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Mary and the voyage of the Brother Jonathan

Mary Berry is now just a footnote, almost hidden in a few brief words that have echoed down for over 150 years. Had Mary not boarded the three-masted, side-whee...

Asking better questions

“If you already know the answers, ask better questions.” Yesterday, that phrase kept rolling across a computer screen in front of me in large, bold letters as I...

A valley full of superheroes

I was riding the school bus to first grade in 1988, and I distinctly remember looking north toward the black wall of smoke. I grew up 60 miles south of the west...

Tale of old lady Dover and her cat army

This week I released my column to the neighbor kids. They’ve been sneaking into my yard. Why not my writer’s space? After spending time in deep consideration o...

Corn a sweet bite in blended salsa

Corn isn’t the only summer-into-fall produce pressuring me to preserve it. Abundant garden tomatoes and chiles challenge me to roast them all, place them in Zip...

Wine with a view

The indigo mountains of Southern Oregon deepen their violet hues in the fall, creating a dramatic backdrop for the shimmering mustard yellows, peppery reds and ...

North through an unknown country

Last week, we left John Kirkpatrick and his eight men escaping from angry Indians. They were trapped just off the beach at Port Orford, on a narrow rock formati...

Redwood grove makes good day-trip getaway

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near the coast is a popular day-trip getaway for Rogue Valley residents fleeing summer heat and wildfire smoke, but many have...

What to grab first when fleeing a fire

First, try to gather your wits. Don’t let them leave you — leading you to deny that smoke in the air could turn your dwelling to ash. You can’t grab anything if...

No, really, ‘how are you?’

How are you today? I mean, really, “How are you … today?” That’s the question the journalist Melissa Kirsch started asking herself early in the first wave of t...

Winding down at Crater Lake

CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK — Visitation is winding down following one of Crater Lake National Park’s most unusual summers. Despite many days of extremely poor ai...

On safari in Winston

I desperately needed a respite from valley smoke, so I thought scooting a few miles northwest would answer the call. Winston, just south of Roseburg, became ou...

Mountain man keeps bagging peaks

Just a few days after his 70th birthday, Jon Fredland hit another milestone. The Nampa, Idaho, man ascended his 3,000th mountain peak, an achievement that speak...

Sear corn with bacon, or just drippings

A simple side dish of sweet corn impressed me more than two types of seafood during a recent restaurant foray. Sliced from the cob and seared in a hot skillet, ...

Visiting the vultures above Vulture Rock

Our timing was perfect. Just as we worked our way up a steep, tree blanketed route, an opening suddenly revealed rocky, reach-for-the sky crags on the flanks of...

Fresh from the cob

Corn on the cob for Fourth of July probably didn’t sound like an unreasonable request. But we reminded our guest from Southern California that the holiday was r...