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Get Out: May 15, 2008

Table Rock Guided Hikes

Guided weekend hikes atop Lower and Upper Table Rocks end this weekend. The hikes, from three to five miles roundtrip on a moderate grade, are organized by the BLM and The Nature Conservancy. There is no charge but reservations are required since participation is limited. For information, 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.

This weekend's hikes and hike leaders are:

Saturday, 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock, naturalist Leah Schrodt.

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

Sierra Club Outings

Saturday: Squaw Lakes Lookout. 12 miles difficult. Peter Grant, 951-9139

May 25: Parsnip Lakes. 8 miles moderate. Cathy Edwards, 210-0204

May 31: Devil's Punch Bowl. 12 miles difficult. George Lescher, 482-4477

June 8: Round Mountain. 5 miles (cross country) moderate. Cathy Edwards, 210-0204

June 14: Grizzly Peak. 6 miles moderate. Carol Walker, 488-8517 and Carol Ingelson, 245-6380

June 21: Echo Lake with possible loop to the PCT. 13 miles strenuous. Peter Grant, 951-9139

June 28: Grouse Gap. See early wildflowers along the Pacific Crest Trail. 7 miles moderate. Carol Walker, 488-8517 and Carol Ingelson, 245-6380.

July 19: Sierra Club Trail Clearing Project on Frog Pond Loop Trail in the Red Buttes. It is time to give a little back so others will have access to this wonderful area. The Trail has been overgrown by saddlers oak and other bushes. We will spend about 3 hours clipping them back. Long-handled loppers and gloves are all you need to help with this worthwhile task. Short-handled loppers will work, but are more tiring. A few small hand saws would be useful for some of the smaller branches. We will leave the large trees for someone else. This is all wilderness area so no power tools are allowed. Bring tools, lunch and water and we will relax over our noontime repast. After lunch we can talk about flowers and forests as we snip our way back to the trailhead. Meet at the Star Ranger Station, Upper Applegate Road, between Ruch and Applegate Lake, at 8 a.m. to carpool. There are several options for camping locally on July 18 or July 19, but it is not part of the Sierra Club outing. Contact Al Collinet at dewbobal@verizon.net for more information and RSVP, or call Kristin Biechler 840-7236. You do not need to be a member to participate.

July 25, 26, 27: Backpacking to Towhead Lake in the Red Buttes

We will be starting out at the Cook and Green Trailhead on the Pacific Crest Trail. Hike is 4.5 miles with a 1,718-foot elevation gain. Saturday we will leisurely explore the area based on the group's desires. The area boasts some very unusual rock formations and interesting flora. Carpooling opportunities will be facilitated. Costs of transportation will be shared with drivers. More details will be made available to participants. Maggie Purves will be co-leading this trip. Space is limited to eight so be sure to make a reservation. Contact Al Collinet at dewbobal@verizon.net, or Darin Banner at 531-7623 for more information and RSVP. You do not need to be a member to participate.

Aug 30-31 and Sept. 1: Backpacking trip to Mountain Lakes in the Cascades

Views, lakes and flowers abound this time of the year at this high-elevation spot. Mountain Lakes are east of Medford about 60 miles on Hwy140 near Upper Klamath Lake. Trail is accessed by taking 4 miles of gravel road to the Varney Creek Trailhead. The first day we plan on 4.5 miles with an elevation gain of 1,566 feet to Zeb Lake. The second day we will hike 6 miles with an elevation gain of 1,606 feet to Lake Harriette. The third day we will travel six miles with an elevation gain of 732 feet and 1,194-foot elevation loss to the trailhead. We will be spending most of our time at over 6,500 feet. Hiking distances are modest and the pace will be set to the slowest participants so we can enjoy ourselves. Carpooling opportunities will be facilitated. Costs of transportation will be shared with drivers. We will determine a rendezvous point so we can reach the trailhead about 10 a.m. Space is limited so be sure to make a reservation. Contact Al Collinet at dewbobal@verizon.net, or Darin Banner at 531-7623, for more information and RSVP. You do not need to be a member to participate

Ashland Watershed Hike

May 31: The Ashland Forest Lands Commission is sponsoring a series of hikes to "Know Your Watershed." This is a fun guided hike to the city-owned Windburn Parcel located within the usually restricted area of the Ashland watershed. This 160-acre parcel is accessible only by foot and is both rich and diverse in topography, vegetation, wildlife and local history. Meet at Darex Skating Rink parking lot on Windburn Way at Nutley at 10 a.m. We will carpool to the trailhead and return at 2 p.m. Attendees should dress appropriately for the weather and bring water and a sack lunch. The hike will be strenuous. To sign up contact Nancy Slocum at slocumn@ashland.or.us or call 552-2420. The number of participants is limited to 25.

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.

May 24: Agony of DeFeet, 2k and 5k runs in Medford. Call 535-7212 for info. Southern Oregon Runners offer a busy slate of running activities and races, and their Web site lists regional events put on by other running clubs. Visit their site at www.southernoregonsizzlersrunningclub.org.

May 28: Rooster Crow, 5k run in Rogue River. Call 621-6361 for information.

July 4: Three area runs are scheduled for the Fourth of July. Ashland, 6 Miles (482-5340); Eagle Point, 1-mile and 5k (944-2446); Mt. Shasta City, 5 miles (530-926-1144).

July 19: Britt Woods 5k and 10k runs in Jacksonville. Call 899-1214 for information.

Lithia Park Nature Walks

Every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, 10-11:30 a.m., rain or shine, (and Saturdays in July and August), 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.

Volksmarch Club Walks

These 5K or 10K walks, organized by the Rogue Valley Walkers, are free. Leashed dogs welcome. For more information call George at 541-772-8311

Saturday, 8 a.m., Ashland: from the hospital, through downtown to Hunter Park, returning past the Southern Oregon University campus.

May 31, 8 a.m., Jacksonville: walking through downtown, past several parks and a number of historical buildings, past Britt and through the historic cemetery. Be prepared for hills.

June 14, 8 a.m., Grants Pass: meet at Ray's parking lot for a walk thru both residential and commercial portions of Grants Pass.

June 28, 8 a.m. Rogue River: walking in both residential, park and forest settings, including the new bridge and paved trail along the Rogue out to Valley of the Rogue State Park.

July 12, 8 a.m., Medford: meet at the Food-4-Less parking lot (just right of the main entrance, about the middle of the lot). Easy walk through east Medford residential areas with a tour thru the southwest downtown area past the post office, government buildings and returning along Biddle Road.

Up the Crooked River Duathlon

Sunday, 10 a.m.: The Duathlon offers two events, two distances and two sets of winners. The distances are a 5k run/40k bike/5k run and 2-mile walk/10-mile bike/2-mile walk. Top three places awarded in each age group, male and female. The entry free of $40 (prior to May 3) will include a t-shirt, finisher's medal, "cowboy" lunch and donation to the Crook County High School Athletic Department and The Humane Society of the Ochoco's. Further information and entry forms are available at www.normsxtremefitness.com or by calling Norm's Xtreme Fitness (541) 416-0455.

Siskiyou Out Back 50K/15K Trail Run

July 12: Entries are being accepted for the 10th running of the Siskiyou Out Back 50K/15K Trail Run. The race starts and finishes at the Mount Ashland Ski Area, and utilizes the Pacific Crest Trail and dirt Forest Roads. The scenery is spectacular with huge views of the State of Jefferson all around, and wildflowers in abundance. Well-supported with lots of aid on course, the 50K is a great choice for your first ultra. Registration is on-line ONLY, check the Web site at www.siskiyououtback.com for details. There are field limits and the race filled early last year. Call 482-1530 for details.

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 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 and lights are recommended until the days get longer. 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 accommodates many skill levels. Contact: Richard Amneus, 541-476-4935 or bikekraft@atiinternet.com.

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, 201-0933, bach@mind.net.

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, 857-0819, 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 9:30 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and journeys to Jacksonville. Gently rolling terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

Every Tuesday: A mellow ride begins at 6 p.m. on 2nd Street at The Grotto in Talent. Ride leader Charles Whitaker, 488-4349.

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, 9 a.m.: Brisk, 85-mile ride starts at Colver Park for a Grants Pass loop. Ride leader Jerry Rhoads, 512-2155.

May 24, 9 a.m., Brisk 62-mile loop ride starting at Collier Rest Stop in California to Iron Gate. Ride leader is Rick Berlet, 488-0036.

Saturday: Siskiyou Project outing to Whitehorse Park, the premier birding location in Josephine County. Karen Phillips and Rich Nawa from Siskiyou Project will teach you to spot and identify our feathered friends. No binoculars necessary, but bring them if you have them. We will have spotting scopes available for visitors to use. This is an easy 1-mile hike on flat ground, and a great trip for families with children aged 8 and older. Meet at 8 a.m. at the riverside parking lot at Whitehorse County Park to hear the early morning chorus of songbirds recently arrived from the tropics. Whitehorse Park is located about 7 miles west of Grants Pass on Upper River Road. For more information call Karen at 476-6648 or go to www.siskiyou.org.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

Saturday: Field trip to Lost Creek Reservoir area led by Joe Shelton. Meet at Medford Food 4 Less south side parking lot at 8 a.m. to carpool. Bring food and drinks. Contact Joe at 772-4490 for information, or go to roguevalleyaudubon.org.

Sunday: Half-day walk along the Ashland section of the Bear Creek Greenway. Meet at the Ashland Dog Park, north end of Helman Street, 8 a.m. The walk is along the paved path that follows Ashland Creek and then Bear Creek. Expect songbirds, woodpeckers, waterfowl and raptors. Hike leader is Harry Fuller, 488-8077. Go to roguevalleyaudubon.org for more information.

June 14: Join Gwyneth Ragosine and Dick Ashford for an all-day trip to Mount Ashland. This is a repeat of last year's successful trip, when birders saw many montane birds and found several nests. Group will drive to the Grouse Gap Shelter, stopping along the way to look and listen for white-headed woodpeckers, mountain bluebirds, hermit warblers, MacGillivray's warblers and green-tailed towhees, among others. Meet at Ashland Shop N' Kart parking lot in time for 8 a.m. departure. Please arrive early for carpool formation and sign-in. Dress warmly and bring lunch. No dogs. Go to roguevalleyaudubon.org for more information.

June 15: Half-day walk along the Ashland section of Bear Creek Greenway. Meet at the Ashland Dog Park, north end of Helman Street, 8 a.m. The walk is along the paved path that follows Ashland Creek and then Bear Creek. Expect songbirds, woodpeckers, waterfowl and raptors. Hike leader is Harry Fuller, 488-8077. Go to roguevalleyaudubon.org for more information. Please note: This is the last Sunday walk until November.

Tule Lake Migratory Bird Festival

Saturday: The Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge will hold its free, annual Migratory Bird Festival at the Refuge Visitor Center, 4009 Hill Road, in Tulelake, Calif. Events and activities for all ages include airboat rides (reservations required), guided bus tours of the wildlife refuges (reservations required), mist netting and bird banding, kids activities, exhibits, a morning bird walk and a tour of the historic Conservation Corps camp. Food will be available, and music will be provided by the Klamath Blues Society. For more information, to make reservations or to check updates, call 530-667-2231 or visit the refuge Web site at www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges.

Siskiyou Field Institute Spring Events

The Siskiyou Field Institute, based in Selma, deepens people's scientific understanding and intimate connection to the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion by providing educational programs and outdoor experiences to a broad spectrum of the public. Program costs vary. For information or to register for classes call 541-597-8530 or visit www.thesfi.org. Spring events include:

Friday-Sunday: Blooms and Birds Weekend. Spend the weekend at Deer Creek Center in Selma with expert botanists, ornithologists and ecologists. Learn about bird song, rare plants, ferns, wildflowers and owls. Courses covering several topics Friday, Saturday and Sunday with free evening events.

May 19-20: Wildland Grasses: Identification of Native and Naturalized Grasses. Review terminology, grass morphology and keying without dissecting microscopes. Learn important features that help you identify our local grasses.

May 24-26: Birding the Northern California Coast. Spend the weekend at a beautiful coastal getaway. Wake up each morning to a home-cooked breakfast before you head out to view birds with local experts. Learn bird identification and ecology while relaxing in a comfortable farmhouse.

Mount Ashland Youth Summer Service Program

Mount Ashland is accepting applications from all in-coming 8th and 9th grade Rogue Valley students for the 15th annual summer service program. Deadline is May 22. The program provides a chance to learn about the natural history of Mount Ashland while working on projects such as erosion control, re-vegetation, clean-up and other environmental enhancement jobs. Participants who successfully complete the program earn a $150 credit toward their 2008-09 season ski pass and 20 community service hour credits. Application packets are available at the Mount Ashland busines office and online at www.mtashland.com/Page.asp?NavID=44. For more information contact Ada Rivera at 482-2897, ext. 221.

Local Lake Tour with Medford Parks and Recreation

May 24: All ages welcome; children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The group will visit five lakes including Willow Lake, Lake of the Woods (where lunch will be provided), Fish Lake, Howard Prairie Lake and Hyatt Lake. 8 a.m.-3 p.m., meet at the Santo Community Center, 701 N. Columbus Ave., Medford. Cost is $46 per person. To register, call 774-2400, see www.playmedford.com, or go to Medford Parks and Recreation office, City Hall Building, second floor, 411 W. Eighth St., Room 225, Medford.

Rogue Valley Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association's Annual Starthistle Meet/Fly-in

May 24-25: For a quarter of a century, foot-launch aviators have been flocking to Southern Oregon to partake in the flying, fun and fellowship of hang gliding from Wood Rat Mountain near Ruch. Star Thistle is an all-day event that's open to the public. Contact Paul Murdoch (261-4900 or pmurdoch@garywest.com) for information. Two competitive paragliding events, Rat Race and the West Coast Para-Gliding Championships, will also be held at Wood Rat in June and July, so don't be surprised when you see people flying overhead this summer. For more information about Star Thistle, go to the Rogue Valley Hang gliding and Paragliding Association's Web site, www.rvhpa.net. To learn more about the races, go to the MPH Sports Web site at www.mphsports.com.