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Old 03-20-2014   #1
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 144
Ashland OR????


I have the opportunity to go to graduate school for 2 years or so in Ashland Oregon and I'm curious about what it's like. I've lived in Colorado my whole life (Denver, Summit, BV, Durango, and most recently Fort Collins.) I'm big into backcountry skiing all winter and kayaking all summer. I playboat and creek depending on how I feel I can have the most fun on any given day, in any given place. I know I'll miss the sunshine and the blower pow, but can anyone chime in with beta. I'm thinking I could get a lot out of this part of the country for a couple years. Access seems a little more complicated than CO, but there's gotta be goods around there. Are there people to paddle and ski with, or are all the gnarlies up in Bend/Hood/Portland, or way down in Chico? Also, I need work up there, farming or otherwise. You all are great. Thanks

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Old 03-21-2014   #2
cooldork's Avatar
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 43
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I spent about two weeks in that area and 5 of that was on the Rogue River wilderness stretch, definitely try to get on it. Beautiful! But no hard whitewater, sans-ish hainey falls...

Cal-Salmon is also close and has a sweet race/festival in May! Also the Trinity river is close...with various epic options off of it. The Burnt Ranch Gorge (BRG) has a race in the fall if I'm not mistaken. The Klamath is right there, pretty much through town. The forks of the Smith I hear are amazing, also the Illinois if you can catch it. There's some white water but a lot of the good steep stuff is in California if I remember right. Its not too far of a drive, weekend trip.

There's some white water to be had, not sure about the winter end of it.

The town reminded me of a somewhat Boulder hippy/yuppie spot. Cool town with a Shakespeare Festival 9 months out of the year....Haha. let me know if you want more info. I have some contacts still in that area

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Old 03-21-2014   #3
Ashlandistan, Oregon
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 64
Hi Craig,
I'll give you a call today. I am teaching at SOU in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Bachelor's Degree Program. Had a nice ski tour yesterday on Mt. Shasta and reaped a harvest of over 3,000' of creamed corn. Rivers galore are cranking up as I write. Cheers, Erik
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Old 03-21-2014   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 566
Ashland seems like a great place to live having visited there last summer. Outdoor opportunities everywhere, and while not immediately on top of the PNW whitewater scene, there's plenty to get on within a few hours. Mountain Biking in Asland is spectacular if you're into it.
As far as places to go to grad school for a few years, it absolutely (IMO) would not suck.
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Old 03-21-2014   #5
dgosn's Avatar
San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485
That part of the country is awesome, I spent 3 summers/falls in the area years ago. The weather is pretty good, rivers are everywhere. Coming from CO you'll find yourself covered in Poison Oak, until you develop the 'P.O. Radar' that all the locals have. It is everywhere there is water.

Ashland itself is a little weird, tons of Anti-vaxxers, chem-trail fanatics, and a healthy dose of no account hippies. On the upside it's a beautiful area, with amazing growing season, great beers, and some cool folks. Unfortunately the Rogue Valley is still suffering from the shutdown of logging in the 90s. Unemployment is high, wages low, and meth use is some of the worst I have seen outside of WV.

If I had to leave CO, I could still live there and enjoy it immensely. The Rogue and Siskiyou forests are wild, and potential for exploration is huge.
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Old 03-21-2014   #6
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
no hard whitewater??

that's a boating mecca down there, especially if you like little run wilderness creeks. prime jumping off point for all the kalmiopsis stuff. Chetco, illinois, rough n ready, baldface creek. You got all the smiths and north cal stuff, klamath. upper section of the rogue offer a ton of creeky options.

You got sweet creek bedrock ledges. gnarly boulder gardens on the coquielle. hope the pass to bend for skiing climbing biking and the crooked, upper des chutes, metolius, then there's all the east side multiday like donner und blitzen malheur etc etc

there may be downsides but lack of boating ain't one of 'em.
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Old 03-21-2014   #7
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 429
Just got back from that area and could definitely live there if I had the chance. It's only a few years, you are signing a life sentence are you?

We hit 8 extremely quality, high water, runs in that area in 7 days and could easily have kept boated for months and not repeated a run. Why would you even need to ski when you can boat all winter?
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Old 03-21-2014   #8
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 167
I spent two weeks up in that area last summer and it seemed to me in that short time that there was a lot to offer. Solboater will be able to give you lots of details. I know him from way back in the day when he lived in Salida.
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Old 03-21-2014   #9
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Grants Pass, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 71
I lived in Ashland/Talent for 6 years and I loved every bit of it. Its a fun little college town for sure. Great mt biking out the back door. Lots of things to do in the area. You are not too far from the rogue, applegate, klamath rivers. Great people everywhere in that little town. Have a great 2 years!
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Old 03-21-2014   #10
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 128
Great mountain biking in the area for sure, but you'll have to travel a bit to find quality creek boating. Here is a ride report I did from our trip to Ashland (from Eugene) a few years back.

Wheels & Water: Ashland Trails (6.11.11)


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