Week 291 October 26, 2019

Dear Family and Friends, thank you for continuing to follow our Journey, Loren and I so appreciate you keeping up with us here. And, we wish you a Happy Halloween!


This week, we celebrated the 30th year since we met, back on October 20, 1989. It was thrilling to acknowledge, and, there is a chance that we could make it another 30 years, should we — and our planet — remain healthy enough… We were still in Ashland, Oregon at the beginning of this week. We saw our last Shakespeare play – As You Like It, and, our last non-Shakespearean play of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival – Hairspray. Both were enjoyable and we would recommend them. We also had our last couple of dinners with our dear friends in Ashland. One was delicious at their lovely home, before we took in another of the Hamazons Improv performances together. For those who might be impressed, we sat a few seats away from Jeanne Huston in the front row. The Hamazons incorporated some Shakespeare themes to their act, all great fun!


On our last evening in Ashland, Loren and I enjoyed dinner out with our dear friends, at the same restaurant where we went together when we first arrived. It had such appealing fare on the menu that I wanted to try it again.


While in Ashland, I was delighted also to complete my 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge. As a result, I trimmed a little of the excess weight I have been carrying around lately so my clothes fit better and that feels good. I also received great corrections from the other instructors there, and, I basked in the great community of yogis who take class there. I also taught one last Bikram class this week at this great studio in downtown Ashland.


I couldn’t help snapping just a few more photos of the vibrant colors on display this fall…

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Loren and I then drove the 5 hours south to visit once again in Clear Lake, California. Special friends came to join us for an overnight and another half day visit at our Clear Lake State Park cabin. We enjoyed hiking together, driving around parts of the lake with them again, and some memorable conversations over good meals together.

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The night they stayed over, the Santa Ana winds blew throughout most of the night and it was balmy weather. The temperatures dropped to their normal cooler average the next night though. That next evening we also enjoyed a dinner out for Mexican food with our friends who live here. It is always good to catch up with them, they are an inspiration.


While Loren rode his bike around the lake, I did some hiking in the State Park where they have some great trails. I encountered neat wildlife – deer, heron, turtles, ducks, squirrels, crows, and just lovely creek and lake waters.

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Loren also hiked another time with me too, and it was especially nice to have the company to share the beauty with.

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On a much sadder note, we have seen some angry fire storm clouds in the distance from the Kincade fire and one evening we briefly smelled smoke as we saw haze creep over a mountain range in our direction.

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Our hearts go out to all those affected by these most recent tragedies.

Week 290 October 19, 2019

Loren and I began this week with our friend here on a drive around Lithia Park in downtown Ashland to see beautiful fall colors,


followed by a walk in the park. Lithia  park was designed by John McLaren, the same person who had laid out San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, It includes such features as  Lower and Upper Duck Ponds, grassy areas, a Japanese garden, lots of wonderful trails through lots of gorgeous trees, a few bridges over Ashland Creek… worth several visits.

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Loren and I continued taking in offerings of the Ashland Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This week we saw All’s Well that Ends Well. As it was the final performance of the festival of All’s Well we were treated to the tradition of the entire company closing out a show.

We also saw Between Two Knees, intended to be a comedy about bookended events that happened in history at Wounded Knee. We believe this particular performance was more so attended by Native Americans, because we saw it on national Indigenous Day, aka Columbus Day. We also saw Indecent and Mother Road this week. And, we were delighted that our dear friend who was the Flower Girl at our wedding came with her boyfriend who we had not yet met from Portland. Together we saw La Comedia of Errors. This was performed by the same cast who performed Mother Road the night before, as both performances were bilingual portrayals of the plays. Afterwards we restaurant hopped for appetizers and finished the lovely evening at our favorite ice cream parlor. 

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Not only is Lithia Park beautiful to see, but the whole of Ashland is ablaze in fall colors. We notice the hills behind the prominent Ashland Springs hotel have changed from simply green to displaying lots of yellows, not to mention the variety of colors in the foreground. And, the weather has changed toward the end of this week with more rain.


What amazes Loren the most is the variety of different trees and shrubs here that display their colorful best. He has seen fall colors before, but claims this is the first time he has ever stayed put in one place to see the intensity of color emerge over time.

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Week 289 October 12, 2019

Loren and I started this week with seeing the movie Judy. If you are at all a fan of Judy Garland we can recommend it, even though it mainly portrayed her sad, darker days. The next evening we went to see our dear friend here in Ashland perform in a play reading, along with several other dramatists, helping prepare for Halloween.

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The venue was about an hour away in Grant’s Pass, and afterwards we four enjoyed a nice dinner beside the Rogue River.

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Grant’s Pass has a fondness for animal statues, and I developed a fondness of photographing a few of the ones we saw there.

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It has been fun to spend this extended time in the same town as our friends. We have so enjoyed visiting with them as often as we can. Our studio AirBnB is walking distance to their home and along the way we have seen some beautiful fall colors and other flora.

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Loren and I also took in more of the arts that are so prevalent in Ashland. We visited the local theater for a World Film Week and specifically saw Rafiki, Cold Case Hammarskjold, and Fiddlin’ all of which we would also recommend. One evening before a film, we stopped for ice cream, and while it was delicious, we don’t want to make it a habit here.


Loren and I are continuing with attending more performances of Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This week we took in a discussion with one of the actors in a piece we saw last week, and, we attended the Shakespearean production of MacBeth. Another evening we thoroughly enjoyed a gathering at our friends’ home. The neighbors and friends of theirs who attended are good people, ones who Loren and I would enjoy knowing better. I forgot to take any photos though. The next day with our friends we stopped to see the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission’s World Peace Flame in a pavilion on the Southern Oregon University campus.


Then we had a lovely hike on part of the Pacific Crest Trail that takes in Mount Ashland,

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and we spent a little time at Callahan’s, a lodge near Mount Ashland which is a stop similar to Kennedy Meadows in the California Sierras for Pacific Crest hikers. That evening we ate leftovers and totally enjoyed a rented copy of the compelling Bohemian Rhapsody together. This is yet another movie worth it to see if you have not yet.

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As of now, I am more than half way through my 30 day yoga challenge, and it was quite inspiring to run into two different yoga teachers I know while we have been here this week – one was a teacher in the San Jose studio — but I didn’t have my camera when I saw her, the other taught here in Ashland and she and I had taught together in San Ramon recently. I also enjoyed teaching another couple of classes this week at this studio.


We hope you too are enjoying fall, especially for those of you who now have power back on in California… hopefully that was worth it to prevent another serious wildfire.

Week 288 October 5, 2019

Loren and I have had a week of relaxation… in other words there is not as much to post. Therefore, below I will share my pride for one of my nieces, who composed a music video with an original song for her workplace, a care home. As the weather turned sharply cold in Ashland, Oregon this week, Loren and I spent more time indoors. We attended an evening of improv with dear friends which was put on by a group of women, named humorously enough, the Hamazons. The show celebrated their 10th anniversary of providing entertainment for the community. We also thoroughly enjoyed a couple of evenings of separate entertainment at our friends’ home – their large living room TV showed football games, and their sitting room showed great movies on an iPad. Can you guess which of the four of us watched in which room?


Loren and I also went to one of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival offerings that is not a Shakespearen play, How to Catch Creation. It was a potent and entertaining drama. That evening I nursed the start of a cold with a lemonade that I was allowed to bring into the theater because it was in one of the festival’s souvenir mugs.

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One day the clouds were exceptionally brilliant. Loren went with one of our friends to an intro class all about the periodic table. It’s interesting to look at, showing all the chemical elements that make up our world, and,  the UN proclaimed 2019 International Year of the Periodic Table. That evening we all kept our eyes on the Oakland A’s Wild Card game… that they lost. I have been continuing my 30 day yoga challenge, am already more than a third through it. I’ve had the privilege to teach a class, and am on the schedule to teach another at this lovely studio.

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Another day, Loren and I headed over to the Jackson Wellsprings hot springs, which has a large hot tub, pool, a wet sauna and a dry sauna. On our way home, I noticed a restaurant with the name Amuse. This amused me because earlier in the day I was actually revising a poem of mine from January 1, 2018, which I had named Amusement:

Amusement, A Haiku

I wonder, might a
muse feel amused, bemused or
enthused, by people?

Claire Adalyn Wright

As a result, Loren and I decided to splurge on a dinner there, for an early celebration of the 30th anniversary of the night when we met. On our way there, we noticed four deer in the dusk, just outside our AirBnB where Loren parks his bike. Because the fee we paid at the hot springs allowed us to return up to midnight, we went back for a second soak there.

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Loren and I finished our week taking Ashland’s First Friday Art Walk with our friends. We saw three different music performances – at a market, in a cafe, and in a store, and saw lots of wonderful art for sale. I am also grateful that with taking the hot yoga, going to the hot springs, taking lots of vitamin C and resting, my cold has all but disappeared. 

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In praise of my beautiful niece’s delightful artistic work, I culled photos from her music video. Her clip also includes photos of different coworkers of hers, and many more of the residents, but, I admit being biased and am only including snapshots of her here. Also, because this blog was hacked a couple of years ago, you might notice I have no longer named names of the people we love and visit with on our travels. Similarly, I am not sharing specific details of this video, all in an effort to try to protect the people who are most important to Loren and me. If you would like more details, please text, call or send an email, I am more than happy to share specifics with folks we know personally.

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Week 287 September 28, 2019

Happy Fall! At the beginning of this week Loren and I left California to drive north on a day with beautiful weather. I must say that because where we are now does not always have such beautiful weather. We drove past Mount Shasta, on our way to Oregon.


We arrived in Ashland in time to join our friends at their home for a lovely dinner, together with another couple who also drove up from California to visit for a couple of days. Loren and I stayed overnight two nights with our friends who live in Ashland, and our other friends stayed in a nearby hotel that is pet friendly.


The next day threatened rain. We waffled about whether to go out for a hike, and ultimately decided while Loren and our other male friends watched a football game, we women took a hike in Lithia Park, which turned out to be partly in the rain. We followed suit with others who had created cairns in one part of the park, and my friend declared ours represented “Peace, Love and Friendship.” 

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That evening we enjoyed drinks over a jazz ensemble at the hotel, followed by a nice dinner out.

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Loren and I moved into our AirBnB, which is walking distance to downtown Ashland, including  a Bikram Yoga studio. We are here for the next 30 days, and I have given myself a 30 day challenge — I plan to take a Bikram class every day, or, if I have to miss a day, I will take two on another day to make it up. Later that afternoon Loren and I went for a hike with our friends from California on Hearts Nature Trail.


Afterwards, we treated ourselves to an ice cream, next door to where I noticed another International Peace Pole. That evening we had dinner out together with our other friend.

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After our friends from California headed to Crater Lake, and our other friend was working, Loren and I bought tickets to see Cambodian Rock Band that is part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Our friends from Ashland raved about it, and rightly so. This is not a Shakespearean play, as about half the Festival is devoted to theater by other playwrights. This cast are headed to New York soon, and Loren thinks they will be held over there, because this play is that good. If you ever have the chance to see Cambodian Rock Band, please be sure to do so.


Another day Loren and I took an OSF Backstage Tour. We felt lucky that the most well informed tour guide was our small group leader for the main part of the tour. We also met a lovely couple on the tour from Albuquerque. They have been coming to Ashland for the Festival for the past forty years. That evening Loren and I went to the “Green” for a free dance demonstration, which this evening was performed by Danceability.

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And another day, Loren and I with one of our friends from Ashland took a hike up to the summit of Grizzly Peak. We debated if the mist we walked through was fog or clouds. I just looked it up online and learned that fog is a type of cloud that touches the ground. The main thing is we had a lovely hike, the vapor lifted, allowing the sun to shine for us.

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REPOSTING in Progress: Weeks 2 to 109

This place holder is for the entries from our original blog to be added, eventually. Please check back – this re-creation is a labor of Love and will take a bit of  t-i-m-e- which, while still traveling, we do not always have a lot available to devote to this.