Monday, October 14, 2013

Applegate Lake - Payette, Calsh & Osprey Trails

This past Saturday we ventured out to the Jacksonville Woodland Trails again despite weather forecasts and hiked the Beekman Canyon, California and Grove Woods trails.  It was a short hike which concluded with about 10 minutes of hiking in the rain (which is nothing like singing in the rain).

This short hike only made us want to get out again on Sunday since the forecast was for sunshine.  So on Sunday we drove from Medford out to Applegate Lake, The drive itself was a treat with the red and yellow Autumn colors dotting the landscape and farms along our route.

Once we arrived at the lake, we parked at the French Gulch Trailhead parking lot area and started our hike by heading down the Payette Trail.  The sun was out but it was a brisk 46 degrees.  The first thing that caught our eye as we started hiking was the low water level of the lake. We have never hiked around the Applegate Lake area in the Autumn, so we are not sure if this level is normal or lower than normal.  Either way, it was low.  (A little later in our posting you will see how even despite the low water level, the lake can still be framed into a beautiful view & picture)

Yup, that is the lake.....way out there.
Another view of Applegate Lake with low water level
Along the first 1-mile stretch of the Payette trail we were treated to sections colored in Autumn yellow. At times we would stop and look up at the sky through a sea of yellow and take in the beauty of Autumn.  We have added a couple of pictures for your viewing, but they are not the same as being there.

The Payette Trail and Autumn Yellow
Yes, it is Autumn!
An upward view through a sea of yellow leaves!

One of the large Autumn  trees along the Payette Trail
After almost a mile, we reached an intersection with the Calsh trail and headed away from the lake through a more wooded portion of our hike.  This .7 mile connector trail was mostly uphill and evidently is traveled often by Yogi and Boo-Boo. We did not see any bears, but we knew they were around. Once again we were treated at various points along the trail to splashes of Autumn yellow.

The Calsh trail took us to another parking lot/trailhead area at Applegate Lake, the Dagelma Trailhead.  To continue our loop hike, we opted to take the Osprey Trail which would head back down the hill to another section of the lake and connect back into the Payette trail.

An Autumn thistle

When we have hiked the Osprey trail in the Spring or early Summer, there are grassy meadows that abound with wildflowers.  But thanks to Summer and the arrival of Autumn, those meadows were dried and brown. We did notice that Yogi, Boo-Boo and all their relatives evidently like this wide and easy hiking trail - even more than the Calsh trail.

We eventually made our way to the Payette trail again and hiked for more than 3 miles along the lake shore.  At various times we could not see the lake, but there were multiple views framed by trees and/or manzanita brush that provided incredible lake portraits for us to view.  By now the sun was out in full force and along with a blue sky, made for perfect Autumn hiking weather.

One of many "nature framed" pictures of Applegate Lake
At one point along our return hike, our dog Katie put her nose to the trail, wagged her tail quickly and in a burst took off down the trail.  Despite calls, she was out of sight for a few minutes.  Eventually she returned and had to be leashed for the balance of the hike. I wonder where in the world she went??  But then again,  maybe I don't want to know.  At least she wasn't being chased by a bear when she returned.

Our 6.4 mile hike concluded with the section of the Payette trail that we had started on, but the Autumn yellow colors were beautiful to see again and a nice way to finish our Autumn hike at Applegate Lake.

As we drove back to Medford, we did make one last stop.  At the local Hanley Farm they were holding a Scarecrow Festival.  Different organizations and/or people can stuff and dress up a scarecrow to help raise money.  Visitors got to vote for their favorite - we picked the Pirate Scarecrow (see below).
Our favorite scarecrow
You could also paint pumpkins, make your own scarecrow and check out the farm, gardens and livestock. We even got to meet two celebrities of Sesame Street fame - Bert and Ernie.  They didn't have much to say, but I did get their picture!!!

It's Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street fame!!!!
Enjoy the season!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Time for Autumn Adventures

Even though the seasons have changed, it hasn't changed our desire to get out and hike.  It does restrict when and where we hike and as a result we haven't sent out a new posting in some time.

Since our last posting of our hike on the Fish Lake Trail,  we have hiked at Roxy Ann/Prescott Park, Valley of the Rogue State Park, and of course at one of our favorite local hiking areas, the Jacksonville Woodland Trails - twice.  We are closing in on 200 miles for the year which for us would be the most miles in a single year!

Since these are all local hikes that we have done many times, we don't usually take many pictures (if any) and don't want to send out postings of the same hike over and over again on our blog.  Thus you may notice fewer postings through the Autumn and Winter months.

Having said that, Autumn is one of our favorite times of the year to hike as the temperatures drop, leaves change and the trails are less crowded.  We are hoping to get out on one or two more new hikes before years' end and if we do, we will try to put out a posting.

In the meantime, we want to encourage each of you to get out and enjoy the outdoors near you or at least take a walk through your neighborhood in the evening and enjoy a sunset. Don't let life quickly pass you by without taking the time to enjoy and experience the beauty around you.

To get a glimpse of what we mean, here are some of our Autumn pictures from various hikes we have done in the past.  We hope they inspire you to get outdoors......

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol