Theatre, Hiking & The Most Perfect RV Spot Ever – Ashland, OR
“Oh, this is simply perfect!” I gushed, for probably the 200th time
“Indeed it is” repeated Paul, still fresh and awestruck by the view
We’ve landed in the Most Perfect RV Spot Ever (MPRSE). I say that with capital letters so you’ll understand how very cool this is. Just take everything you’ve ever wanted in a site, compile it into one and that’s where we are….let’s see…hmmmmm
- Water views. No, no, no let’s not think small here…make that water views out of EVERY single window…CHECK
- Get rid of any RVs in our view-path…CHECK
- Put in our own little swim beach. Why not…CHECK
- Add in a few mountains for scenic depth. Sure…CHECK
- Oh don’t forget the Giant Oak Tree for shade. Indeed…CHECK
- Stage it all with a fine 70 degrees and a gentle breeze. Naturally….CHECK
- And geeze, while we’re at it let’s put a chocolate factory and golf course next door Pourquoi Pas?…CHECK
We’re at Emigrant Lake County Park right outside Ashland OR and somehow we’ve hit the RV parking jackpot and landed the MPRSE of the century. Our RV is sitting on its own little peninsula completely surrounded by water and hills. We’ve got an ocean of space in front of us and no-one else in view. The cats are sunning themselves in the grass and Polly has just gone for her 4th swim of the day. This is literally the nicest site we’ve ever stayed at in a public park, and the surrounding area only makes it that much better. Welcome to Oregon, folks…we’re already lovin’ it!
I found out about Ashland from a friend last year who told me about the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). Originally launched in 1935, it’s an annual event that’s become one of the largest theatrical attractions in the US. In fact OSF sells tickets to more performances of more plays than any other theater in the country. Every year Ashland hosts 11 plays (both Shakespearean and others) on 3 stages including an authentically constructed outdoor Elizabethan Stage. Add to the mix that Ashland is surrounded by gorgeous rolling hills, sports the Dagoba Chocolate retail outlet, has many miles of biking trails, is super dog-friendly and still maintains a cute, downtown feel. Oh, this is totally my kinda place!
We targeted this spot as a stop on our way to Eugene for some hiking and theatre-going. Had we known it was going to be this nice we would have booked out the full 2 weeks, but as it is we’ve got a good reason to come back.
For our hike we drove up nearby Mt.Ashland to the snow-level and a very scenic portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. Known locally as the Mt.Ashland Meadows trail(*) this gorgeous 6-mile out-and-back hike follows a ridge-line amongst dense pine and out to sweeping open views of the valley. In summer it’s plastered in wildflowers and on a clear day you can see all the way to Mt.Shasta. This early in the season the trail is still asleep with small drifts of snow and mountain air so crisp and fresh it almost hurts to breathe. Total solitude, space and serenity. As John Muir so aptly put it “the mountains are calling and I must go”.
For our show we chose to forgo Shakespeare (I’m saving that one for when the outdoor theatre opens in July) and opted for a Marx Brother’s Vaudeville-style slap-stick comedy “Animal Crackers”. It was full of color, music and great silly humor with spot-on timing…just the kind of play I would have loved to put on in my theatre days. A thoroughly entertaining show that left me wanting to see more.
There is plenty of other stuff to do here, so much so that we’ve decided we’ve definitely gotta come back, that is if you folks don’t book the MPRSE(**) before us. In the meantime we’re just going to hang right here in our own little paradise with our feet pointed to the blue and eyes feasting on the view. Oh and in case I didn’t mention it, our spot is simply perfect….
(*) To get to Mt.Ashland Meadows take exit 6 from I-5, head south along the frontage road for ~0.7 miles and turn right onto Mt. Ashland Road (towards the Mt.Ashland Ski Area). Drive 7 miles on this road and then park at the first pull-out (mile 7.2). You’ll see signs for the Pacific Crest Trail on either side of the road. Once parked cross the road and take the trail from opposite the pull-out. Enjoy!
(**) Did I not say which site we’re in? Oh, I didn’t did I. Well, you’ll just have to wait in tense anticipation. After all, they say that’s half the fun of surprises…