Spring Break!!! Plus, this year’s break coincided with our daughter’s break, AND it was her 21st birthday as well as my something-somethingth. So all of that festivity added up to a group trip to this former thespian’s nirvana: Ashland. We secured our primo, oversized campsite at the lake and reserved tickets for a total of five shows, all plenty in advance. All we had to do was clear out a space for the daughter in the car (not so easy!) and drop her at a nice hotel downtown for a week.
We came armed and prepared this time for site RV 21. Last time, we had to park comically far from the middle of the huge site if we wanted to take advantage of the full hookups. This time we brought an extra long sewer hose extension and even purchased a 50′ electric cable, just in case. That one was not needed, but the sewer hose could even have been longer. At least we looked more normal in the site, and that was my ultimate aim.
Sunday’s weather was perfect and we knew it wouldn’t hold, so I plopped myself into the lake as soon as we got there. Richard was super nice and took care of the set up while I enjoyed a perfect paddle in non rainy weather. He also took care of bringing a nice dinner back to Dory from The House of Thai Cuisine. He’s awesome isn’t he? We called Sunday my birthday since I was sick on my actual birthday, and this gave me a do-over.
Monday I was a slow moving camping sloth and did nothing besides play with our new classic awning and stare at the lake. Sadly, Richard did not have the week off and he needed to work during the day. Service was so good at the lake, he’s pretty sure his work mates didn’t even know he was somewhere besides his home office.
Tuesday we hooked up with our neighbors to see “Mother Road.” We enjoyed it a lot and it was excellently well acted. It’s sort of “Grapes of Wrath” in reverse, and it captured modern day heartland hardships, while building genuine affection for the characters at the same time. Now I guess we need to travel Highway 66.
Wednesday there was a break in the rain, so we drove out to Jacksonville and Richard took off on a bike ride up to Applegate Dam. I’d never explored the Applegate valley before, and it was a perfect picture of peaceful, rural countryside, lazily stretched along the pathway of the Applegate River. If you take Sterling Creek Road, you get a good climb through untravelled, woodsy backroads. You will even hit a tiny little cluster of historic structures marking the ghost town of Buncom. I sagged him until we got about up to the lake, and then we just drove around to check it out. We’re pretty sure it was Mount Ashland we were seeing, all snow covered in the distance. There are campgrounds around the lake, but they were all closed until May.
Thursday, I saw a matinee performance of “Cambodian Rock Band.” That one was one of the best this trip, IMHO. Just the right mix of history, humor, and gut wrenching pathos. Plus electric guitars. Very nicely done! That evening we enjoyed a rousing performance of “Hairspray” that brought everyone to their feet in a long, well deserved, standing ovation.
Friday I got to re-connect with Ashland friends, and that is always a highlight. Richard and I spent the afternoon getting in a little walk through the upper trails of Lithia Park, and we topped off the day with a glorious dinner at New Sammy’s Cowboy Bistro. This is a truly one of a kind experience that one must seek out actively, or you’ll miss it. It was once housed in a, well, house. And you’d surely drive past it if you didn’t know about it. It has since gotten a new facade, but the homemade feel remains. It’s as though you know a world class chef personally, and she has invited you to dine on whatever strikes her fancy and is in season at the time. Her husband will pour you a bottle of the best, from his extensive collection. For us, he recommended a light French white, which he noted, “You could get four or five of these without doing much damage.” The menu changes frequently and there is a prix fix, as well as à la carte menu. Out of this world. And our daughter got to partake this time, extra bonus special!
Saturday we had double shows of “Between Two Knees” and “As You Like It.” I thought the first was enjoyable, but needed some polish. Which is fine for a world premiere and material that is pushing the envelope on white privilege sardonic humor. The latter was classic and well done, rounding out a nice mix of theatre.
Interspersed with the shows were dinners and hang out time with our long long time friends and neighbors, who had also arranged to make an outing of it. The trip really could not have been nicer. Ok, I guess it would have been nicer with a little less rain. We noticed that there were fires in the mountains every day, and discovered that these were all controlled burns, an effort of the Forestry Service to stave off some of the disastrous damage done the past few years due to uncontrolled fires. Smart. Hope it works. On our way home, we saw an abundance of evidence of the massive destructive power of the Northern California wildfires from last summer.
Great break! Now the countdown begins for summer travel!
Total miles: 341.0, 15.6 mpg, 6 hours 15 min. Site RV 21. Great LTE for both of us. Full hookups, including sewer. About 10 min drive to town. It gets super windy at times.