East Applegate Ridge 8-13-18

Photos by Bob and Rich

We took advantage of a positive smoke reading for Applegate Valley to hike the Ridge. The weather was perfect in every way. When we arrived early at our normal turnaround it was too soon for lunch so we continued on towards highway 238. Half of the 8 hikers soon headed back to the original trailhead with both sets of keys, offering to meet us at Boomtown in Jacksonville, and the rest of us continued on to the 238 Trailhead. Part of it was to finally find the 238 Trailhead.

You drop quite a bit down to the highway but it is a long walk and the vertical is gradual. After gorging on some blackberries we found the gate near the highway. For the record, the Trailhead is not next to Forest Creek Road. It is about a quarter mile past the road, heading from Jacksonville. There is a deer warning sign then a place to park that would hold at least 10 vehicles on the right. Just after, at a mailbox marked 5901, you look across the road and on the left is the entrance to that address and on the right is a gate you walk around to access a forest road that turns into the trail. With the added vertical it makes for a 5.5 mile hike one way. Return 11 miles. The trailhead is obscure so I have driven right by it in the past. 

We started the walk to Jacksonville and after a while got suspicious as to the distance when we realized the post box numbers were according to mileage and we started at well over 5 miles. Liz and Rich asked someone the distance to Jacksonville after we had walked a couple of miles and they said 3.5. Fortunately the same person came by in his old King Cab and offered us a lift. This was doubly fortunate because otherwise Liz was going to make me pay for the beer. Our savior was a nice young man with a plumbing business. 

We arrived at Boomtown very thirsty and Deana, our favorite bar person (very PC), instantly had our drinks of the table. By this time the other half had reached the starting trailhead after a leisurely lunch in the woods, and soon joined us. 

Hiking Tip: Deana informed me that there was no advantage price wise in ordering pitchers and by the glass the beer stays colder. That of course is not true for those of us who wolf down more than our share. 

Special Credit to Tracy for balancing the bill, less marks deducted for trying to convince me earlier they had forgotten about us and were back in Ashland. 

Kudos to Liz for leaving nothing in my vehicle. Barry Harris remarked that his wife thinks the hiking is a hoax and all we do is drink beer. I will offer to write him a note next time. 

Another Tip: Never include walk along 238 in a hike. It is narrow and dangerous. 

John

Ashland Hiking Home

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