Enchanted Forest Trail (Applegate, Oregon) 26-Dec-2016

Enchanted Forest Trail Applegate Oregon

Searching for “Enchanted Forest” will almost invariably take you to the Enchanted Forest Storybook Theme Park near Portland, Oregon.  As much fun for kids as that is, this Enchanted Forest is, on the other hand, a real hike on a real trail through a real forest in the Applegate River Valley near Williams, Oregon.  This one is fun for kids too.  We first learned of it from Evelyn Roether’s 2006 Williams Area Trail Guide and were then spurred on to investigate it by an oregonnater post. It’s maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and is accessible year round, so it seemed like a good choice while we wait for the new snow in the high country to settle a bit. In the Spring, this trail system is an ideal place to enjoy some of the numerous species of wildflowers found in Southern Oregon.  For additional adult entertainment, there’s the Enchanted Forest Wine Run in the Fall and nearby wineries all year-round!

Continue reading “Enchanted Forest Trail (Applegate, Oregon) 26-Dec-2016”

Wine, Trails, and 40 Years in Napa Valley 20/24-Sep-2016

Napa Valley CaliforniaThe LovedOne’s sister and brother-in-law are wine affectionados and when they decided to come out West for a week of wine tasting in California’s oeno-obsessed Napa Valley, we agreed to join them there for a small family reunion.  We drove to St. Helena, California along Highway 101 so we could visit Humboldt Redwoods State Park enroute.  For me, an equally important part of this trip was to finally meet-up with an old friend and climbing partner – Ken Stanton – who I’d kept in touch with, but hadn’t actually seen in person, in over 40 years!  Napa Valley CaliforniaKen and I had done a number of climbs and backpacks together way, way back in the day (we’d just come off a climb in Tuolumne Meadows the day Nixon resigned) and then life happened and our paths diverged.  Since then, in addition to his work in the wine grape industry, he has remained active as a hiker, backpacker, climber, and white water kayaker, and is well known locally for his books about hiking and history in the Napa Valley.  But finding time to visit with him proved to be easier said than done given that his family owns vineyards in the Valley and this is harvest time – when it’s all hands on deck picking and hauling grapes.  This year was particularly hectic since the harvest started about two weeks later than usual, which created traffic jams at the weighing and processing centers.  So, after a few false starts, he made time for a short hike to a favorite spot (which will remain an undisclosed location) followed by dinner.  After a short drive west of town, we parked next to a nearly dry creek,

Continue reading “Wine, Trails, and 40 Years in Napa Valley 20/24-Sep-2016”