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Get Out: March 27, 2008

Table Rock Guided Hikes

Guided hikes atop Lower and Upper Table Rocks begin in April and continue through early June. Groups of 10 or more are invited to participate in weekday hikes Tuesday through Friday. The hikes, which begin around 9 a.m. and last about four hours, are from three to five miles roundtrip on a moderate grade. Weekend spring hikes by the BLM and The Nature Conservancy run from early April through mid-May. There is no charge but reservations are required since participation is limited. For more information about the weekday hikes, check out www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/tablerock/index.php or contact Leah Schrodt at 618-2468. For information about the weekend hikes, call BLM at 618-2200, check out the BLM Web site, or go to The Nature Conservancy's Web site at www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/oregon/preserves online. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring a lunch and something to drink. Restrooms are available at both trailheads.

The weekend hikes and hike leaders include:

April 5, 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock, Donn Todt, ethnobotanist and horticulturist.

April 6, 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock, Molly Sullivan, Southwest Oregon stewardship coordinator with The Nature Conservancy; and Armand Rebischke, a BLM botanist and Native Plant Society member.

April 12, 1 p.m., Upper Table Rock, Terry Tuttle, retired forester and professional photographer.

April 13, 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock, Barbara Mumblo, botanist.

April 19, 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock, Marcia Wineteer, botanist.

April 20, 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock, Charley Martin, fire ecologist.

April 26, 8:30 a.m., Lower Table Rock, Harry Fuller, a Klamath Bird Observatory volunteer.

April 27, 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock, Peter Schroeder, associate professor of biology and entomologist at Southern Oregon University.

May 3, 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock, Jeff Lalande, retired archaeologist and historian for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

May 4, 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock, Bill Elliott, assistant professor of geology at Southern Oregon University.

May 10, 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock, Jeff Stephens, wildlife biologist.

May 11, 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock, family hike with Greta Gardiner, a BLM environmental interpreter.

May 17, 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock, naturalist Leah Schrodt.

May 18, 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock, nature sketching with illustrator and naturalist Irene Brady.

Crater Lake Snowshoe Hikes

Every weekend: Rangers at Crater Lake National Park guide free, 1-mile snowshoe walks through forests and meadows and along the crater's rim. Participants on the 90-minute walk hear how plants, animals and the lake are affected by winter weather. Begins at 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through April. Walks cover moderately strenuous terrain at an elevation of about 7,100 feet.

Snowshoes are provided free of charge, or visitors can bring their own. No previous snowshoeing experience needed. Participants should bring warm clothing, thick socks and water-resistant footwear. The hike is appropriate for ages 8 and older.

Advance reservations are recommended, as space on each tour is limited. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 594-3100. Group tours on weekdays or weekends also can be arranged by calling 594-3093. There is no cost to enter the park in winter.

Sierra Club Outings

Friday-Saturday: Overnight Outing to Crater Lake National Park. Ski/snowshoe trip will start at the park headquarters and travel on the East Rim Road about 3 miles to Vidae Falls where the group will camp for the night. The elevation gain to Vidae Falls is about 350 feet. The next day hikers will go to Sun Notch for a view of the lake. It is 1.5 miles to Sun Notch from Vidae Falls with about 300 feet of elevation gain. The group will then head back to camp, pack up, and return to the trailhead. Those who want to stay another night can sign out and stay at Vidae Falls. The entire trip will cover about 9 miles of moderate difficulty. There is no shelter, so campers will stay in tents. Tent teams will be responsible for their own water for drinking and meals. This will require a liquid fuel stove (canister stoves will NOT suffice). If you need a winter shelter, a liquid fuel stove, or a tent partner, please contact hike leader Darrin Banner. The park limits the backcountry group size to eight people. If you are interested, contact Banner at 531-7623 or email him at darin@banneradvisors.com. For details and a map of the trip, go to http://oregon.sierraclub.org/groups/Rogue/outings.

Siskiyou Project Outings

April 5: Mikes Gulch. Carpets of wildflowers in full bloom will bring spring fever to all. Parents are encouraged to bring children 10 years and older. Instructional flower identification brochures prepared by ecologist Rich Nawa will be given to all children attending. This easy 2-mile hike is on flat ground. Meet at 1 p.m. at the west end of Rays Food Store parking lot in Selma. Call Rich at 541-476-6648.

April 12: Allen Gulch. Join biologist Bill Gray for a hike through Takilma's Allen Gulch. Enjoy big trees, lots of spring flowers, warblers, vireos, and other migrant birds. This is a moderate-level hike through the proposed East Fork Illinois BLM logging project. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Siskiyou Project lower parking lot, and bring lunch, water and binoculars if you have them. From Cave Junction, go south on Hwy 199, turn left (east) onto Rockydale Rd. and follow 7 miles to a T, then turn left (east) onto Waldo road. Go east on Waldo for 1.5 miles to a stop sign and turn right (south) onto Takilma Rd. Go south about a mile and look for the Takilma Community board and Siskiyou Project sign on your left. Turn left to cross the creek and go right into the parking lot. Call Rich at 541-476-6648.

Southern Oregon Nordic Club

Saturday: Beginners welcome. Easy-intermediate 5-mile ski tour at Hyatt Lake. Lunch at the Mountain Resort. This is a social event. Call Bobbie at 488-5003.

Sunday: Novice ski tour, 4 miles to Grouse Gap Shelter. Call Will at 482-2418.

April 5: Formal ski/dress up at Grouse Gap Shelter on Mount Ashland. This is a shared event with the Grants Pass club. Bring a finger food to share. Distance is 5 miles. Call Stefanie at 776-3987.

Every Wednesday night 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 6 to 7 miles on trails and roads in and around Lithia Park. Call 201-0014 with questions.

Blue Heron Run

Saturday: 7-mile race begins from Blue Heron Park in Phoenix at 8:30 a.m., with a 2-miler beginning at 9 a.m. Out-and-back course on bike trail. Pre-registration through March 22 for $9; $12 day of race. For info and registration form go to www.southernoregonsizzlersrunningclub.org.

Pear Blossom Run

April 12: Registration is underway for the Rogue Valley's top running event, featuring 10-mile and 5k races. Attend the pasta feed Friday, then after the race watch the parade, go to the barbecue, or mingle among the many exhibitors at the street fair. Register online at www.pearblossomrun.com. To order an official printed form: Mail a business-size, self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Pear Blossom Run, P.O. Box 146, Medford, OR 97501.

Peterson Ridge Rumble 60k & 30k Trail Run

April 13: Low-key event on and around the Peterson Ridge hiking and mountain biking trail near Sisters. Fundraiser for the Sisters High School Cross Country team. Dogs are allowed in the 30k race (no dogs in the 60k). Both races will start and finish at the Sisters Middle School. The 60k run starts at 8 a.m., the 30k starts at 9 a.m. Go to www.fleetfeetbend.com/rumble for information.

Lithia Park Nature Walks

Starting May 2, running to Sept. 28; 10-11:30 a.m.: Every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, rain or shine, trained volunteer naturalists from Ashland Parks and Recreation will lead an easy 1.5-hour nature walk through Lithia Park. Topics will include trees, flowers, birds, climate, water, geology and the history of the park. Meet at the entrance to Lithia Park, across from the Plaza in Ashland. Free. For information, call 488-5340.

Bridge the Gap Run/Walk

May 3, 8:30 a.m.: Hosted by Southern Oregon Runners, the 4th Annual Bridge the Gap Run to benefit Mobility Unlimited will be held at Railroad Park in Medford. Registration begins at 7 a.m. The run path features rolling paved trails and bridges. Four competitive heats feature both a men's and a women's 5K run, and a men's and women's 10K run. A 5K walk also will be offered with ribbons presented for all age categories. Lots of nice prizes will be available to all those who sign up and stay for the drawings immediately after the race. Forms are available at any PremierWest Bank; call 618-9468 for a form, or sign up online at www.bridgethegaprun.com

For more about nonprofit Mobility Unlimited, call Glory Cooper at 618-9468 or check out the Web site at www.mobilityunlimited.org.

The Avenue of the Giants Marathon

May 4, 9 a.m.: Marathon, half-marathon and 10k sponsored by the Six Rivers Running Club. One of the most beautiful marathon courses in America, mostly flat to gently rolling, much of it beneath a redwood canopy. Start and finish at Dyerville Bridge. The marathon is a double out and back, while the half marathon is a single out and back. For information go to www.6rrc.com.

Eugene Marathon

May 4, 7 a.m.: The first Eugene Marathon was held last year, with more than 4,200 people finishing, spurring Runners World to name it one of the top new races in the country. The course is flat, fast and rural with lots of entertainment and events planned. Go to www.eugenemarathon.com for information.

Crater Lake Rim Runs and Marathon

Aug. 9: Registration for the 33rd annual Crater Lake Rim Runs and Marathon is underway. Participants from 21 states and Washington D.C. have already registered. Information and registration options are available at www.craterlakerimruns.com or by calling 541-884-6939 after 6 p.m. The 2008 Rim Runs include four events - 6.7-mile walk, 6.7-mile run, 13-mile run and 26.2-mile marathon. Registration is limited to 500 entrants.

Mountain bike rides

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 pm 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 and lights are recommended until the days get longer. Contact: Jana Jenson, 541-899-9190, cyclea@internetcds.com. More information at Southern Oregon Mountain Bike Association Web site, www.somba.org.

Every Thursday, Cycle Sport's crew meets at the Plaza in Ashland at 6:30 p.m. Wide abilities of riders 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 that are time pressed or gravity challenged. Singletrack descents are of intermediate ability. Contact: Thom Kneeland, 541-476-4935, unoveloce@hotmail.com.

Every Sunday, SOMBA Show 'N 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, 541-201-0933, bach@mind.net.

May 3-4: Spring Thaw Mountain Bike Festival

Oregon's largest mountain bike event is ready to thrill and challenge racers of all ability levels. Come to Ashland for an exhilarating two days of racing and fun in the spring weather of Southern Oregon. The Spring Thaw has something for everyone. It is a great first race or a way to challenge yourself early in the season. For more information visit the Spring Thaw Web site (springthaw@somba.org), or contact Amy Warner, 541-601-9663.

Siskiyou Velo Club rides

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, 857-0253, covers 20+ miles at race pace. Starts at Medford Cycle Sport at 9 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 11 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 the 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.

Saturday: 10 a.m., 40-mile ride from Hawthorne Park to Eagle Point and back, pace to be determined. Ride leader Dan Wooton, 779-9248.

Sunday: Noon ride from W. Main BiMart, miles and pace to be determined. Ride leader Dan Wooton, 779-9248.

Wild Birds Unlimited and the Klamath Bird Observatory lead free bird walks the second Saturday of each month. The walks are jointly led by an experienced birder from the Klamath Bird Observatory and Katy Reed, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited.

April 12: Birdwalk to Roxy Ann Butte. Explore the chaparral along the road and trail leading up Roxy Ann Butte. Spot migratory songbirds returning to the Rogue Valley. Meet at 8 a.m. at Wild Birds Unlimited. Leader: KBO Staff. To register, call 770-1104.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

April 2: Central Point Greenway walk. Meet in the gravel lot opposite the Pilot Station on Pine Street just east of the Central Point I-5 exit at 8:30 a.m. Call Denny Niebuhr at 482-6596 for more information.

April 3 and 5: Rogue Valley Audubon has recruited four bird experts to lead a workshop designed to help local birders improve their field identification skills. Bob Black and Harry Fuller will lead a workshop for novice birders. Ron Ketchum and Vince Zauskey will lead a workshop for intermediate birders. Both workshops will be held Thursday evening from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2000 Oakwood Dr., Medford. Field trips on Saturday morning will allow attendees to try out their new knowledge. Cost for the seven-hour program is $50. Bring binoculars if possible. A small number will be available for beginners. More information and enrollment forms available at www.roguevallyaudubon.org or leave a message at 734-2473.

April 19: Group will attempt to locate an elusive California Thrasher, among other birds, on this outing along California's Hwy. 96. The first stop is at the Collier I-5 rest area. Meet at the Ashland Shop 'N Kart, off Hwy. 66, next to the dirt lot, no later than 7 a.m. for carpooling, as side roads have limited parking. Short hikes along gravel roads are possible. Bring food and drink. Pre-trip reading tip: Bob Claypole's "Klamath River Bird Finder," Tour 3 (pages 75-82). No dogs. Contact Dennis Vroman for information, 479-4619 or dpvroman@budget.net.

Project FeederWatch

Saturday: Help count birds that visit the feeders at North Mountain Park while learning to identify a variety of species with the help of experienced Audubon volunteers. The information will be submitted to Cornell University's FeederWatch project. The project runs from 9 to 10 a.m. For kids 10 and up and adults. Program runs from 9 to 10 a.m. at North Mountain Park, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Call 488-6606 for details.

Bird Banding Demonstration and Lomataski Restoration Tour

April 5: The Klamath Bird Observatory and the Northwest Nature Shop sponsor free monthly bird walks the first Saturday of the month. The walks are led by an experienced birder from the Klamath Bird Observatory. This month's walk will visit the Klamath Bird Observatory bird banding and mist-netting station in Ashland to see songbirds up close. Watch biologists in action as they collect information about populations in the Bear Creek watershed. Learn how bird monitoring and research is contributing to bird and habitat conservation. Also, view the details of bird identification, aging and sexing when birds are in the hand. Evaluate long-term restoration efforts on the site through a guided tour with Lomakatsi staff. Learn how riparian restoration and bird monitoring go hand-in-hand. Meet at the Northwest Nature Shop (154 Oak St., Ashland) at 8 a.m. to carpool. Due to limited group size, sign up in advance. For more information call 541-482-3241.

2008 Migratory Bird Day

May 10, 8 a.m.-Noon: Ashland Parks and Recreation Department, Rogue Valley Audubon Society and the Klamath Bird Observatory will celebrate Migratory Bird Day. This year's theme is "Tropics to Tunda." The event will offer a variety of outdoor learning activities for birders of all ages. Hourly guided walks will visit the mist netting and bird banding station. "Bird-friendly" shade-grown coffee will be served. Wildlife Images will be bringing some wild birds of prey.

North Mountain Park Nature Center, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Free. Call 488-6606 for information.

Free Ski Day on Mt. A

Sunday: Skiers and snowboarders can get a free lift ticket at Mount Ashland in exchange for five cans of food. Ski and Ride Against Hunger Day will help ACCESS Inc. collect nonperishable food for the ACCESS food bank.

Nature Series for Kids

The Northwest Nature Shop has started a monthly series of nature classes for young children and their parents to explore nature together. This fun-filled, interactive experience encourages future naturalists to learn about nature through games, stories, songs and outdoor activities. Space is limited. Sign up in advance at the Northwest Nature Shop, 154 Oak St., Ashland, or call 541-482-3241.

April 26: Flower Finders, 10 a.m. to Noon; for ages 4 and up. Explore Lithia Park with an eye for plants during this spring walk. We will have a botanical treasure hunt and learn more about what plants and flowers are doing and why they are important and beautiful. Everyone will plant a native seed in an egg shell planter to put in your yard. Bring snacks and water and dress for the weather. Meet at the Northwest Nature Shop. $5 per child/adult pair.

May 3: Plants and Tots, 10 a.m. to Noon; for 2 and 3 year olds. Stroll through Lithia park and explore the plant world from a toddler's perspective. There will be lots of searching, touching, silliness, stories and songs to encourage a sense of wonder about the blossoming spring in your little budding nature lover. A stroller or baby carrier would be a good idea to get us over and up into the park a bit. Bring snacks and water and dress for the weather. Meet at the Northwest Nature Shop. $5 per child/adult pair.

New Rowers Clinic

The 2008 Ashland Rowing Club's New Rowers Clinic runs three consecutive evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 22-24 in the boat house at Emigrant Lake. This is followed by three "on-the-water" rowing experiences from 10 a.m. to noon on April 26-27 and May 3. The curriculum focuses primarily on basic boat-handling skills and rowing technique. The cost for the entire clinic is $80. People ages 19-99 with no previous rowing experience are invited to attend. For more information or to pre-register for the clinic, contact Marybeth at 541-488-2360 or visit www.ashlandrowingclub.org.

Ashland Community Bike Swap

May 10, Noon-4 p.m.: Activities include a bicycle rodeo, raffle, Bike-It freestyle tricks and bicycle races. If you are interested in buying a bicycle, the swap is open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10. If you are interested in selling your bicycle and it is in working condition, bring it to The Grove on Friday, May 9, between 6 and 8 p.m., or Saturday, May 10, between 7 and 10 a.m. Location is The Grove parking lot, 1195 E. Main St., Ashland. Admission is $1 per person or $3 per family and includes one raffle ticket per person. Call 488-5340 for information.