Then they had focused more on musicals, which weren’t our thing, then we had the pandemic. We decided this was the year to get back down there.
The trailer had it’s new tires, and since I wanted to tighten the lug nuts a couple times during this first trip, I just ditched the hub caps entirely. Looking good! The Flex tows it like it’s not even there. Here we were stopping at Roth’s for some doughnuts for the road. Gotta have road trip snacks!
We got our trailer all settled into its spot at Emmigrant Lake, and headed down to the hardware store in town to find a few parts I needed. Because we switched to a composting toilet, I was happy to leave the black tank supplies like gloves out of the trailer, and I had fixed the trailer side connection for the grey water drain, but forgot to put a matching connector on the slinky – and this was the first time we had had a hookup this summer and needed to use it! So we headed down to the hardware store, following Google Maps, and it took us on a strange roundabout path into a part of town we were not familiar with, then around behind an apartment complex, then just stopped, leaving us looking across a field and railroad tracks at the back of the hardware store.
Google: Nailed it! You’re welcome!
So we drove around the block and found our way to the actual parking lot of the hardware store. Luckily we found what we needed so we could go back and finish hooking up the slinky.
The water in the lake was low – really LOW, here is a side by side comparison from almost the same camp spots, the left side is the mid-2000’s – definitly before 2013. The right side is now. You can see that’s the same mountain in the distance. Wow, that lake water was way way down there. We used to like to sit in our lawn chairs and watch the antics as the boaters put their boats in at the ramp. None of that now. There no water at the ramps!
That first night we went and saw a Shakespeare play that was very good, as always, they always put on quite a show there. We decided to spend the next day on a little road trip out to the Lave Beds National Monument in Northern California. We used to spend time there when we were in college at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, OR. So we thought it would be fun to cruise by the campus and see what had changed, and then go poke our head in a few caves.
On the drive from Ashland to Klamath Falls we took a backroad to enjoy a bit of scenery, and we not only got to see some roadside history, but we saw a flock of wild turkeys, and COWS! Yes, it’s open rangeland out there, so the cows have right of way, and you need to keep your eyes out for them.
We got to the campus and boy had it changed a lot. It was barely recognizable. We went down and took a picture at the fountain, definitly remembered that.
Walked by the dorms, they looked the same, but they had added more. Wandered through the student union until we were about to have cafeteria flashbacks. Decided we didn’t need that kind of trauma. Stopped in the bookstore for a souvineer for the trailer’s sticker wall.
We headed over to Abbys Pizza which was the hangout in college, it looked just the same, had some pizza and nostalgia before doing a quick tour of downtown and heading for the caves.
The drive out to the lava bades was down a dry and lonely road. It’s pretty amazing out there, it’s very very quiet. There isn’t much going on anywhere near there. It’s just wind and birds and the sound of tourists cars.
We went to the visitors center and checked out a couple flashlights, picked up a map, and went for a wander in a few of the easier caves. The caves here are from an ancient lava flow, which left tubes of lava as it flowed away. So many of them are big enough to stand up in, some are big enough to fit a house in, some you would need to crawl through.
One of the big ones
BIG entrance to this cave! See me in there?!
We should definitely come back and camp here and take our time poking around. We only had so much time before we had to get the flashlights back and head back to see the evening play in Ashland. The drive back was long and uneventful, except Google took us over a different highway that had a bit of snow at the top. No issues, but it was worrying us for a bit.
Ashland was pretty in its fall colors.
We saw three plays, they were all excellent. We spent a little time exploring. Had some nice dinners, and had some easy meals in the trailer. All in all, a good time was had. It was nice to get back to our old stomping grounds. Maybe we will get back to doing this more often again.