• Erin

CASCADE WONDERLAND HIGHWAY



One of my favorite ecosystems is the madrone / conifer / oak forests in Southern Oregon. We found this pioneer orchard on an east facing slope not too far out of Ashland back in April.

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A stunningly huge walnut tree marked the entrance. I’m not sure what these smaller trees were (a fruit or nut tree) but they were all hollow with lots of stunning portals. Turkey feathers were all about.

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Further upslope on BLM land these purple shooting star flowers (photo#5) carpeted the forest. We found a spring that trickled downhill past a decaying log cabin.

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On the long drive we made up stories to entertain kiddo about going into these trees and finding underground elves and singing garbage truck songs with them.

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We stop for spring water when we find it. And sleep in treehouses when we can. We found one with a roof deck from which we could see the country road. We happened to be there on trash day and got to watch the trash pick-up from the roof deck. No, we did not have to pay extra for this highlight-of-the-trip for kiddo.

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We got to visit a formal garden in Portland that Kevin went to as a toddler to feed the ducks with his dad. It was gorgeous; we saw lots of nesting geese and a bald eagle. What looked like golden beads from a distance turned out to be baby spiders!

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At Grama’s house the towhees were peeling moss off a stone wall and building nests, bunnies nibbled on her grass and we got super messy dying easter eggs!

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We stopped at a highway-side rest stop to use the bathroom that had a big view of Mt. Shasta. I kept pointing this magnificent mountain out to kiddo and he marveled, I mean just marveled at the many semi-trucks that were driving by. Me: “Kiddo, do you see that huge, gorgeous mountain??” Him: “there’s one with a lime green cab Mama!”

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