Maintenance and a quick visit with Raven and Chickadee

Rain continued to accompany us on our travel days as we headed down to Grants Pass, Oregon.


This was our third visit here.  It’s where Henderson’s Line-up is located, the place we go for repairs and upgrades on Betsy’s chassis suspension.  On our way to Alaska in 2012 we had several upgrades performed, including the installation of Koni shocks, a Supersteer Bell Crank, a Safe-T-Plus steering unit and Motion Control Units for our air suspension.  This time through we just wanted to have everything checked out and get another 4-corner weigh performed.  Betsy passed with flying colors – yay!

Betsy enters the operating room on yet another rainy morning

The next day we continued south to Ashland, our final stop in Oregon.  This cool town is Eric and Laurel’s hometown, and we were excited to see them after two years.  Both of them are nature lovers and avid birders – as indicated by the name of their blog site – “Raven and Chickadee”.  Among other things, we all enjoy the same outdoor activities like biking, hiking and especially birding.  Eric knows his birds, and I learned a lot from him during our birding extravaganza on Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Raven and Chickadee
Welcome to Ashland dinner

We were looking forward to doing some hiking and/or birding during this visit, but the weather was not cooperating.  Instead, they gave us a walking tour around town and through Lithia Park, one of Eric’s “offices” during his working years.  This park is the largest and most centrally-located in Ashland, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Ashland, Oregon
Main street, Ashland

Eric confirmed we came at the perfect time, as the fall foliage at the Japanese Garden was at its peak.  We were so busy enjoying the colors and good conversation during our walk that we didn’t even realize we’d covered four miles!

Raven and Chickadee
Eric and Steve
Raven and Chickadee
The girls share a laugh at the entrance
Steve with Raven and Chickadee, aka Eric and Laurel

The air was crisp and cool as we ambled past stunning vegetation along the trail:

The Japanese Garden was amazing, and Eric helped build this awesome place!


Ginkgo biloba
Fan-shaped Ginkgo Blob leaves turn yellow in the fall




Lowes Travels
Enjoying the colors with Laurel

Eric and Laurel were terrific hosts, and as always we enjoyed spending the short time we had with them.  Their love of nature, outdoor fun and music (Laurel plays the guitar) mesh well with our interests, and we always have a good time together.

Eric and Laurel
Thank you Eric and Laurel for the guided tour.  Though our visit was too short we had a blast!

Our reservation at Emigration Lake (Steve’s review here) was originally for five nights, but we had to cut it short due to sad news in California.  We high-tailed it back to the Bay Area and didn’t get to say the kind of goodbye’s we wanted to, but sometimes that’s the way things go and we’re hoping to cross paths with our friends down the road.

Emigration Lake
Our site overlooked Emigration Lake

As of this writing we’re in California, bonding with family and visiting old friends until the end of the year.  Blogging will have to take a backseat for a while, so we’ll take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy Holidays!




  1. I love this post! Its nice seeing Lauren and Eric again in their “element” and wonderful to see Lithia Park and Emigrant Lake Campground in better weather. When we were there the temps. were running at 100 degrees every day so we didn’t move around much. The Park was lovely then but I wish we had been there when you were, the colors were fantastic!

    The yellow Ginko Blob was particularly pretty 😉

  2. What a treat to spend some time with Eric and Laurel:) Sorry your weather wasn’t the best but you four made it a good time with lots of laughs:) Gorgeous foliage! I love the red leaves:)

    Enjoy your time with family:) Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Just beautiful fall colors! Brian and I hope to do some traveling to see some of the beautiful fall colors next year. A lot has happened this year, Brian retired in April and we have moved to Reno. So, if you find yourselves in the area, please contact us. We would love to see you guys.

  4. We had so much fun with you guys! We’re so happy you came to visit us in Ashland—I’m glad you caught the peak of the fall colors and that we were able to dodge the rain for a good long walk in the park. Your photos are wonderful and really capture the good time we had. Now when we go to Liquid Assets we’ll think of you and our dinner together. 🙂 I hope all is well in California, and that we get to see you sooner rather than later.

  5. I’m afraid to get Winnona weighed. I just know she’s put on too many pounds. Congrats on Betsy. Lucky you two to have spent time with Laurel and Eric, two of my favorite people. Really great pictures of your visit with them and the beautiful fall leaves. Loved seeing it all, thanks.

  6. Glad you had the opportunity to visit with Eric and Laurel. We loved Ashland and would love to see it in the fall. Sorry to hear about the bad news you received. Hope all is better now.

  7. How nice you got to spend a little time with Eric and Laurel. We hope to meet them one of these days. What perfect timing for the fall colors. We loved Ashland but it was very hot while we were there in early June, although everything was so green.
    Sorry about your sad news but hope you enjoy the holidays with family.

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