Songer Butte (Ashland, Oregon) 10-Dec-2021

The first major storm of winter is apparently heading our way. Not to get all excited or anything but snow deeper than a tall snail might be in the offing. We wanted to get in a hike before this snowy tsunami arrives. Plan A – Spence Mountain – was shelved because a long hike on a short day ahead of a storm seemed like a sub-optimal idea. Plan B – some explorations at Lower Table Rock – was pulled because dense fog clogged both the valley and the Rock. Plan C – Songer Butte – became a go when we saw sunlight on the traffic camera near it. Plan C also featured the strong selling point of lunch at Caldera Brewing in Ashland. 🤗

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A Major Tom Descent (Cascade-Siskiyou NM) 26-May-2021

Much of this hike is on private land managed by the Selberg Institute – you’ll need to contact them for permission to traverse this area.


Sometimes the inspiration for a hike (if hikes can be inspired) comes from several different sources. In 2018, the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council announced they would lead a shuttled trip from a Sound of Music starting point west of Tom Spring Mountain (5,191 feet / 1,582 m), cross-country down the ridge between Cattle and Sampson creeks to lower Sampson Creek just above Emigrant Lake – essentially a traverse of the Sampson Creek Preserve. We tried to sign-up but the trip was already full. Next year we said, as if the future was going to roll out gently before us. 🙄

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Songer Butte + Loop (Ashland, Oregon) 24-Feb-2021

It was just a year ago that did we our first (and only) hike on the peninsula formed in Emigrant Lake (actually a reservoir) by Songer Butte (2,693 ft / 821 m). That now seems like a lot more than a year ago. During that hike in the Before Times, we circled the peninsula but, fearing private property, didn’t try for the butte’s summit. We subsequently learned from Rich Stickle (Ashland Hiking Group) that, while the summit is on private property, the owner doesn’t mind hikers going up to it. So today we combined our previous loop with a side trip to Songer’s summit. More wet weather is expected soon, but today was all cool air, blue skies, and sunshine. 😎

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Emigrant Lake (Ashland, Oregon) 10-Mar-2020

The last time Jennifer (former colleague and long-time friend) and I did a hike together was when she introduced me to the Mountain of the Rogue in 2018. This week she was down here helping her parents and reached out to see if we could do a hike. Absolutely! I’d been in a bit of a hiking dry-spell for the last few days what with work (my side hustle has its moments), fiendishly fickle weather (I’m going to rain; no, no I’m not, just cloudy; no, wait, how about some snow; no, no snow, let’s just do overcast gloom and a little drizzle, shaken not stirred…), the library’s quarterly book sale, and vague concerns about “the virus.” So it was definitely time for the boots again. The LovedOne was sidelined with a publicity meeting for the library. 😦

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Songer Butte Loop (Ashland, Oregon) 12-Feb-2020

Sign for the Songer Wayside outside Ashland, Oregon

Today was forecast to be the last sunny day before a multi-day weather event arrived. It had been sunny for the past two days but The LovedOne had managed to spend those in meetings at the library. I vowed that she must again see the light of day! Using the heady cellulose-rich scent of old paperback books (old romance novels are particularly fragrant) to lure her into the car, I then drove wantonly to Emigrant Lake outside Ashland, Oregon. By the time the cellulose fumes wore off, we were standing at the start of the Songer Butte Trail at the end of the Old Greensprings Highway under crisp, clear, sunny skies. 🙂

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