Fall Colors at Lithia Park in Southern Oregon… and the BSBC

In Southern Oregon, it is hard to beat Ashland’s Lithia Park for fall colors. 

It’s that time when I like to do a post on the fall colors around our home in Southern Oregon. This year, Peggy and I, along with members of the Bigger Sacramento Book Club, drove over to Lithia Park in Ashland for a picnic.

The Bigger Sacramento Book Club at Lithia Park.

The BSBC was created in the late 80s by my friend Ken Lake and was soon composed of five couples. The same couples belong today but ‘Bigger Sacramento’ now includes Southern Oregon, the Bay Area, and France as well as Sacramento! This year marks our 30th Anniversary. Each fall, the BSBC visits our house for a three day retreat. 

We chose to visit Ashland because our book, Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander, is based in the town. Lithia Park, it turns out, was awash in fall colors. After lunch, we walked into town to visit the Mix Bakery in honor of the book and wandered up to the Bloomsbury Bookstore, which is always a delight and makes a pleasant outing for a book club. 

The Duck Pond backs up to the outdoor theater for Ashland’s world famous Shakespeare Festival. The roof can be seen through brightly colored trees.
Reflected fall colors surrounded this duck crossing the pond like an Impressionist painting. Monet would have been jealous.
I think the majority of trees in the park must have been chosen for their fall colors as the following photos illustrate.
A bridge across Lithia Creek.
Looking down into the creek.
The Mix Bakery was used by Ellie Alexander as the model for her Ashland Bakery in her series. I found the reflections in the window fun. 
Mouth watering goodies are found inside…
Along with fresh bread.
The town, as well as Lithia Park, was filled with fall color
Walking up to the Bloomsbury Bookstore took us past the iconic Ashland Hotel, which hosts an annual chocolate festival guaranteed to get Peggy excited.
Walking past a store window, I spotted this cat, apparently fascinated with an insect that had landed on the window…
Which provided the opportunity for this close-up.
I’ll close today with a photo from our front yard. Our white oaks don’t have quite the color of the trees in Lithia park, but they are definitely looking like fall.

NEXT POST: It’s back to my hike down the PCT and a stroll through Lassen National Park.

Dinosaurs Still Roam the Earth… Or At Least They Do in Ashland, Oregon

Robotic Tyrannosaurus at the Science Works Museum in Ashland, Oregon. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A large T-rex dinosaur rules the Science Works Museum in Ashland, Oregon.

If you are a fan of the Bard of Avon, odds are you are familiar with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that takes place annually in the small city of Ashland in Southern Oregon. The town has a lot going for it. (And no, I am not talking about the fact I was born there.) For example, there is the yearly chocolate festival that draws chocoholics like moths to flame, a film festival, a number of good restaurants, Southern Oregon University, an historic downtown filled with unique shops, and views of two mountain ranges (the Cascades and the Siskiyous).

I’ve come to expect all of this from Ashland, which is about 30 miles from my home on the Applegate River. What I didn’t expect were the dinosaurs. Peggy and I read about them in the Medford Tribune. They are living at Ashland’s Science Works Museum, which is chock full of entertaining hands-on science experiments guaranteed to entice youngsters– and at least two adults; Peggy and I had to try everything.

Who can resist dragging his fingers across a plasma ball and attracting electricity?

Who can resist dragging his fingers across a plasma ball and attracting electricity?

The dinosaurs are life-size robotic creatures that look and behave like the real things. They growl and roar and flash their teeth. Their eyes track you wherever you go. Scary. How could we not make the trek to Ashland?

Science Works has created a separate, forest-like enclosure for its three dinosaurs. We could hear them growling as we approached. A little girl clung tightly to her mom’s hand and refused to enter the area, understandably. Two saurornitholestes and a large tyrannosaurus rex greeted our arrival.

A sauro shows his claws while a second looks on. These large raptors were hypothesized to have had feathers. So from here on out I will refer to them as Bird-Ds (bird dinosaurs) to avoid the long name.

A sauronrnitholestes shows his claws while a second looks on. These large raptors were hypothesized to have had feathers. So from here on out I will refer to them as Bird-Ds (bird dinosaurs) to avoid the long name.

But you would probably give it a try.

Bird-D hissed at us and stood up on his hind legs. Was it time to run?

I don't think you could out run Bird-D.

I suspect we wouldn’t get far.

A close up. Is he smiling. Is it a selfie?

A close up. Is he smiling in anticipation. Is it a selfie?

Meanwhile T. Rex lurks next door. Note the beautiful detail on his skin.

Meanwhile T. Rex lurks next door. Note the beautiful detail on his skin.

 Another selfie? And why are his teeth blood-red?

Another selfie? And why are Rex’s teeth blood-red?

T. Rex takes an interest in Peggy. Watch what happens next.

He takes an interest in Peggy. Watch what happens next.

We would love to take our grand kids to see this exhibit. I suspect they would jump a lot farther than Peggy. 🙂 A little pre-education might be necessary.

Next Blog: Your suggestions on my book title have been rolling in. They have been quite thoughtful and helpful. The decision will be revealed!