When we left Yosemite, we had grand plans to head back to the California coast and wind our way up through the Redwood Forest. After some poor navigating on my end, we ended up staying at this little (creepy) campground right off of I-5 north of Redding, CA. It was on the Sacramento river which was lovely. The only spot that would fit our rig was the Camp Host spot. I am sure we broke a million camping faux pas, but hey, it was open (and had been since 2014) and it was right at the front of the campground so we could make a run for it need be.
We packed up the next day with the California coast out of our mind and Oregon on the horizon. We had read some pretty stellar reviews of a campground right outside of Ashland, OR on Emigrant Lake so we pulled in that afternoon and looked for a spot that had vacancy for a few days. Little did we know, we would stay a full seven days. We liked this place that much! It was $30 a night with full hookups. We must be dreaming. After paying $50+ a night with no hookups in California, we were in heaven!
We’d heard great things about Ashland so we set out to explore the adorable town. There is this little wonderland of a park that is smack dab in the middle of the town where people literally sit on the grass and relax. It was bizarre. You usually see people playing on their phone or it’s a homeless person drunkly passed out. Not these people. They were content. Right when you reach the end of the trail, you come to a water fountain that spits out Lithia water. It’s defined as a type of mineral water characterized by the presence of lithium salts. It wasn’t very good.
Ashland is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival with a whole block dedicated to buildings that host this year round festival. That isn’t something we are interested in so we didn’t pay it much attention. Moving on…
The people here were so friendly! It was a nice change of pace from the grumps we encountered south of the Oregon border. They smiled, laughed, and even said “howdy”! A good portion of the folks we saw in Ashland were your real deal hippies. Not the fake ones you find back home, but true tree huggers. The town had a permanent smell of patchouli. Peace on earth, y’all.
Ashland is also known for it’s food and craft breweries. We think. We didn’t eat out much, maybe once, and we had nachos. We couldn’t help ourselves. We’ve come to realize that salsa up in these neck of the woods is really just pico. We did hit up a few of the super cute and trendy brew pubs. Again, we loved it.
It was rather hot during our time in Ashland so we opted to head to the mountains for a couple of different hikes. A good friend recommended we hit up Crater Lake, which we did. It was amazing. Breathtaking. WE LOVED IT! The second hike we participated in was about 10 miles from our neighborhood and rather easy. The trail was called Grizzly Peak and was located off of a private road that the residents allowed the county access to so folks could reach this piece of nature. The hike itself wasn’t too difficult but it had a variety of terrain. All in, I think it was around 6 miles. We even passed some new age hippies walking without their shoes on but they had an $800 labradoodle pup in tow. So surely, they chose to walk without shoes. There is a part of the forest that was victim of a forest fire a few years ago. This opened up the trail to where you could see Mount McLoughlin.
At this point, I was ready to move to Ashland but little did I know, Bend would be even more up my alley!
I should note that I had to Google about four words in the post to see how to spell them and then the mister had to correct another six or so words.