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Ashland

USA | Sunday, 25 November 2007 | Views [628]

Our trip to Ashland was tricky, and, like so many things, relied on the kindness of strangers. We bought our tickets at the depot in Eugene. However, the person mistook our request and thought we had asked for tickets to Portland. As it turns out, there really is no bus to Ashland. Fortunately, we did not get on a bus headed back north! We did get on a bus headed to Medford, the closest town to Ashland, and from there, we would find our way over. On the bus getting off at Medford, a fellow passenger who was also slow in getting packed up to get off the bus suggested that we go into the Red Lion hotel and speak to the receptionist. We did so, and sure enough, Janet turned out to be a very friendly, kind and helpful person. We even chatted about different places, organic food, and where to go for organic food in Medford (Grilla Bites -- a restaurant) and also Ashville (a food co-op). We arranged to catch a taxi ride that would pick us up at Grilla Bites, after we'd had a bite to eat. We also spoke to the fellow in the hostel at Ashland. Darrin was a surprisingly welcoming and good humoured and would not mind our arriving a bit on the late side, so long as it was before 10. I guess that welcoming, engaging manner was part of Darrin's Texan upbringing. We met him that evening in front of the warm fire at the hostel in Ashland where he shared some of the intimate details of his existence as well as his positive outlook on life. Darrin, as it turns out, had been through a lot; and had quite turned his lfe around (You'll notice his picture in the photo section -- I realized in the middle of the night before the morning that we were to leave that we had not taken his photo. When I went downstairs, there he was, and quite happy to oblige.) I have to tell you that Darrin would chat with us at length, and then go down to his apartment in the basement to journal. He was following Dr. Phil's recipe for turning oneself around, and it had to do with going back through time and acknowledging all of the experiences in his past which had brought him to the present. Derrin was devoted to this work, and felt tremendous rushes from doing it. He was incredibly positive! And funny!! We all felt a sense of special opportunity in having met him.

While at Ashland, we enjoyed the library with its magnificent view as well as walking along the walkway behind the park which was behind the theatre. Ashland, Oregon is a Shakespeare Festival town, much like Stratford, Ontario. It's also not that far from the magnetic hill area of Oregon around Gold Hill, and carries some special sort of magic in its air. In fact, we found all of the Northwest coastal area, from Vancouver Island on through Portland to have some special sort of magic in the air.

During our stay at the Ashland hostel, we spent much time on the phone and in our wwoofing catalogues, trying to locate an organic farm that could use our help. As hard as it was, we even held on to the idea that Derrick might also be able to join us in working on an organic farm. Finally, we seemed to have found something in a hostel in San Luis Obispo that needed help. We booked a train, and that involved one of the Amtrak feeder trains in order to get there. So, the next morning found us going down the pavement wheeling our luggage behind us to the Amtrak bus stop...

 

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