Thursday April 23: We have breakfast with Lori on this overcast morning before we pack the Blazer. Although stuff is still not organized, it is packed neatly and fits just fine. We say our good-byes and then head west and south to Ashland where Clifford will be giving another talk tomorrow night.
It is raining as we drive west on the north side of Crater Lake National Park. The trees on either side of the highway stand tall and straight, obscuring the view to the sides,
but straight ahead are rain-shrouded mountains.
We consider driving up to Crater Lake since we are so close, but the gate to the park is closed and we can see snow on the road that would be taken. Well, maybe on the trip home…..
After turning south along the west side of the park, we stop at Union Creek, a small village with a history and a cafe that is recommended. Indeed, they serve a good lunch here.In the continuing rain, I take photos of the creek that passes under the highway near the cafe.
The landscape changes as we drive; we are seeing more oaks, but the forests are still so dense that one cannot see what lies beyond. Drawing closer to Ashland, oaks predominate the landscape as open rolling hillsides come into view.
The group that is sponsoring Clifford’s talk has reserved a room for us at Lithia Springs, a resort on the edge of town. The grounds are lovely: lawns, a great variety of trees, many in bloom, and flowers all all sorts add grace to the well-kept buildings.
We walk beneath a wisteria arbor to a our room behind a bright yellow door.
The room is designed for folks who are going to lounge around the pool and hang out in the spa, not for us with our laptops, books, and journals. The white rugs and coverlets make me nervous, but we adjust things a bit and soon we are set up to study, write, and use the internet for our projects. Dinner is whatever we can scrounge out of the cooler, as we don’t feel like going out to eat and there is no pizza delivery that we can find in Ashland.
Friday April 24: Something I’ve learned about staying in a resort is that the beds are really really comfortable. I’ve never slept in such a comfortable bed in my life. We partake of an excellent buffet breakfast that comes with the room and then I wander around a bit taking photos of the flowers.
Back in the room, Clifford studies and I work on a blog and edit photos until our ride, Laura, comes to take us to lunch. Several members of the activist group have gathered for lunch so they can meet Clifford ahead of time. We have a most delicious mushroom/avocado soup as we talk about the environmental concerns that we all share. We will see these people later this evening, but it is nice to have a chance to meet them on a more informal basis.
We only have a couple of hours before it is time for us to walk down the road to the meeting place at nearby Jackson Wellsprings. We walk to the community center and the chairs continue to fill as computer and recording equipment are set up for the talk. The talk is well-received, except by a couple of people who want all the answers now, having no idea it has taken 17 years of study and research to get to arrive at the present moment. The answer is not at a click of a button and in the swallowing of a pill. Clifford’s talk is an account of what he has been able to do on his own to this point, with an appeal for others to become involved, either with their skills or their pocketbooks.
After the presentation many people stay to talk to Clifford until the few remaining offer to take us out to a very late dinner at a sushi place. Sharing of information and ideas continues until quite late.
Saturday April 25: We sleep in a bit and then head down to another delicious buffet breakfast before we begin packing. Although we had intended to head to our next campground today, Clifford has decided to stay another day in Ashland for further discussion with a man who has shown a particular interest in the work. As we cannot stay at the resort, we move next door to Jackson Wellsprings, as supposedly there is a camping area there. We do a modified set up in the parking lot, as they do not even have a space for the Pony.
We will not be using any of their spa facilities as we merely need a place to sleep, but we have to pay an exorbitant fee to camp here. The bathrooms are so musty smelling that I hold my breath when I go in and will not even take a shower there. We went from posh to rundown hippie-ville in less than a quarter of a mile. Such is life.
We spend the day with Rob, moving from one venue to another, sometimes running into other members of the activist group that we met yesterday. Sometimes I participate in the conversation, but for the most part, I write blogs and edit photos. Hopefully something helpful will come of the time spent with this interesting man. It is quite late by time we get back to Jackson Wellsprings. I am looking forward to heading back to the forests tomorrow.