Before I arrived
who were the people living here?
Only violets remain
riding the open range
I had made reservations for the Ashland Hostel for today and the problem with reservations is you are constrained to make them! From Crater Lake to Ashland it’s a good two day distance but of course the campground isn’t right in middle. This led to today being a long ride, the longest so far of the tour. I got up early and left by 8am which is almost unprecedented for me. The morning ride was really nice, cool and all in the woods. There were two decent climbs up to plateaus and then long sections on the plateaus.
amidst the endless wash of the river,
the piping of a bird
This whole area was “open range” which meant there was cattle roaming around and twice I encountered cows right on the edge of the road. Each time as I rode past they checked me out and started to follow me as if I was the farmer calling them home. Most of the day was in the woods with these larger open pastures but after a nice section along the Rogue River I entered this very arid region where there was this wonderful scent of sage and rosemary. It was dryer and mostly dry grasses and knotty shrubs like rosemary bushes. Reminded me of Winthrop more than anything else.
Under the sun though still in haze from the wildfires the last climb of the day began. As I’d already done the major ascent to is bluff, this last bit wasn’t epic but a pretty continuous 750 foot climb. It’s always a bummer when there is no sign marking a pass or summit, but especially so when you are at Dead Indian Memorial Summit. From that high point of 5200′ the road descended through this crazy canyon, with narrow twisting roads and on this day a viscous sidewind. That and the traffic meant one had to be pretty careful. But at the bottom I left the route and rode 3-4 miles west, over the I-5 and I was I Ashland OR where I’ll spend the next 3 days at the hostel.
following the mountain stream;