Last Sunday. It was a gorgeous day for a bike ride so we decided to ride the Bear Creek Greenway from Medford to Ashland. Yes, there were some interesting characters along the way and I'm not so sure I'd feel safe doing it alone but, oh my gosh, I became familiar with some gems in our area that I either didn't know existed or I had forgotten about. There were families and people of all ages and abilities on the path with us. They were walking (with dogs and without), running, roller blading, riding recumbent bikes and horses.
We started out at Hawthorne Park and right off the bat I was taken with the murals on under the bridge and on the pillars. I had been wanting to get a closer view of them for awhile.
Once we were out of Hawthorne park, It was fun to see everyone out enjoying Bear Creek Park. We spent quite awhile at the Skate Park watching the local talent, again, of all ages. There was this one tree...it was sort of like this living art piece that I'm guessing continues to morph, full of skaters' shoes, broken skateboards, all kinds of fun stuff. I liked the themed bench too.
The tennis courts, the playground, the dog park...Bear Creek Park was being put to good use. Wish I had a playground like that to play in when I was growing up!
Next stop was the US Cellular Sports Park. This $32 million, 132-acre state-of-the-art sports park is owned by the City of Medford and operated by the Medford Parks and Recreation Department. It boasts all-weather, fence-to-fence artificial turf fields that allow for year-round use. Most of us have either played here or have been to watch someone else. It's home to one of Oregon's largest club soccer programs (the Rogue Valley Timbers Soccer Club), St. Mary's High soccer teams and Cascade Christian football, soccer, baseball and softball teams. I must say, I had never seen a sign before that warned of pedestrians and flying objects.
And right smack dab in the middle of this park was my favorite discovery of the day, the Coyote Trails' Nature Center, a public-private partnership that provides outdoor recreation and environmental education classes and programs. I could have spent a whole afternoon right here had Standing Stone Brewery in Ashland not been calling my name.
As of last spring the Center is now completely powered by the sun. How cool is that?! And their Pollinator Garden is all about the bees.
There were flyers posted for their upcoming classes and workshops: Wilderness First Responder; Fox Trail Adventure; Mountain Bird Festival; and Bird Watching. I can't wait to go back! How did I not know about this place?! As we continued on and we made our way south, I thoroughly enjoyed the views of vineyards, spring blossoms, pear trees in bloom, the creek, quaint bridges and even Ashland's BMX track. No, I didn't ride it but I like that they have one for BMXers to enjoy.
The sweetest discoveries on the path were these two items right here, the free library and the Bike Path Journal stations. Why do these simple things make me feel all good inside? I don't know. Maybe because they are just that, simple and authentic ways to connect with kindred spirits, to exchange things we love...reading and writing...like the good ole days.
We rewarded ourselves after that 13 or so mile ride to Ashland with the most delicious halibut burgers and skinny fries at Standing Stone Brewery before making our way back to Medford. Rumor has it they're opening a restaurant in Medford near the Lithia Commons area. Wouldn't that be great?!
At an rate, it was a great day. I'd do it again.