Sierra Club Hikes

Sierra Club Hikes

Saturday: Difficult 5.4-mile hike to Castle Dome. Call George Lescher for details, 482-4477.

Dec. 6: Moderate seven-mile hike in the Jacksonville Woodlands. Call Carol Walker, 488-8517 or Carol Ingelson, 245-6380, for details.

Dec. 13: Moderate 11-mile hike to Pine Flat. Call George Lescher for details, 482-4477.

Dec. 27: Difficult 10-mile hike to Stein Butte via New London Train. Call Peter Grant for details, 951-9139.

Meditation Hike to Roxy Ann Peak

Saturday: The Saturday before Thanksgiving is a perfect time for a walk of gratitude and appreciation. Roxy Ann is close by, and it's a good hike in almost any weather. The road to the summit, which is closed to vehicle traffic, makes a great trail. The views are spectacular and spiritually uplifting. As we trek slowly and quietly up the mountain, we will open our hearts to our home, the beautiful valley stretched out before us. Each of us will have the opportunity to silently give thanks for the amazing blessings we have received during 2008. Our return in the afternoon will be a time devoted to fellowship and sharing. The total walking distance is less than six miles. Although we'll gain almost 1,000 feet in elevation, this is a relatively easy hike. Bring a brown bag lunch and something to share. Meet at the Center for Spiritual Living, 1119 Ellen Ave., Medford, at 9 a.m. Call 734-8581 for information.

Captain Jacks Stronghold tours

Tulelake, Calif. — Rangers at the Lava Beds National Monument will lead tours through the inner loop trail of Captain Jacks Stronghold through November. Due to the Jack Fire that swept through the monument's northern grasslands in August, the area remains closed to the public. Other trails in the area that burned, such as the Gillem's Camp, Gillem's Bluff and Thomas-Wright Battlefield Trails, have reopened.

Public tours are being offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays until the end of November. No reservations required. Tours last an hour. Sturdy footwear should be worn.

Walking/Running

Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., a group run leaves the Rogue Valley Runners store, 161 E. Main St. in downtown Ashland. All ability levels are encouraged to show. Group runs an easy/social six to seven miles on trails and roads in and around Lithia Park. Call 201-0014 with questions.

Nov. 27: Turkey Trot, 8-mile and 2-mile run/walks on Thanksgiving morning. The 2-miler starts at 8:30 a.m. and the 8-miler goes off at 8 a.m. from the Rogue Rock Gym, 3001 Samike Drive, Medford. The out-and-back course follows the Bear Creek Greenway. Early registration ends Saturday. Race-day registration is from 7 to 7:45 a.m. For details and entry form go to www.sorunners.org.

Cycling

Mountain bike rides

Every Tuesday: Bike Kraft hosts a weekly women's mountain bike ride that leaves from their shop in Grants Pass at 6 p.m. The rides last about two hours and accommodate many skill levels. Bike Kraft is at 1448 Williams Hwy. Contact: Richard Amneus, 541-476-4935, bikekraft@atiinternet.com.

Every Wednesday, John's Peak, Jacksonville: Sponsored by Cycle Analysis, these rides are for all ages and abilities and are group-oriented. They begin at 6:30 p.m. from Cycle Analysis in Jacksonville and include the John's Peak trail system. Every ride ends with free refreshments supplied by Cycle Analysis. Helmets are required. Contact: Jana Jenson, 899-9190, cyclea@internetcds.com. More information at Southern Oregon Mountain Bike Association Web site, www.somba.org.

Every Wednesday, Grants Pass: Bike Kraft hosts a weekly ride that meets and leaves from their shop, 1448 Williams Hwy., at 6 p.m. The rides last about two hours and accommodate many skill levels. Contact: Richard Amneus, 476-4935 or bikekraft@atiinternet.com.

Every Thursday, Ashland: Cycle Sport's crew meets at the plaza at 6:30 p.m. Riders of all abilities welcome, but be able to climb for a few miles to get to the trails. The group will wait at intersections and there are often many outs for people who are time pressed or gravity challenged. Singletrack descents are of intermediate ability. Contact: Thom Kneeland, 541-476-4935, unoveloce@hotmail.com.

Every Saturday, Grants Pass: The folks from Don's Bike Center meet at the Cathedral hills trailhead on Espy Road at 7:30 a.m. for two hours of riding before they have to open up. Contact Don or Shawn, 541-471-3494.

Every Sunday, SOMBA Show & Go Rides, Ashland. Meet at the Lithia Park band shell parking lot at 8:15 a.m. Ride route and intensity are determined by who shows and goes. Contact Lisa with questions, 201-0933, bach@mind.net.

Siskiyou Velo Club rides

Saturday: Show & Go ride. Meet at Hawthorne Park in Medford at 10 a.m. Pace and distance to be determined. No ride leader.

Sunday: Show & Go ride. Meet at Hawthorne Park in Medford at noon. Pace and distance to be determined. No ride leader.

Nov. 29: Show & Go ride. Meet at Hawthorne Park in Medford at 10 a.m. Pace and distance to be determined. No ride leader.

Nov. 30: Post-Turkey ride to Jacksonville. Moderate pace, 40 miles. Meet at the Dog Park in Ashland at noon. Contact Jodi Weber for details, 301-6880.

Every Saturday: Siskiyou Velo Club organizes two rides. A mellow 20-miler begins at 10 a.m. Starting locations and routes vary. Ride leader Phil Gagnon: 488-4289. The second ride, led by Alex Hayes, 857-0819, covers 20+ miles at race pace. Starts at Medford Cycle Sport at 10 a.m.

Every Sunday: Training ride begins at 9 a.m. along the bike path behind Bad Ass Coffee Co. in Medford. Race pace, 20-plus miles. Ride leader Glen Gann, 779-6986.

Every Monday: A 25-mile ride begins at 10:30 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and journeys to Jacksonville. Gently rolling terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

Every Wednesday: A 25- to 40-mile ride begins at 10 a.m. at Rogue Valley Roasting Co. in Ashland. Moderate terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Varied mileage and varied start times. Ride leader Rick Berlet, 488-0036.

Birding

Saturday: Help count the birds that visit the feeders at Ashland's North Mountain Park while learning to identify species with the help of experienced Audubon birders. The information that is gathered will be submitted to Cornell University's Project FeederWatch database, a continent-wide citizen-science effort. The program runs alternate Saturdays from 9 to 10 a.m. through March. Free.

Dec. 3: Rogue Valley Audubon Society birdwalk along the greenway in Central Point. Meet at the gravel lot opposite the Pilot Station on Pine Street, Central Point, at 8:30 a.m. Walk will end around 11:30 a.m. Leader is Denny Niebuhr, rogueden@ashlandhome.net, 482-6589.

Dec. 13: Wild Birds Unlimited and Klamath Bird Observatory birdwalk to Denman Wildlife Area and TouVelle State Park. View wintering birds of the Rogue River riparian habitat. Take a close look at an acorn woodpecker granary tree. Meet at 8 a.m. at Wild Birds Unlimited (Medford). Leader: Frank Lospalluto. To register, call 541-770-1104.

Dec. 20: Christmas Bird Count, Medford. Count week runs from Dec. 17-24, which allows birders to record unusual birds they miss on the actual day. Volunteer bird counters, including beginners, are encouraged to sign up as either field observers or feeder watchers. Cost is $5 to be a field observer. You'll be given count sheets and protocols. Contact Gwyneth Ragosine of Rogue Valley Audubon Society to sign up, 552-1945 or gwynethr@mind.net.

Jan. 10: Tenth annual Dipper Walk. Rain, snow or sun, Rogue Valley Audubon Society will walk along Ashland Creek in search of the often-ignored American dipper, a grey bird that lives along creeks from Alaska to Mexico. Walk will start at the water fountain by the plaza at 9 a.m. Group will divide in two and walk up both sides of the creek, meeting on each bridge to compare notes. Early birds will meet for breakfast at Brothers Restaurant north of the plaza on Main Street. Leader is Bob Quaccia, 482-1142.

Jan. 17, 8:30 a.m. to noon: Rogue Valley Audubon Society birdwalk along the Bear Creek Greenway from Talent to Ashland. Meet at Lynn Newbry Park in Talent just west of I-5 exit 21. Ideal walk for beginners and families, along a level, paved trail. Leader is Pepper Trail, 492-9594.

Jan. 28, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Jefferson Nature Center birdwalk led by Judd and Gaylene Hurley. Meet at Samiki and South Stage roads behind the Shell Station. Contact Judd for information, 621-3918.

EVENTS

The Farallones, 40 years later

Tuesday, 7 p.m.: Forty years ago, when Point Reyes Bird Observatory established the Farallon Island Research Station, Ron LeValley was a young biologist who volunteered as a bird bander. In August 1968 Ron spent a month on the islands that was instrumental in focusing his career. During the late 1970s, LeValley worked full time as a Farallon biologist for PRBO. This summer, 29 years after his last visit, he returned to participate in research activities. LeValley will share his experiences and photographs, providing his perspective on changes in the islands and the ecosystems of which they are a part. Rogue Valley Audubon Society program. Meet at First Presbyterian Church, 8th and Holly, Medford. Enter from the parking lot side of the church.

Rare plant hunting

Thursday, 7 p.m.: What does a rare-plant botanist actually do? Find out tonight. Botanists Gretchen Vos and Rachel Werling will discuss a "day in the life" of a rare-plant botanist and describe some of the strategies used to find rare flowering plants, mosses and lichens in southwest Oregon and further afield. The event is at 7:30 in Room 117 of the Southern Oregon University Science Building.

The talk is sponsored by the Siskiyou Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Kristi Mergenthaler at 535-3659.