Looping Through the Denman (Southwest Oregon) 06-Apr-2022

The last time we visited the Ken Denman Wildlife Area near White City, Oregon, was the day after Christmas 2021. A Great Winter Storm was upon us then and it was snowing – heavily. We had a magical walk in the snow for a couple of hours, got nicely chilled, then headed home for warming libations. Many saw this big snow dump in December as the start of a much needed snowy and wet winter. But, alas, it was not to be, as the following months were among the driest on record. So the drought persists and the coming summer is looking to be increasingly crispy. 😰

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Old Trails on Lower Table Rock (Oregon) 29-Jan-2022

The Upper and Lower Table Rocks are arguably among the most popular hiking destinations in Southern Oregon. The current official trails to the plateaus atop both rocks are well marked and very well used. We have a weakness for Upper Table because longer hikes are possible there; for example, an out-and-back to the VORTAC station on old Pumice Road or a little cross-country (staying on game trails) across the valley between the two arms of its plateau. Lower Table always seemed a little less interesting, mainly because its main trail only goes to the old landing strip (built in 1948) and to a few use trails to views out over the Rogue and Bear Creek Valleys. But there’s a little more to Lower than just this strip and those views – as I first discovered on a hike there in 2017.

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And Then A Year Went By… 11-Mar-2021

A year ago today, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic because the Big V was totally out of control. Some of us probably knew what “pandemic” meant in the abstract, but none of us had a clue what declaring one was going to do to our lives. We’d gone hiking that day only to come home and find falling stocks, closed businesses, and cancellations galore. It’s been a long year since. One of our dearest friends lost her brother to the Big V but everyone else we know has made it this far in decent shape. The biggest hit we took personally was seeing almost all of our big travel plans for last year simply evaporate. We were disappointed but that was trivial compared to the millions employed by the travel industry who suddenly found themselves without work. 😥

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Low Clouds on Lower Table (Southern Oregon) 14-Dec-2020

The weather finally turned colder, wetter, and snowier. Which, considering our drought status, is a very good thing. The Big V is, on the other hand, still out there, wrecking havoc. That is a very bad thing. So, what with the weather, the virus, and a little work (volunteer and paid), we’ve been inside a lot. Then the weather service threw us the promise of a little sun and no rain. So we went outside to hike another local classic.

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Hiking Southern Oregon: 25 Hikes (February 2020)

To celebrate our 600th post on WordPress, we’re highlighting a select few of the many hikes we’ve enjoyed here in Southwest Oregon.

As we’ve perused lists of Oregon’s greatest hikes, we’ve come to notice that these lists are heavily skewed, with a few exceptions, toward hikes near Portland.  That metro area’s greater population helps if a list is based on some kind of vote.  And proximity to its major airport helps get votes from those who drop in for a brief Western adventure.  Even some of the classics, like the Wallowas in Eastern Oregon or the Three Sisters in Central Oregon, often don’t make these lists because they are too far away.  So a lot of “great” hikes get done near Portland – the state’s most populated town. And then the complaints roll in about how there’s no parking, the trails are too crowded, you need a permit or must pay a fee, it’s raining, etc.

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