The botanist and his hike to Alberg Mine

21 September 2013 | Ashland, OR -- Join me, Gabe Howe, for October's First Friday Art Walk in Ashland's Hardwired Building (340 'A' St). I will be reading  a short story about a hike I took with a botanist earlier this year near the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area.
The story starts here at the shore of Rough & Ready Creek 

I wrote about this particular hike mostly because it was awesome.  I use my wild adventure as a lens for the reader to dig deeper into issues of ecology, fire, and a wild experience that today is becoming rare and hard to find. 

The story also gives the listener meaningful insight into the area's history and future. At least that is my hope. 
At some point we found ourselves in the western Siskiyou's bizarre high country
I enjoy writing technical hiking articles for the Medford Mailtribune. This represents something, though, a little wilder.

The doors will be open at 6pm with a small display of pictures from the area. The reading starts at 630pm promptly and lasts about 20-25 minutes. There will be beverages and snacks provided. 

Warning: there is some foul language in this story.

Questions? Email 

V.I.P. Crew kills it

Vulcan Lake, where the VIP crew camped for their last night. 
10 September 2013 | Ashland, OR -- Last week a crew of five were busy recovering sections of the Trans-Kalmiopsis Route between Vulcan Lake and Box Canyon Creek. Work got thick near Johnson Butte, about 5.5-miles from the trailhead near where the crew camped.
Before on Johnson Butte Trail No 1110

We ran right into the same sections of trail that were jackstrawed and cleared in 2011, where there are still huge stands of snags killed by the 2002 Biscuit Fire. While it's frustrating to be re-working the same sections, we can't imagine what things would look like if we hadn't started this project when we did.

The crew worked on the trail two long days and cleared over a mile of trail that was going to be lost under brush and windfall. They hiked out Thursday and spent that night at Vulcan Lake.

This section of the Trans-Kalmiopsis Route contains huge Kalmiopsis leachiana botanical areas, rocky ridgetops and views out of this world.

Good news: It looks like the rate of seasonal windfall in these threatened sections is slowing down, which means our goal of having the route to standard by 2020 is possible, especially with some good news we're going to release in our Summer Round Up Trip Report coming October 1.

This was a VIP trip made up of repeat volunteers who were invited.

More pictures from the trip. 

Scholarship crew looks towards their future

9 September 2013 | Ashland, OR -- This July four high school seniors from southern Oregon spent 15 days in the Kalmiopsis federal Wilderness Area. They hiked in 105 degree weather. They clipped brush and sawed logs. They lived for two weeks without any amenities. And they got a $1,500 scholarship for college.

In a few weeks they will go to college with a little less financial burden. But that's not all. The lessons they learned on the trail are going to help them succeed. Here are a few things they said about their experience in anonymous surveys.

"I got over my fear of heights."

"I'm better equipped to dealing with life."

"I learned to listen to my body and take better care of it."

"I'm making more pro-active decisions."

"I made a list of objectives to help prepare me for school."

This pilot program was successful, and we learned a lot to improve it for next year. Thanks to our Director's Society and other members for donating the scholarships. A detailed trip report will be included in our Summer Round-Up Report coming in late September.