Lightweight Backpacking After 60 in the Rogue Valley

North Umpqua Camping – Flowers, Ferns and Fire

Mary E., Chiyemi D., Bill D., George H. and Terry D. spent three days on the North Umpqua River in Douglas County, a couple hour drive northeast of Ashland. One hesitates to call this backpacking even though it was enjoyed as much and the preparation was identical. I suppose it was the 0.5 mile hike in to the campsite. If you forgot your sunglasses, it was easy enough to walk back to the cars to get them.

There was an abundance of water, both cold and hot: river and hot springs respectively. Water made the moss and ferns luxuriously deep and glowing green everywhere one looked. Two hikes: one upriver an hour (where we found the dragon – see picture) on the first afternoon and then to the hot springs arranged in a series of 5 or 6 hot-tub sized pools the next morning where bathing suits were definitely optional.

Chiyemi gave fire-building lessons and all enjoyed the warmth in the cool evenings and mornings. Very light sprinkle the second (and last) night but always bright sun-shiny days. The canyon of the river kept light out of the campsite until 10am and the sun disappeared over the western ridge early in the long midsummer evenings.

Bailey the wonder-dog accompanied us and was a delight to all with his friendliness and love of attention: petting was required by all. The final stop was at Beckies in Union Creek for lunch on Tuesday. See the last chair photos. A gallery of photos is below the slideshow if you want to enjoy just a few pictures.

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