Last September my husband and I took the Medford Water Commission’s (https://www.facebook.com/medfordwater/) guided tour that goes up to Big Butte Springs. We felt awed by the pristine spring water burbling out of the lush green forest cared for so diligently and competently by the management and staff, at every step of the process.
To continue the theme of appreciating Water is Life, my number one bucket list item for 2019 is to hike up Mt. McLoughlin. This jewel of southern Oregon is the actual physical source of the refreshing clean spring water that flows out of my faucets at home; in the summer our water source is supplemented by treated water from the Rogue River. Snowmelt and rain on the highest slopes above fill the aquifer below, and gravity and human ingenuity do the rest.
We in the Rogue Valley truly are so fortunate to have this wonderful clean reliable water source. How about you? What are some exciting new adventures, meaningful things you really want to accomplish before you “kick the bucket”? These bucket list items could be rather daring, and might even be extravagant. Your list might include projects, road trips, honest conversations with loved ones you haven’t seen in far too long, or perhaps a wild athletic challenge you want to take on. You don’t want to put things off forever, because we don’t have forever. Even if it seems things cost too much money, are too ambitious or are too …grandiose, write them down.
Writing the bucket list on paper does not set it in stone; for now, it is just a list and you don’t have to share it with anyone. Go ahead. Be bold and playful, and see what you can come up with. Be specific and keep it local and in the short term, as in this summer – or this week! Your bucket list may change as you ponder the options. That is okay. You might surprise yourself. And who knows? You may just plant a few seeds that will actually come to fruition, sooner than you think.
Here’s my current bucket list:
- Hike to the summit of Mt. McLaughlin. Mt. McLaughlin is situated to the east/northeast of the Rogue River Valley. This volcanic peak of the Cascade Range dominates the landscape as you drive on I-5 or Hwy 97 from Medford to Central Point, and past Sams Valley toward Shady Cove. Its shoulders boast a graceful snowclad shape that, as it melts, resembles an angel’s wings or a diving eagle. No lie! Check it for yourself. The crest of this mountain reaches close to 9,500 feet above sea level. My husband says you
can see Mt. Shasta and Crater Lake from the top, on a clear day. Not for the weak of heart, it is a steep 9.5-mile climb (out and back) but can be done in one day, by fit, experienced hikers. I’m ready to give it my best! I think I will go in August with my family. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/oregon/mount-cloughlin-trail
- After completing #1, it’s spa treatment time at Chozu Bath and Tea Gardens; a friend highly recommends the saltwater soak pools, steam room and sauna at this peaceful retreat. https://www.chozugardens.com/
- Dinner at Omar’s. I can’t remember the last time I had a birthday party; this August that could change. I will invite loved ones to meet at Omar’s Fresh Fish and Steaks in Ashland. I will arrive at happy hour for appetizers and drinks, eat a leisurely dinner and luxuriate over a cup of coffee or tea. I will, of course, accept my free birthday dessert, the Coupe Denmark a fancy vanilla and chocolate ice cream sundae. http://omarsrestaurant.com/
- Enroll in a local plein air (outdoor) oil painting class or outdoor watercolor painting workshop, or maybe even teach one if I can’t find one that someone else is leading.
- Last but not least, research, invent and design an inexpensive biodegradable dog waste bag, something that people will possibly use every day, to help save the earth from more plastic pollution. Can one person change the world? Maybe yes, maybe no, but together, all our small changes do add up to big progress toward sustainability. It takes faith, determination, and ingenuity. If not me, then who? If not now, then when?