Sterling Mine Ditch (Oregon) 26-Mar-2020

Our governor’s shelter-in-place order went into effect on Monday, with the now all too familiar (and painful) public closures, stay-at-home injunctions, and self-isolation directives. But, hiking, running, and biking are still encouraged PROVIDED you maintain a 6-foot (2 m) “alone cone” around yourself. Basically, just stay away from other people. And we’ve been good about that, as neither of us wants to give the Big V a shot at our decrepit immune systems. So, except for brief forays out for groceries, liquor, prescription refills, and the occasional take-out, we do not leave the house. Hiking is the one big exception. When doing so, we now have to think carefully about when and where to go – and be willing to abandon or revise a planned hike if trying to do it would compromise social distancing.

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Anderson Butte (Southern Oregon) 21-Dec-2016

Anderson Butte Applegate Valley Southern Oregon

The Sterling Mine Ditch Trail was the first trail we hiked in Southern Oregon before deciding to move south (post).  Granted calling a trail “mine ditch” doesn’t make it sound all that attractive but it is, in fact, a very pleasant, low elevation, year-round trail, with wildflowers in the Spring and a rich history.  We’ve now hiked the entire length of the trail between its Deming Gulch, Wolf Gap, and Little Applegate trailheads (post). Having done all this, the eternal quest for a new hike or a twist on an old hike kicked in. A posting by the Ashland Hiking Group attracted our attention to Anderson Butte (5,197 feet), a lumpy peak which rises above the eastern end of the ditch trail and which used to be graced by a fire lookout.  After deep cartographic introspection, it looked like a loop could be formed using the ditch trail, some forest roads, and a bit of cross-country travel.  The LovedOne has grown just a little leery of my “experimental” hikes and thus obtained a Winter Solstice Deferment (not enough daylight!) to avoid accompanying me on this one.  So, feeling warmth only from my Dutch Brothers White Chocolate Mocha, I headed into the wilderness…

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Sterling Mine Ditch Trail (Tunnel Ridge) 05-Oct-2013

Sterling Mine Ditch Trail Oregon
We were down in Jacksonville, Oregon on business (and enjoying the sun) but had time for a quick hike (there are many to chose from in this area). After consulting the guide and a local, we decided on doing a portion of the trail that follows along the abandoned Sterling Mine Ditch – which has now been restored as a hiking trail. This is Hike #62 in Sullivan’s 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon (Third Edition). The full hike is 17.1 miles but we went for the 4.7 mile loop that included a hand-dug, through-the-ridge tunnel. This is a very nice trail and it was somewhat encouraging to find ones’ tax dollars actually being used for something constructive and fun. Continue reading “Sterling Mine Ditch Trail (Tunnel Ridge) 05-Oct-2013”