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Free fly-casting lessons in Medford

Mondays: The Rogue FlyFishers Association offers free fly-casting lessons at Hedrick Middle School in Medford. The classes, held at the school’s athletic field, run from 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays when it doesn’t rain, through Aug. 7. The club has rods and reels to loan out, but casters are encouraged to bring their own gear if they have it. The lessons are led by John MacDiarmid, a certified casting instructor through the International Federation of Fly Fishers, and include assistance from other seasoned casters in the association.

Soda Mountain Wilderness Council hikes

Sunday, July 2: Ornithologist Pepper Trail will lead a scramble up Vulture Rock above the Pacific Crest Trail for views of, among others, Johnson Prairie and the upper Jenny Creek watershed. The 3-mile round trip includes some off-trail hiking, rock-hopping and a scramble to the top, though it is listed as easy to moderate but might not be for those afraid of heights. To sign up, email Trail at Meet at 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, July 9: Botanist Kristi Merganthaler will lead a 5-mile flower hike to the top of Grizzly Peak east of Ashland, traversing forests and meadow landscapes as well as some post-fire habitat. To sign up, email Mergenthaler at Meet at 8:30 a.m.

Irene Hollenbeck Memorial Wildflower Show

Tuesday, July 4: This annual event in Ashland features more than 300 species of native flowers from the volcanic Cascades, the much older Siskiyous and the valleys in between. Free admission. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way. Coordinated by the Siskiyou Chapter, National Plant Society of Oregon. For more info, contact Barb at or 541-890-2091.

First Wednesday bird walks

Wednesday, July 5: The Rogue Valley Audubon Society holds free bird walks at Agate Lake the first Wednesday of every month. The walks begin at 8:30 a.m. and end before noon. The slow-paced walk covers about 1.5 miles. Meet at the main parking area on the east side of the lake opposite the boat ramp. For details, see

Rogue Valley Walkers

Saturday, July 8: A 10K walk in Gold Hill will meet at 7:45 a.m. in the post office parking lot on Second Street. The walk will explore the town and the Rogue River path. For more information, call 541-582-2607 or see

Women's Lightweight Backpacking tips

Wednesday, July 12: You have your backpack loaded with all the necessary items for your next backpacking trip. Still think you might be carrying too much? Join REI for this free, small-group session on how to cut weight, carry the essentials and tailor your gear to best suit your needs. In this hands-on class, bring in your personal pack and gear and we will go through the items you take with you when backpacking and do a group "shake-down" on gear. The talk will run from 6:30-8 p.m. at Medford REI, 85 Rossanley Drive, Medford. See

Preparing for the Unexpected: Outdoor Emergency Basics

Thursday, July 13: Can you respond positively to an accident or emergency? Can you safely spend a night or more out? Every time you step into the wilderness, be prepared to help yourself and others. This free REI program has a wealth of valuable information to better prepare you for your adventures — from a day in a state park to an extended backpacking adventure deep into the wilderness and everything in between. The talk will run from 6:30-8 p.m. at Medford REI, 85 Rossanley Drive, Medford. See

2017 Up & Down ride

Saturday, July 22: The annual bike ride was created as a way to showcase the Cascade-Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway, a 49-mile loop up Greensprings Highway and down Dead Indian Memorial Highway, with a stretch across a high plateau past Hyatt Lake and Howard Prairie Lake. This year's event features two routes, the original loop plus an 80-mile route, with craft beer and barbecue at the finish. To sign up and for details, see

Siskiyou Velo

Every Saturday: Brisk rides are for strong riders who want to ride in a paceline with occasional sprints and brisk climbs. Speeds are above 20 mph on flats and average of 15 to 18 mph overall. The route and starting point will vary — expect some climbing and, in fact, on most days, a lot. Riders should know how to make repairs. Riders are expected to review online and understand the planned route. The Brisk group is not a no-drop group, slower riders are discouraged. For details, call Dennis Cramer at 541-773-5804.

Every Saturday: Velo Melo meets at various places and rides about 20 miles at 11 to 13 mph on flats with few, if any, pacelines. The routes may include some climbing, but these are usually limited to small rolling hills within the Bear Creek Valley. No one will be dropped. Contact Lisa Brill at

Every Monday: Moderate to brisk rides along a fairly flat route from Phoenix to Jacksonville. Speeds are 18 to 20 mph on the flats and average around 15 to 19 mph overall. The route includes mostly lower volume roads without shoulders and some with moderate traffic and moderately wide shoulders. The exception is on OR 238 (Hanley Road), where there are no shoulders and the volumes are moderate. Call Ray Forsyth at 541-245-0312.

Every Wednesday: This is a ride for experienced cyclists who enjoy riding at a moderate/brisk pace. Pacelines are common but not continuous; speeds are above 20 mph on flats and average of 15 to 18 mph overall. The route may vary but typically it goes through the orchards on the way to Oregon Mountain Roasting Company near East Barnett and North Phoenix Road (approximately 35 miles). The ride will almost always include a stop for coffee/espresso. Call Matt Walker at 541-261-4891.

Riders must wear a helmet, carry a spare tube, and nonmembers must sign an insurance waiver to release the club from liability. See for more information.