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Get Out: Dec. 17, 2009

Sierra Club hikesJan. 9: To be announced. Leader is Joel Peterson: joelpeterson@charter.net or 541-955-9224.

Saturday: Moderate, five-mile hike along Strawberry Lane. Leaders: Carol Walker, 541-488-8517, and Carol Ingelson, 541-245-6380.

Jan. 16: Moderate, eight-mile trek on the OC&E Woods Line State Trail; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Snowshoe, cross-country ski and/or hike; choose your mode of transportation based on conditions and preferences. As a hike this would be rated easy, but snowshoes or XC skis might make this a moderate event. The trail snow is ungroomed. There are no steep ascents or descents on the trail, which stands atop the grade of the Oregon, California and Eastern Railroad bed, built roughly 100 years ago. Group will leave the Horse Glade trailhead and make their way to lunch at the Merritt Creek Trestle, which stretches 400 feet across a gorge 50 feet deep. The trail itself traverses forest, meadow and volcanic outcroppings in a show of diverse high-desert environments. Leader is Mel Ivey; call 541-798-1000 or e-mail mel.ivey@gmail.com. More information about the OC&E Trail can be found at www.oregonstateparks.org/park_230.php and at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OC&E_Woods_Line_State_Trail.

Jan. 23: Moderate, eight-mile cross-country ski tour along East Side Hyatt Lake Road. Leader is Cathy Edwards: 541-210-0204.

Southern Oregon Nordic Club outings

Saturday: Intermediate ski tour; Fish Lake (Highway 140), eight miles. For information, call John at 541-601-5687. Holiday potluck party follows (optional).

Dec 27: Advanced ski tour, Dutton Ridge, in Crater Lake National Park; 12-plus miles. For information, call John at 541-601-5687.

Jan 9: Learn to skate ski every Saturday through Feb. 13 with Southern Oregon Nordic Club instructor Michael Dawkins. Call 541-482-2703 for locations and more information. Beginner ski lessons will be scheduled as snow conditions permit. For information about lessons, call Dan at 541-535-5979.

Crater Lake Snowshoe Walks

Through April 25: Ranger-guided snowshoe walks are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. at Crater Lake National Park. The walks last about 90 minutes and cover 1 mile of moderately strenuous terrain. There is no cost, and snowshoes are provided free of charge. Space is limited, and reservations are recommended. Sign up at the Visitor Center or by calling 541-594-3100. Participants should be at least 8 years old. Come prepared with warm, water-resistant clothing and footwear.

Soda Mountain Wilderness Lecture

Tonight: Ornithologist and photographer Pepper Trail will give a talk on the newly created Soda Mountain Wilderness during the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy's Third Thursday Conservation Lecture, set for noon to 1:15 p.m. at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way, Ashland. Dave Willis of the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council will be on hand to provide an update on ongoing conservation efforts. The event is free and open to the public. Dessert and coffee will be provided by Noble Coffee. For more information, call 541-482-3069.

Christmas Lights Jogging Tour

Monday: The Rogue Valley Family YMCA is organizing an easy three-mile jogging tour of Christmas displays in Medford. There will also be a one-mile walking tour. Meet at 7 p.m. at South Valley Bank in the Hillcrest Office Park, near the intersection of Hillcrest and North Phoenix Road. Contact Jeni Beck for details at 541-772-6295.

Winter Whale Watch Week

Dec. 26-Jan. 1: Marine mammal experts estimate that 18,000 gray whales and about 1,100 humpback whales pass the Oregon coast at the peak of their winter migration south to the waters off the Baja Peninsula. During Whale Watch Week, trained volunteers staff 26 “Whale Watching Spoken Here” sites along the coast, helping visitors spot whales and offering information about their migration. The volunteers are on duty 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information go to www.whalespoken.org.


Saturdays: Help count birds that visit the feeders at Jefferson Nature Center in Medford and North Mountain Park in Ashland while learning to identify species with expert help. This is a chance for all-level birders to get acquainted with local birds and mingle with other birders. The information collected will be submitted to Cornell University's FeederWatch project, a nationwide bird monitoring effort. Children 10 and older are welcome, but should be accompanied by an adult. Time is 9 to 10 a.m. No registration required. Counts at JNC are Dec. 26; Jan. 9 and 23; Feb. 6 and 20; and March 6 and 20. Count days at North Mountain Park are Dec. 19; Jan. 2, 16 and 30; Feb. 13 and 27; and March 13 and 27. For information on counting birds at home for Project FeederWatch, go online to www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/.

Saturday: Rogue Valley Audubon Society field trip at the Jefferson Nature Center. This is the first in a series of quarterly trips. Future dates are March 30, June 30, and Sept. 29. Meet at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Nature Center, behind Harry & David Field off Highway 99 in Medford.

Jan. 2: Rogue Valley Audubon Society's annual dipper count on Ashland Creek. Meet at 9:30 a.m. by the water fountain in the Ashland plaza. Group will split in two and walk both sides of the creek, stopping to compare notes at each bridge. Early birders can meet for breakfast at Brothers Restaurant, 95 N. Main St., at 8:30 a.m. Leader is Bob Quaccia, 541-482-1143.

Jan. 6: Monthly first-Wednesday birdwalk along Butte Creek in the east part of the TouVelle/Denman complex. Easy walk on dirt, about 2.5 miles over three hours. A shortened version is available. Meet at the gated entrance to TouVelle Road and the Denman Area on the west side of Agate Road at 8:30 a.m., or in the Apple Peddler Restaurant parking lot, intersection of Highway 140 and Highway 62 in White City, at 8:20 a.m. For more information contact Denny Niebuhr at 541-482-6589 or rogueden@ashlandhome.net

Jan. 16: Rogue Valley Audubon Society birdwalk to Holy Waters and Lost Creek Reservoir. Meet at 7:45 a.m. on the south side of the Food 4 Less parking lot on Biddle Road to carpool. Long half-day trip. Bring snacks and fluids and dress for possibly cold, wet weather.

Jan. 26: Local naturalist Pepper Trail will talk and present photos of birds of the southwest Pacific, including Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomons and New Guinea. This free Tuesday meeting of the Rogue Valley Audubon Society is at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 8th and Holly, in Medford.

Jan. 27: Monthly third-Sunday birdwalk on the Ashland section of the Bear Creek Greenway, 8 a.m. to noon. Meet at the Ashland Dog Park, north end of Helman St., 8 a.m. to about noon. The level, paved trail follows Ashland Creek and Bear Creek. For more information contact Harry Fuller, 541-488-8077.

Jan. 30: Rogue Valley Audubon's first, monthly “Saturday Walk Along The Greenway” starts at 9 a.m. at Jefferson Nature Center in Medford (behind Harry and David field off of Highway 99). Leader is Jeff Tanner, 541-245-2622. Beginners welcome. Binoculars available.

Road biking

Every Saturday: A 20-mile ride begins at 10 a.m. at Cycle Sport in Medford. Ride leader is Alex Hayes: 541-857-0819.

Every Saturday: A mellow, 20-mile Siskiyou Velo Club ride begins at 10 a.m. Starting location varies. Ride leader is Phil Gagnon: 541-488-4289.

Every Sunday: A 20-mile training ride begins at 9 a.m. along the bike path behind Bad Ass Coffee Co. in Medford. Race pace. Ride leader is Glen Gann: 541-779-6986.

Every Monday: Siskiyou Velo Club 25-mile coffee 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 Siskiyou Velo Club show-and-go ride begins at 10 a.m. at Rogue Valley Roasting Co. in Ashland. Moderate terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

Every Wednesday: Cruiser Ride begins at 6 p.m. in Hawthorne Park in Medford. Distance and pace vary. Contact Marty's Cycles at 541-772-9253.

Mountain bike rides

Every Wednesday, Jacksonville: Sponsored by Cycle Analysis, these rides are for all ages and abilities and are group-oriented. They begin at 6 p.m. from Cycle Analysis, 535 N. Fifth St., 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 at 541-899-9190, or e-mail cyclea@internetcds.com.

Every Wednesday, Grants Pass: BikeKraft hosts a weekly ride that meets and leaves at 6 p.m. from its shop, 785 Rogue River Hwy. The rides last about two hours and accommodate many skill levels. Contact Richard Amneus at 541-476-4935, or check out www.bikekraft.com.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Ashland: Ride organized by the crew at Ashland Cycle Sport, 191 Oak St., Ashland. Meet at plaza in Ashland at 6:30 p.m. Riders of all abilities are welcome on the Tuesday evening ride, which usually lasts until dark. The Thursday evening ride is usually longer (2 to 21⁄2 hours) and faster paced. Lights are highly recommended. Helmets and a safe, functioning bike are required. Call Scott at 541-488-0581 for further information or check out the Web site at www.roguecycle.com.

Every Thursday, Grants Pass: Don's Bike Center has a ride that starts at its shop at 5:30 p.m. Rides last about two hours and are tailored to intermediate to advanced riders. Don's is at 211 SW G St. Contact Don or Shawn at 541-471-3494.

Every Saturday, Medford: Ride starts at Medford Cycle Sport, 1340 Biddle Road. The course varies from week to week, but riders can expect a brisk road ride that lasts 2 to 4 hours. Most rides include at least one 1- to 3-mile climb. Call Alex at 541-857-0819 for further information and starting time, or check out the Web site at www.roguecycle.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. Contact Don or Shawn at 541-471-3494.