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Get Out: Feb. 12, 2009

Feb. 21: Sterling Mine Ditch Trail, 15 miles, strenuous. Call Peter Grant for details, 951-9139.

Feb. 28: Hobart Bluff snowshoe, seven miles, moderate to difficult. Call Cathy Edwards for details, 210-0204.

Crater Lake Snowshoe Hikes

Free, ranger-guided snowshoe hikes continue every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. through April. The hikes cover a mile of moderately difficult terrain through forests, meadows and along the crater's rim, and last for about 90 minutes. Participants should be at least 8 years old and come prepared with warm clothing and water-resistant footwear. Space on the tours is limited, so reservations are suggested. Call 541-594-3100 for information or to sign up. School groups, outdoor clubs and other groups of 10 or more people can arrange for special tours by calling 541-594-3093. The park does not charge an entrance fee in the winter. The Rim Village Cafe & Gift Shop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Southern Oregon Nordic Club

Tonight: Are avalanches more likely to occur on 25-degree slopes, 35-degree slopes or 45-degree slopes? You may know that the "whumping" sounds you hear and the new deep snowfall on the open slope you are crossing are two of the five "red avalanche flags," but do you know the other three red flags? Avalanche safety is the topic of tonight's general meeting at 7 p.m. at D&S Harley-Davidson, 3846 S. Pacific Highway, Medford. Call Kevin, 541-261-3547, for more information.

Cross-Country Ski Races

Sunday: John Day Memorial Race, 20 km freestyle event and 10 km classic, with shorter junior and fun ski distances. Organized by Southern Oregon Nordic Club, http://southernonc.tripod.com/id6.html

Feb. 21 and 22: Mt. Shasta Pursuit Race. organized by Mt. Shasta Nordic Ski Organization. Go to www.mtshastanordic.org/news2.htm for details.

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.

Saturday: Couple Truffle Shuffle, 5K Couple's Classic. Starts at 9 a.m. at Griffin Creek School, 2430 Griffin Creek Road, Medford. Day of race registration at Griffin Creek School 8-8:45 a.m. Entry fee $8 solo, $12 couple. Race director: Susan Holt, 857-8002.

Feb. 21: Rogue River Half-Marathon and 5K. Starts at 9 a.m. at Fleming Park, adjacent to the new Rogue River Bridge across from Karen's Kitchen Restaurant on Highway 99. Race-day registration from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Visit www.sorunners.org for details and entry form.

March 7: The Shamrock Run 5-miler is an official Pear Blossom tune-up. The race starts at 9 a.m. at Crater High School in Central Point. It's a flat, fast, out-and-back course that finishes on the track. Race-day registration from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Visit www.sorunners.org for details and entry form.

Pear Blossom Run - 10-mile and 5K

April 11: Register online at www.pearblossomrun.com. Shirt deadline is March 15. Forms are available also at Medford Visitors Bureau, Medford Parks & Recreation, Rogue Valley Mall, sports stores, workout places, or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Pear Blossom Run, P.O. Box 146, Medford, OR 97501. For more information, telephone Zellah or Jerry Swartsley at 535-1205.

A group of Grants Pass cyclists who call themselves "Almost Over The Hill" meet at 8 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, as well as at noon on Wednesday, to ride in the Grants Pass area. They leave from the Spin Cycle Shop parking lot between 6th and 7th just south of D Street. For more information, call Fred at 541-474-4447.

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

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.

30th annual Winter Wings Festival

Friday-Sunday: Wintering waterfowl and eagles highlight President's Day weekend in Klamath Basin and Tule Lake Wildlife Refuges, where more than 350 species of birds, including the largest concentration of wintering bald eagles in the lower 48 states, gather this time of year. The three-day event, sponsored by the Klamath Basin Audubon Society and centered at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, offers receptions, field trips, workshops and mini-sessions, along with free activities, vendors, live birds and displays targeted to families and children. A planned photography workshop and safari is sponsored by Canon, USA.

Bird expert and author Pete Dunne, who is director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, will be the keynote speaker.

To register, call : 1-541-850-0084. To request a free brochure of the festival or a birding map, e-mail info@volcaniclegacybyway.org or call 1-866-722-9929. For more information see www.volcaniclegacybyway.org.

Friday-Monday: The annual Great Backyard Bird Count, organized by the Audubon Society and Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, is this weekend. The event engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It's free, fun and easy - and it helps the birds. For more information, visit www.birdsource.org/gbbc.

Saturday: Take a birdwalk to the Jefferson Nature Center with Wild Birds Unlimited. Leader is Ashley Dayer. Meet at 8 a.m. at Wild Birds, 712 Crater Lake Ave., to carpool. Call 770-1104 for details.

Saturday: Learn about winter ecology, birds, lichen and moss with botanist Kristi Mergenthaler and birder Frank Lospalluto on the Wagner Creek Loop Trail (less than a mile). Meet at Tark's Market in Talent at 9:30 a.m. for a short carpool. Sponsored by the Native Plant Society, Northwest Nature Shop and Klamath Bird Observatory. Call 541-482-3241 to reserve a spot. Free.

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.

Sunday: Rogue Valley Audubon Society birdwalk along the Ashland section of the Bear Creek Greenway. Leader, Harry Fuller, 488-8077. Meet at the Ashland Dog Park, north end of Helman Street, at 8 a.m. The walk is along the level paved trail that follows Ashland Creek and then Bear Creek. Finish around noon.

Feb. 21: Rogue Valley Audubon Society birdwalk to the Holy Water and Lost Creek Lake. Leaders, Ron Ketchum, 773-2968, and Bob Black. Meet at 7:45 a.m. at the south side of the parking lot at Food 4 Less, off Biddle Road in Medford. Will leave at 8 a.m. and return around 1:30 p.m. Bring snacks to carry you over to lunch. Dogs may come, but must be kept in a vehicle. Exercise must be done away from the birding group. Most wintering ducks should be in the Holy Waters at this time, and a few passerines may be starting to sing. We will check the Lost Lake Reservoir from the west side. If timing is right, we will stop at the VA Dom on the way back to look for Eurasian wigeons, usually present there in the winter.