Oregon: That Thou Didst Know How Many Fathom Deep I Am in Love!
After spending the first 7 weeks of our journey in California we are now across the northern border and off to pastures new. We just spent our first week in Oregon and I don't know if it's the honeymoon phase but I feel the flutters of new love. After enduring the intense heat last week in Shasta (ICYMI you can read all about it here), we needed to cool down.
Emigrant Lake campground, just south of Ashland, was the prefect place to do it. Don't get me wrong it was still hot here, in the high 90's during the day, but there was a breeze that made things so much more manageable.
Oh, that drought we mentioned in our Shasta post; well would you believe after only a couple of hours and no more than a few miles over the state-line, we experienced our first proper storm in the trailer. Thunder, fantastic and glorious fork lightning and gushes of rain. This water falling from the sky stuff has become a rare sight for us over the last few years living in San Diego. Who thought that after growing up in the UK, we would be so excited about rain?
Ashland is a really cute city, that seems to exist (at least during the festival times) mostly for tourists and visitors to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This place is all about the bard; hence this blog title. With multiple shows every day except Monday, the town is buzzing with life. We had heard wonderful things about the festival and managed to score a couple of web special tickets (they go on sales mid week at 40% discount) for Two Gentlemen of Verona at the outdoor Elizabethan theater. It was a wonderful show and the OSF's first with an all-female cast.
Another day we went for brunch along the wild and scenic Rogue River with Hellgate jetboat tours. We generally have avoided any of the more touristy activities on our journey so far. Partly since there is so much to do in nature, why pay admission to do things? Also we are not on vacation and don't want to get caught up in tourist traps. But we read universally positive reviews about this company and the jet boat tours. The boats travel at speed down the river. You are guaranteed to get wet as they spin and bounce around or if one of the many rafters target you with their water pistols. The boats can actually travel (as long as they are at speed) in just 8 inches of water. The ride was thrilling, the scenery was beautiful, the brunch was very tasty and we saw a bald eagle and other wildlife along the way. It was a really fun trip and we were glad we weren't so self-righteous to not take the opportunity to do the trip.
We stopped in Jacksonville on the way home which has a very pretty, historic downtown area with a serene feeling. Throughout the summer it hosts the Britt Classical Music Festival but we didn't get to enjoy it this time. We have to leave something to do the next opportunity we have to visit.
The rest of the week was spent hiking, hanging out by the lake, getting our chores done, drinking some great Oregon beers (see our pit stop at a local brewery) and generally feeling very warm and fuzzy about being in Oregon. Next stop - Crater Lake. We plan to spend the rest of August here in Oregon. With all the things that this state has to offer, I am looking forward to turning the first flushes of love into a fully fledged romance.