Our next stop on the road trip was Jacksonville, Oregon. A National Historic District, the whole town has protected buildings dating as far back the 1850s when gold was discovered.
The several blocks around the main part of town, sport many brick storefronts and charming homes. Each building displays a name and date and perhaps other historic information.
Using Internet suggestions, we stopped at the Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center. It’s in an old railroad building. The railroad was rerouted through Medford in the 1880s and business and county seat left Jacksonville.
At the visitor center we picked up several maps of the town and the surrounding walking areas. There is a trolley tour, but we walked around for our first flat walk in Jacksonville.
In 1966, the town was designated a National Historic Landmark and over 100 buildings are in the National Registry. This preserved the town for enjoying a place from the past.
To prevent over-development around the town an effort was launched to acquire land in the early 1990s. The City of Jacksonville, Woodlands Association, County Parks, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and other groups joined in the project. What that means is there are miles of walking and hiking trails near town.
In the evening, I found one short trail near our hotel (the lovely Magnolia Inn with gracious hosts) while taking the dog for a walk. A narrow dirt trail along a creek and between backyards made for a fine stroll.
The next morning, we headed to Britt Gardens. Britt was an unsuccessful gold miner but a good photographer. He created an historic record of the town. There is a ridge trail and a flatter trail. We took the low road or Sarah Zigler Interpretive Trail. Some of it ADA approved up to the 1862 Britt planted Sequoia.
The trail is mostly narrow dirt and runs along South Fork Jackson Creek and Hwy 238 on the west side of town. The lushness of the mixed forest almost negates the traffic noise. I enjoyed the familiar Big Leaf Maples and marveled at the abundance of snowberries. A deer bush was in full tassel – could inspire your next 1880 costume.
When we came back out of the woods, we were treated to a full orchestra playing the overture from West Side Story. The Britt Classical Festival was auditioning one of three potential conductors.
Another Wine Country
On a road trip, one has to leave places, so we headed west to the Applegate Valley.
We were a little early for wine tasting, so we drove. We loved the mix of agricultural land and mountains. One route took us along the Applegate River, flowing from Applegate Lake (a reservoir) in National Forest. Its flow later joins the Rogue River. We turned around before we reached California.
Stopping at the Valley View Winery, we enjoyed the view and the wine.
Continuing on, we took the slow route past more wineries and terrific countryside.
Words by Lynn Millar and Photos by Mike Millar copyright 2013