It’s starting to feel like Fall

We got our fresh air and blue skies back! The heat and smoke felt like it was never going to end, but now that it has, its time to get back outside and deal with all your pent-up energy from spending the summer inside.

  • Mountain bike trails are awesome, once we get those first few rains to knock down the dust and give the trails just the right degree of tackiness.
  • The trail running opportunities are endless and way more enticing with the cooler temps.
  • Road biking is pretty much always awesome around here.
  • Steelhead and salmon are making their way upstream.
  • Hiking trails are a lot less crowded and way more fun when you’re not sweating buckets.
  • Fall photo ventures? We’d love to see what you’re up to… share them to Mountain Provisions’s Facebook Page or tag us on Instagram @ashlandmountainprovisions

Having grown up in the Midwest instead of Southern Oregon, one thing in particular took me a while to adjust to -- the seasons aren’t when I and my Midwest calendar expected them to be.

Summer isn’t really in full swing here until July and lasts until September: I expected May through August. Fall is awesome and lasts until November; I expected September through October.

I grew up with only one Winter and one Spring.  But here we get two of each.  “First Winter” takes place from Thanksgiving thru mid-January. Then it’s Spring until March. Then “Second Winter” happens from March until the end of April. Then “second Spring” takes over and runs through early June.

Basically, the weather is all over the place and doesn’t fit into what many of us traditionally think of as the four seasons (with or without Frankie Valli). That’s a good thing though!  You just have to adapt ... and there’s no better place to adapt than in the outdoors of Southern Oregon.

I would love to be skiing in January and February, but when it’s 65 degrees and sunny the skiing isn’t all that great unless we got a ton of snow in “First Winter”. The climbing, biking, hiking, and trail running are awesome though.

Last Winter the snow lasted only about a month. There wasn’t much skiing to be had, but the backpacking was great! Trails were in great shape. You didn’t have to camp in the snow, although snow camping is fun, too! Not many people will be out there, because most everyone will be trying to find snow to ski on. There’s water everywhere, so no worries on finding a water source for drinking and cooking water. The cooler temps make for much more enjoyable hiking than the sweltering heat of the Summer. There’s no smoke. And if you’re the type of hiker who can’t resist having a campfire, you can do it without burning down neighboring towns and threatening lives.

Hiking and Backpacking are year-round activities. Lately, however, when everyone wants to be out doing it, the air has been hazardous to our health.

On that note, we need a massive push to make our forests healthy again. Most currently are not.  It won’t be cheap or easy. It will take time.  But it will be cheaper and healthier than the current megafires and corresponding smoke that we’ve now dealt with three of the past four summers.

All of Southern Oregon took an economic beating this summer. Please do what you can to help make sure our local economy thrives. Buying online may save a few dollars here and there, but you are sending your money out of the local economy. That online business will be fine without our Southern Oregon money. The same goes for Big Box stores. They have locations throughout the country that weren’t impacted by our local weather conditions. They will be fine, too.

On the other hand, your neighbors who operate “Mom and Pop” shops will not be fine. They depend almost solely on the local economy and tourism. But this year, except for the Coast, summer tourism to Southern Oregon didn’t really happen.  Not even close.

Southern Oregon is a great place to live and enjoy the outdoors.  Let’s all help each other.