It was so cold when we woke up this morning. It was raining and the thermometer in the trailer said it was 44 degrees outside. Shawn donned his new rain gear to pack up the trailer and we left Yoncalla in search of drier climes. At some point in the two-hour drive, the trees changed from green pines to brown oaks and there was more fall color to see.

We’re staying at Emigrant Lake County Park outside Ashland. As we rounded a hill expecting to see a beautiful lake, we saw a puddle surrounded by dry shrubs and trees. Shawn said it looked greener on the website. Oh well, more reason to spend time in Ashland proper.

We started at Caldera Brewing to sample their beers. They had quite a selection, and we sampled a Hatch chili, grapefruit IPA, a couple more IPAs and a barrel aged stout. Our waitress was a fan of their IPAs and she said they are one of the few local breweries that make IPAs that are 100 IBU (hecka bitter). The long wooden bar had a live edge and was cut from an Oregon tree. The walls of the restaurant were lined with beer bottles.

In downtown Ashland, we walked around and looked at the shops. Of course we stopped in Sew Creative, the quilt shop. The ladies working in the shop were very friendly and told us they have the largest selection of aboriginal print fabrics from Australia in the US. A couple yards found their way into my shopping bag. I’m getting really used to not paying sales tax.

The next place to catch our eye was a bakery. We left with a couple loaves of bread: whole wheat sourdough (still on our quest for a good sourdough) and cranberry hazelnut. Yesterday we drove past lots of hazelnut orchards. I didn’t realize they grew hazelnuts in Oregon.

We took Steve the Dinosaur for a walk through Lithia Park. It is a large park in the middle of town and it was designed by John McLaren, one of the architects of Golden Gate Park. Ashland Creek runs through the middle of the park. Every town should have a park like this.

After all that walking, it was time for dinner. We went to Standing Stone Brewery and started with their beer sampler. They had a nice red ale, and for the first time, I found a sour that I liked. It reminded me of Fresca without the chemical taste. Aside from the brewery, they also have a farm where they raise beef and lamb using sustainable practices. The lamb burger with chimichurri sauce was very good. We thought we were done after dinner, but our waitress mentioned a couple of Shawn’s favorites for dessert so we had crème brûlée and Marionberry cobbler ala mode.

Walking back to the car it started raining again. Now we are tucked into the trailer for the night…huddled under blankets to keep warm.

Daily Ratings & Stats

Emigrant Lake County Park – 3 stars (I’m sure it’s lovely in the spring)
Caldera Brewing – 4 stars
Standing Stone Brewing & Restaurant – 4.5 stars
Lithia Park – 5 stars

Beers sampled – 14 (they are small samples and we share)
Steps taken – 6,665
Miles traveled – 139