My first stop in OR was Cave Junction, a small town that made a good impression.  I dropped my wallet and a nice guy waived me over to return it.  Then his wife recommended I ride over McKenzie Pass on my way north as the highway is closed to vehicles, but open to cyclists until mid-June.  She was the first of many friendly people that suggested this route.  If I get a suggestion once, I don't usually remember, twice maybe, three times almost always, more than three I consider going out of my way to get there.

After a 100 mile ride through the Rogue River Valley I arrived in Ashland for a highly anticipated visit with friends from CT, Ryan and Jess.  Ryan suggested that at least 2 paragraphs would be needed to cover the visit.   After 10 days of biking, hiking, a bit of running and yard work, and lots of good eating this should be no problem. 

A good place to start is with sweet baby Willow, their 9 month year old golden retriever that is the recipient of unlimited affection.  I got to take Willow on a couple outings to the park and for a nice hike along the creek.  Willow lives up to her retriever nature, loving sticks and water, and will stay fully submerged in search of sticks longer than any dog I have seen.  She has one very annoying habit of picking up sticks and jamming them into the back of your leg while you are running or hiking with her, but she is working on this. 

Willow doing what she does best in her favorite swimming hole in Ashland Creek.