Take a Hike
October 6, 1907 Sunday Oregonian
Found the Valley.
Israel Patton of this place, and a cousin of the same name who recently came out from the East, had an unpleasant experience in the mountains last week. They started to cross the Siskiyous from Ashland to Grouse Creek, going by the trail that leads directly from this place toward the summit of Ashland Butte. They found so much snow on the mountains that they couldn't follow the trail, and were soon bewildered and lost. After wandering about for a day or two they came to a point where a beautiful little valley opened to view far below them. "Now we're all right," said Patton. "That's the valley of Cottonwood Creek, on the south side of the range." They made directly for the valley, and soon reached it, but were more bewildered than ever when they discovered that they had come back into the valley they started from, a short distance above Ashland. They will follow the stage road around as far as possible hereafter.
Mount Pitt rears its grand old head high and majestically between the northern end of Upper Klamath Lake and Rogue River Valley. It is very seldom ascended, very few ever having the hardihood to venture scaling its frowning cliffs. Eugene Recksecker, U.S. geological surveyor, made the ascent a short time ago, and on the top of the hoary old peak found, enclosed in bottles, the names of former adventurous mountain climbers. On one strip of paper Rufus S. Moore's surveying party, consisting of R. S. Moore, S. B. Low, R. A. Klippel, Dan S. Griffith, John Klippel and W. H. Jordan, register themselves as having dined at that place Monday, July 21, 1884. The bill of fare consisted of bread, bacon and beans, with snow and ice cream for dessert. W. M. Mathes, Peter Barneburg, W. M. S. VanDyke and H. G. Mathes register as having made the ascent August 20, 1884. All express themselves as delighted with the panorama spread out before their vision from the lofty pinnacle, one of the highest peaks in the Cascade Mountains and overlooking the entire Klamath Basin as well as Rogue River Valley.--[Star.Visited Table Rock.
Ashland Tidings, July 30, 1886, page 3
Last Friday, as a means of recreation and pleasure, Misses Edith Nicholson, Prudie and Kate Angle, Pearl Webb, Floyd White and Elvin Crutchfield made up a party for an inspection of the topmost point of Roxy Ann mountain. They report having had a most delightful time, a splendid view of our now most wondrous beautiful valley; gathered pebbles from the mountaintop--and got more fatigue than they could conveniently handle every day in the week.
"A Grist of Local Haps and Mishaps," Medford Mail, May 7, 1897, page 2
Sunday H. U. Lumsden and family, C. I. Hutchison and family and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Metzger, of Logansport, Ind., had a most enjoyable automobile trip to Table Rock. They climbed the rock and enjoyed to the full the magnificent view from the summit. In telling of the trip Mr. Lumsden said to a Mail reporter: "We didn't take the machines to the top of the rock; there are some places, you know, where the means of locomotion which nature provides us with is superior to any other, the steep sides of Table Rock is one of them. When we reached the summit Hutchison and I forgot that we were supposed to be staid and steady men of family and business, and commenced rolling rocks down the cliffs whenever we had an opportunity. At length we came to the brink of a cliff over two hundred feet high. It was an ideal place to roll rocks, and we took full advantage of it. The whole party was standing on the edge, as near as they dared, in order to see where the rock struck. It landed with a crash in the midst of a clump of laurel--and then something happened that we hadn't bargained for. Out of that brush patch leaped an immense buck, with spreading, velvet-covered antlers and his smooth coat shining in the sun. Everyone held his or her breath as the deer, with graceful bounds--seemingly unfrightened--made his way around the cliff and out of sight. But you should have seen those Indiana people. The sight of that deer alone was worth all the trip to them. Then when we led them to the side of the rock facing the main valley they could not express their admiration, and no one can describe the scene. If you haven't seen Rogue River Valley from the top of Table Rock, you haven't seen it."
Medford Mail, May 18, 1906, page 1
A couple of Medford's new citizens found Sunday that the world was pretty nearly as large one way as another. They took a stroll out along the P.&E. track to the edge of the desert and then a little beyond and thought they would return home by a new route. Pretty soon they ran into a lot of sticky of about the right consistency to stick and ploughed through that for some distance, finally emerging upon a good road and shortly perceived glimpses of a town through the trees. They, much surprised, supposed the city to be Medford and thinking they had reached it much sooner than they supposed possible, but it wasn't Medford but Central Point, and they were still nearly as far away from home as when they first turned back. It was four o'clock in the afternoon before they reached home, tired, hungry and each one swearing the other was a mighty poor guide.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 21, 1908, page 5
TELLS OF GREAT CHANGES MADE PAST 34 YEARS
View from Summit of Table Rock Has Altered Greatly During Past Generation--
J. G. Martin Writes Interesting Article.
To the Editor:
As the days are getting longer and the nights shorter, it seems the time of year when the mind of poor much-abused man inclines in green fields, climbing mountains and running brooks, so I thought I would hike away and spend a strenuous day in pursuit of pleasure and sightseeing in climbing the rough and rugged sides of the north Table Rock and note the present changes going on in beautiful Rogue River Valley and recall to mind my first visit and its impressions it gave in October 1876.
Well, I left Medford, the city of progress and morality, at 6 o'clock in the evening, wrapped in stillness, and as I write, the weather man holds the key that promises a warm, clear sunshiny day, an ideal one for long-distance sightseeing.
I found the county roads leading to the north Rogue River bridge noticeably straightened now and comparatively smooth and much improved with good bridges, culverts, drainage, fingerboards giving distances, etc., for the benefit of the modern traveler, and but for the constant dodging of teams, autos, clouds of dust, jaded dogs with their tongues out and tails half mast, a countless variety, apparently my walk to the rock would have been of but little interest to your many readers, but I reached the south base at 10 p.m., a bit leg-weary but game, and continued my walk around to the north side where I spent twenty-five years of my industrious life very pleasantly stirring the fire among the industrious law-abiding citizens of that rich agricultural section of north Rogue River that lies in the shadow of this historical mountain on the north, south and west and borders on the east by the clear waters of the majestic Rogue River that is clothed with a dense forest of cottonwood trees whose beauty and attractiveness is unsurpassed. My first greeting from an old settler was by Mr. Jack Rabbit, but I did not take him for a lamb and try to corral him like Dr. Oliver said his herder did. After resting for half an hour, looking over familiar scenes in Antioch and mountain districts, I began my climb on the only trail that leads by the only waters among the towering cliffs. Firs and the dense forests of the beautiful evergreen mahogany, where the indescribable varieties of sweet-scented mountain flowers grow so profusely. I reached the barren summit at 11:30 p.m. without accident, with no stir of life to be seen. Naturally a bit of loneliness crept over me, but I soon got interested in my bottle and graham gems and a comfortable seat on the soft side of a huge boulder overlooking the valley from the south.
Here I recall my first visit from the point in '76, with dust rising from the overland stage coach, Jacksonville and central pioneer towns and a few farmhouses in the distance, hills and valleys dotted with countless horses and cattle, with no railroad nor telegraph or telephone lines. Thirty-four years of rapid, undreamed-of changes, improvements and developments, pictures to me an indescribable change as I sit looking over the beautiful fruitful valley in the distance, the curling of smoke from the furnaces of new manufacturing cities, magnificent farmhouses, orchards, shrill whistles from the various railroads, telegraph and telephone lines that circle the valley, checkered with endless fences are now to be seen, tells the whole story how a slow mossback southern Oregon then looked in 1876 and how the attractive picture looks today, May 1910.
Well, feeling pretty well rested, I left the summit at 1:30 a.m. by the south trail, reaching my home in the city of Medford at 10 a.m., tired some, bruised some, with a strange itching all over, as though I had contracted a mild attack of the seven-year itch that I recall the pioneer Missouri kids were afflicted with that came to Oregon in 1852.
J. G. MARTIN
Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1910, page 6
MEDFORD, Or., Sept. 25.--(Special.)--Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Herring, of Portland, have arrived in Medford after a 600-mile tramp along the summit of the Cascades. Mrs. Herring is the first woman ever to make this trip. Mr. Herring is District Government Engineer. In his tramp he examined all the lakes and streams as to their adaptability to power and irrigation uses.
WOMAN TRAVERSES CASCADES' CREST
Mrs. W. E. Herring, of Portland, with Husband Is First to Make Journey.
COUPLE SLEEPS IN OPEN
Government Engineer Completes Journey--
Valuable Water Power Found in Mountains May Be Harnessed.
The journey was begun in the Cascades east of Portland in the middle of July and was completed in Medford yesterday.
Mrs. Herring made this trip almost entirely on foot. She and her husband went for miles across country where no trails existed.
Candles Not Needed.The two months that Mr. and Mrs. Herring were in the mountains they never lighted a candle but went to bed with the sun. They carried no tent, but slept beneath the open sky.
The engineer and his wife traveled through two snow fields at the altitudes of 7100 and 7500, respectively. The latter snow field was near Crater Lake. At Diamond Lake they found ice on August 16.
They saw numerous deer and bear, but as Mr. Herring carried no gun he killed no game. His compass and aneroid barometer occupied his attentions. When crossing trout streams they would stop a few minutes to catch a mess.
The order of day was to break camp at sunrise and walk until evening, covering 18 to 20 miles per day. Mr. Herring made numerous side trips, aggregating 400 miles.
Forest Fires Observed.As they came south, the couple passed four forest fires. They arrived at Prospect in time to see the fire which raged across the Rogue River. This was the most destructive fire in Southern Oregon.
For two weeks Mr. and Mrs. Herring stayed in this fire district. Mr. Herring aided in the efforts of the firefighters.
Speaking of the trip, Mr. Herring stated: "We found an immense amount of horsepower stored in the rivers, but were somewhat disappointed in regard to the possibilities of the lakes as storage reservoirs. Most of the outlets are too wide to make damming practicable. The outlets, however, of several of the large lakes are narrow and will make good storage reservoirs. The storage of water is very necessary both to power and irrigation projects. If enough water can be stored to keep a plant running to full capacity during the dry season, which in this country last 100 days, a great saving can be effected.
Storage Is Necessary."The value of storing water for irrigation is apparent. The reservoir sites are so high up in the mountains that the only feasible way would be to let the stored water run down the natural channels during the dry months.
"The possibilities of power development along the Cascades have not been touched upon. There can, of course, be no development of power plants until there is a market for the power. In Southern Oregon a small portion of the power could be put to good use pumping water for irrigation. In the San Joaquin Valley 430 motors are used to pump water from the river and its branches for irrigation purposes."
Other Trip Contemplated.Next Tuesday Mr. and Mrs. Herring leave for another journey through the mountains. Herring is going to look for power sites along Sucker Creek to the Illinois River, down it to the Rogue and on to the ocean. He will also investigate the possibility of opening a safe trail to the famous Oregon Caves out from Grants Pass.
Mr. Herring desires also to find a route for a trail down the Rogue River that will connect Grants Pass with the tidelands. He couple will finish their trip by October 15, at which time they will return to Portland, where Mr. Herring will make an extensive report of this trip.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 26, 1910, page 13
A party on the summit of Mount Ashland in 1910.
HASTY DESCENT INJURIOUS
CAMPBELL BRUISED IN SLIDING DOWN ASHLAND BUTTE
Came a Trifle Too Fast and Struck Rock, Which Refused to Budge--
Escapes Serious Injury
Members of the Presbyterian Church of this city who camped on Ashland Butte the Fourth and fifth bring home a story of exciting incidents as well as reports of an excellent trip.THE TRIP TO OLD MOUNT PITT
One incident, while serious, was peculiar. Shooting down the steep slope of Ashland Butte, sitting on his overcoat in the snow, Will Campbell narrowly escaped having his brains knocked out on a rock Tuesday. Campbell had ascended the peak with a party of friends, and he attempted to take the steepest incline sitting on his coat. As he hurtled through space a rock loomed up in front of him. He turned, missing it with his head, but striking it with his elbow. When the party, which was composed of Ralph Pettinger, Mr. Bedford and Miss Alice Elder and Campbell, got to their camp, the latter was "all in." No serious results are expected, however, from the shakeup.
Campbell's unusual experience was the climax to a two days' outing of a party of Presbyterians, members of the F.I.L. society. The party consisted of those named and of Rev. and Mrs. W. F. Shields, Charles Weaver, Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Johnson, Miss Arra Harrison and Miss Katherine Lantherman, who did not make the ascent at the time the first party did. They left Medford the morning of the Fourth of July for a trip to Ashland Butte. Arriving in Ashland, they had their blankets, good things to eat and themselves hauled to Long's Lodge, six miles from the top of the mountain. Four of the more venturesome of the party decided to make the trip to the top that night. Those that remained below waited until the climbers had plenty of time to get back and then started out to search for them, calling repeatedly. Presently they straggled in, all fagged, and the injured man almost down and out. They returned to Ashland.
The remainder of the party rose at 2:45 the next morning and started their six-mile climb. When within one and one-half miles of the top they encountered snow, which was twenty feet deep. Conservative sliding was engaged in by all the party. The girls enjoyed themselves immensely on this natural toboggan, and the beautiful sunrise was almost neglected.
The trip up the mountain was full of incidents. Once the party was separated by trying to follow two trails supposed to run parallel.
The trail was excellent, and everyone reached the top. In the lower part it [was] wooded, but this thinned greatly as a higher altitude was reached, and higher no vegetation was to be seen. The height reached was 6000 feet above sea level.
At the proper time the picnickers spread their good things beneath the sighing pines and engaged in a well-earned meal. They stayed over the night of the Fourth, remaining at Long's camp. It was so warm that they needed only one blanket. This is unusual for that altitude, which generally requires several blankets.
The party returned to Medford the night of July 5, after having spent a Rooseveltian time.
Medford Sun, July 8, 1911, page 5
TENDERFEET TIRE ON MT. PITT
EASTERNERS LOSE STEAM AT BASE OF HIGH PEAK
High School Organized at Butte Falls--
Other Happenings at the New City
BUTTE FALLS, Or., Aug. 18.--William Hubenet of Joliet, Ill., and Charles Johnson of Chicago came to Butte Falls Tuesday evening with strong intentions of going to the summit of Mt. Pitt and back in one day. They arose at the early hour of 5, starting on their journey at 6, and no more was seen of them until 7 p.m. As near the top as they got was the bottom. They claim to have started out on the right trail, but got lost up in Mosquito Swamp. They cut across the woods about five miles to the military road and wandered down it, then up Blue Canyon, finally making up their minds they didn't want to go to the top of Mt. Pitt, and started home. They arrived here, footsore and weary, at 7 p.m.
Johnson took a rifle along--one of the high-power persuasion--to get a deer or two. The deer he brought back was a lizard. Said he didn't go out for nothing. They also reported killing a digger squirrel.
Medford Sun, August 19, 1911, page 4
July 27, 1913 Sunday Oregonian
LONG "HIKE" IS BEGUNMEDFORD, Or., July 26.--(Special.)--Four Medford youths departed Monday on a 300-mile hike, accompanied only by their burros packed with their camp outfit. These boys are: Robert Kinleyside, Roland Hubbard, James Vance and Earl Hubbard. The route takes them for the greater portion of the distance away from the beaten path, and only on one or two occasions will they encounter civilization.
MEDFORD YOUTHS TO MAKE 300-MILE TRIP.
With "Pack Train" of Four Burros, Quartet to Walk Over Siskiyous to Coast.
Leaving Medford, the boys went up the Applegate River a distance of about 25 miles, thence up Beaver Creek to the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains, which they will follow in a general way along the course of the Klamath River to the coast.
There is a trail along this route, which many of the old gold hunters followed in the '60s, when the overflow from the California fields found its way to Southern Oregon. Only one or two points remain on the route where any human beings will be encountered, and not until the "pack train" reaches Crescent City, a distance of about 125 miles, will the boys report.
On reaching the coast the route will be north through Crescent City to the mouth of Rogue River, up which stream they will pick out a trail that will take them in the vicinity of Grants Pass, where they will turn aside to explore the Marble Caves of Oregon. They expect to make the circuit in about five weeks, returning in time to accompany the Seventh Company of Coast Artillery, of which they are members, to Fort Stevens for the annual encampment on August 20.
The boys are all members of the junior class of the Medford High School, and each year take a long hike or outing in the mountains. Last year the same four camped for six weeks on Klamath Lake and explored the surrounding country, including a trip to the summit of Mount Pitt, which was reached only after two attempts and many difficulties.
The boys worked in the orchards after the close of school this spring, and earned sufficient money to buy their burros and camp outfit. They expect to bring back many tales of adventure and stories of the big fish and game bagged on the trip.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, July 27, 1913, page 10
Interesting Story of the Climb to Southern Oregon's Highest Peak
Leaving Central Point upon the afternoon of the second, we drove to Brownsboro that night. The next day saw us climbing the grades upward to the mountain. Passing the McAllister's Springs at noon, we traveled over a wagon trail from there on to the head of Fish Lake. The road has been but partly cleared since the snows of winter brought the trees and snags across it, and in many places [it] is still difficult for a team. Fish Lake proved an ideal camping ground in many ways; plenty of grass for the horses and clear cold water with a camp in the heavy timber go far to make it ideal. The one great drawback is the flies and mosquitoes which abound at this time of the year. Camping there on the night of the third, we prepared for an early start up the mountain.
Saturday dawned foggy, with the mountain hid in a veil of cloud. Leaving camp, we traveled the trail toward Fourmile Lake for perhaps two miles, when we found a ridge which looked promising and we left the trail and began the climb. Before we had proceeded a great way we entered the brush. It was the writer's first experience with "buck brush," and he now has a better conception of the hardships of travel in the brush than he ever had before. After passing the brush the timber was open with an easy ascent, making fine going. In fact, with the exception of the brush, the travel was good all the way to the timber line. After several miles of comparatively easy climbing we began to find more rock. Ledges and outcroppings on either side illustrated what lay before us. The grade increased so that it became necessary to zigzag along the face of the bluff. The first snow now appeared in the hollows, at first but a trace, but soon apparently in substantial drifts. As we approached the timber line, the mountain became more rough in appearance and the going increased in difficulty. One feature of mountain climbing is that as you become more tired the way grows more difficult as though the monarch of the hills resented your presence upon his summit. We were now upon the east side of the mountain, having gone around from the south end of it in our climbing. Looking to the south the mighty Shasta lifted its head in splendor, the only peak in sight which was above us. To the east the lakes of Klamath County began to appear. As we ascended, at every rest we could see more of these lakes until the whole country appeared to be dotted with the blue of distant water. Facing the hardest part of our climb, we gave all of our attention to the mountain. Working still more to the east we came out upon the main ridge leading up to the rim which is the summit of the mountain. To the north of us lay the snow fields glistening in the light air. Looking across we could see the crags which mark the north side of the mountain. As we ascended, at one point, marking the eastern limit of the rim there burst upon us a view that is unequaled anywhere else upon the mountain. At our feet the rock falls away in a precipice to the snow field. Across the snow rose the crags, great upstanding pinnacles of rock. High up to the left or west is the peak which marks the summit proper, its outlines indistinct in the cloud.
Take a picture of the Matterhorn in the European Alps and you can form some idea of the beauty and grandeur of the view across the snow. Far below us the snow field fanned out and ended upon the rocks; far above us the summit showed indistinct in the clouds which the wind was whipping across the mountain; in front of us were crags and pinnacles of rock, their dark surface in brilliant contrast to the white snow. This one view well repays anyone for the entire climb of the mountain, and it can be secured in no other way.
From this point the final climb is one which taxes the breath and measures the strength of a man. Up at an angle of 45 degrees and more, over volcanic rock, working around sharp points, ever climbing on a narrow ridge, not much time is taken in viewing the scenery; the one thought is to complete the climb. You think the summit is just ahead and behold it is still beyond you. You think that the next point is the summit surely, but it is not so. But at last the final spurt is made, the final ascent is ended, and the summit is reached.
In one particular the mountain fulfills the promise made from here; the summit is a point. Not more than 15 feet in diameter at the top, it is composed of a pile of lava rock, thrown together by some great convulsion of nature. Hidden away in the rocks there is a metal box in which souvenirs of various kinds have been left, and wherein there is the book where you register, giving your name and the date of your ascent. In a metal tube two fine maps of the surrounding country are to be found. The register is full of names, and curious indeed are the mementos left in the box. Hairpins give evidence of the fair sex, pipes and tobacco of the sterner one, empty and loaded cartridge shells, anything and everything is to be found in this box.
As to the view from the summit, to the south and east and partly to the north we were able to see, but the west was shrouded in fog, greatly to our disappointment. The Klamath lakes and valley, Mount Shasta and surrounding hills, and once, as the clouds lifted, Mt. Scott and the rim of Crater Lake was to be seen. The wind was blowing very strongly and it was as cold as January so we did not linger long, but descended a short distance and found a shelter from the wind in the rocks where we ate our dinner and washed it down with snow water.
The descent was uneventful. We came down the south side of the mountain, sliding through the shale and coasting where there was snow, making as nearly a straight line to camp as the country would allow. We reached it at five p.m., having been absent eleven hours and a half. Breaking camp, we made a start on our homeward journey, arriving Central Point Sunday evening at ten o'clock, tired 'tis true, but well satisfied with our trip.
Central Point Herald, July 16, 1914, page 1
BOYS MAKE TRIP TO ROXY ANNSaturday, July 25th, the boys' class of the Methodist Sunday school known as the Knights of Methodist started from the church at nine o'clock to take a "hike" to the hills. In the party were eight of the boys of the class, each one carrying his lunch. Starting toward the creek, they hiked across the fields in the direction of Roxy Ann. The hill seemed to be farther away as they continued toward it, but undaunted they went on. The sun was hot, the way dusty and often they stopped at farmhouses for a drink. Before many miles were covered some of the number began to drag, but the will was there and they would not give in. After three hours of hot, dusty travel the party stopped for lunch at a dry camp on the slope of the hill. Here two of the boys, Rhuland Anderson and Albert Hicken, elected to remain while the rest, after but a short stop, began the ascent to the summit. For some distance a trail was followed, and then we left the trail to follow the pipeline which we discovered in the hope of finding some water, for all were feeling the need of a drink. Disappointment was in store, however, for the spring at the head of the pipeline was dry. Starting from there on as direct a line as permitted, the boys scrambled over rocks and through brush to the melodious cry of one of their number, "I want water." All the boys seemed to be in the I.W.W. class as far as that went. Suddenly the leader gave a shout; a trickle of water was discovered in a little draw. It was only a little and was dirty, so that under ordinary circumstances it would not have been drinkable, but the boys could hardly be gotten away from it so thirsty had they become.
Rev. Creesy and Eight Boys of the Methodist Sunday School Make Long Hike to the Hills
With new life and courage the climb was continued, and a little after three the summit was reached. From the top of Roxy Ann a fine view of the valley is to be obtained. All the towns from Talent to Gold Ray are in plain sight. The two table rocks are spread out below you. Sams Valley and the country east of Upper Table Rock are also visible. Behind the mountain the hills stretch away to the Cascades. Mount McLoughlin shows very plainly in the east, and the boys were all asking if they could not climb that sometime. After spending some time upon the summit, scratching their names upon the rocks and resting for the return, the boys started back to join those left at the foot of the hill. The boys who made the ascent were Verl Walker who wanted water, Lawrence Altimus, Lawrence Cochran, Donald and Truman Brenner and Floyd Abbott. The trip home was uneventful but tiresome. The boys' footsteps dragged and they were unusually quiet. Upon arriving in town they were all taken to the Y.M.C.A. building and dumped into the pool for five minutes to wash off the dust and refresh their feverish bodies, after which they went to their respective homes, tired but happy. For a few days their muscles ached and their feet were sore, but now, looking back upon it, they all vote that they had a good time and enjoyed the trip. However, some of them have been heard to say that the next time they go out that way they are going to know how far it is before they start.
Central Point Herald, August 6, 1914, page 1
PLEASURE TRIP TO TABLE ROCKOn March 27th, the eight grade class of the Central Point Public School went on a picnic trip to Table Rock. Each member of the class wrote a story describing the trip. Prizes were given by the teacher for the first three best stories. Beulah Wright won the first, John Dunlap second, and William Lyons third prize.
Eighth Grade Take a Trip to Table Rock and Write a Story of the Trip.
Beulah Wright Won First Prize.
The following is Beulah's story:
Central Point, Oregon.Central Point Herald, May 20, 1915, page 1
March 29, 1915
I wish you were here now, for it is lovely. It is picnicking time here now, and that is the time I like best. The wheat is just peeping above the ground, the orchards are blooming, and a lovely view of the valley with all its splendor can be obtained from the surrounding mountains.
One mountain of particular interest is Table Rock, because it takes a place in the history of Rogue River Valley. It is said that in the pioneer days, a band of settlers fought a battle with some Indians on top of the rock and the red men were driven over the edge. I always shudder when that story is related; just think of being hurled one thousand feet through space and then probably find yourself (if you are not dead) in a bed of thorns! [There is not a particle of truth in this familiar and intractable story. Veterans of the Rogue Valley Indian wars are recorded attempting to debunk the tale at least as far back as the 1880s.] This picturesque rock is one mile square and, as I have already told you, one thousand feet high.
It was on this rock that my class decided to go for a picnic last Saturday, but when the day came the sun had hidden its face from view, and it looked as if we were not going to have a picnic, but by nine o'clock we decided to run the risk of getting wet, and our merry party climbed into the wagon and away we went!
Our route lay beside blossoming orchards and green fields, which made the ride very pleasant. I agree with Stevenson in saying, "The world is so full of a number of things, I am sure we should all be as happy as kings."
It is about nine miles to the rock, and traveling through the country I have described made the ride very interesting.
On the west side of the rock runs Rogue River, and at the place where we crossed, we could see Ray Dam, which is a little above the bridge. I like to watch the water rushing over the dam, but water is always interesting, isn't it?
After crossing the bridge, the road was steep as we were nearing the rock, and we soon had to get out and walk, leaving the horses at a nearby farmhouse. We had to carry the lunch after that, but not very far, for we soon found a nice shady nook, by the river, where we ate our lunch. It was a nice cozy spot, with plenty of trees and grass, where the river made a little bay. After exploring our picnic grounds we started to get the lunch ready. A fire was built, and two sticks were stuck in the ground on each side of the fire with another one across those sticks upon which we placed the chocolate to boil. Meanwhile we girls spread the cloth and unpacked the lunch. We ate and ate and ate, but finally we finished and started on our way to the rock, carrying oranges with us to eat when we reached the summit. Before we started on our upward climb we gathered up what remained of our lunch and put it in a safe place to eat when we returned. Jeanette, Marie and I took off our skirts and climbed the mountain with our bloomers and middies on, which was very much easier and a great deal more fun.
Up and up we climbed, but still we did not reach the summit. We traveled over grass, sand and through brush, but the most interesting of all were the large beds of rock. It's fun to walk over them, and they are laid so closely, loosely together that if you are not careful you might loosen a great many of them and they would all come tumbling down at once. When we were almost at the top we stopped to rest at a place where two large rocks stood up side by side with only a narrow pass between. As the rocks were moss-covered we climbed upon them and they made a very comfortable seat. We rested a few minutes and then started upon our climb again. After going a little ways we came to a small ravine, went up here and then, behold! We were on Table Rock.
I was surprised to find that it didn't look as I expected it would, with a flat surface of solid rock, and hardly any trees, but instead the ground was quite rough in some places; where there were no rocks the ground was quite soft, and when it rains you mire about six inches; there is also some shrubs and several trees on the rock, though they cannot be seen from the valley. As soon as we reached the rock we crossed over to the south side to get a better view of the valley, and as our teacher, Mr. Atwood, had his field glasses with him, we could see the surrounding towns of Medford, Ashland and Jacksonville. We viewed the country, ate oranges, threw rocks over the edge of the mountain (one of the girls threw one over that reached the base in four seconds), and altogether spent a very pleasant hour on Table Rock. After awhile Mr. Atwood suggested going down the rock, but although we followed reluctantly, we were soon glad we came, for it began to rain just as we reached the base of the rock.
We came down on the south side of the rock where we found a narrow (almost perpendicular) pass. It was really funny to see us coming down that narrow pass, the wind blowing the dust into our faces, each one trying to get down as fast as possible, and thus knocking rocks on the one in front of him. I was hit with two or three of them and know how it feels. Finally we reached the bottom, but not, however, without an accident. Jeanette was standing at the base of the rock watching some of the others descend; she luckily saw the rock coming and leaned her head against the rock, but she did not escape it altogether, for it grazed the top of her head. Although the wound was not serious it bled a great deal, and they thought she was going to faint when it first hit her. We were now at the bottom of Table Rock but not nearly to our camping place, and as it was raining we wanted to get there as quickly as possible. We started hurriedly forth and kept together better than we did when coming up the mountain. When we entered the brush we lost sight of the others, and though we spent some time trying to find them, we could not, so we started out to find the way ourselves. After fruitlessly searching for the path, we decided to take the way leading to the river and then follow the river path to our camp. This we did, picking all the flowers along the way, and as it had now stopped raining and the sun was shining brightly, this was a pleasant occupation. When we made our belated appearance they were ready to eat.
After we had finished eating, we put out our fire and, carrying our flowers, walked slowly over the hills to where the horses were waiting for us.
We climbed into the wagon and started for home. The horses, however, were not as tired as we were and they sped merrily onward. We reached home at 6 o'clock, just as the sun was setting over the western hills. We were tired but happy, and some of us are still suffering from poison oak, but the fun we had made up for it, don't you think so?
Your loving friend,
GRIZZLIES TO VISIT TABLE ROCK SUNDAY
The first all-day outing of the Grizzlies for this season is planned for next Sunday, leaving the Washington School on West Main and Oakdale at 8 a.m. by autobus, out over the desert, crossing the Rogue River at Bybee Bridge to Col. Washburn's ranch at the base of the peak, and from this point will start the hike, following Grizzly Canyon, which leads to the top. This canyon has many points of interest to offer in way of caves and crevices and freak rock formations, a most interesting place but seldom visited and should be better known by people of the community.
This is your opportunity to visit this great point of interest and enjoy a good day's outing. You'll live longer, feel and look better and take more real interest in life by joining this excursion.
Take plenty of good eatables with you--you may get hungry before the day is over.
As usual, the committee will furnish plenty of good hot coffee.
Those going will please notify the committee. Howard Hill or John Goodrich, that they may arrange for the necessary conveyance.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 29, 1916, page 2
GRIZZLIES' HIKE TO BALDY'S SUMMIT MOST ENJOYABLE
Undaunted by threatening weather conditions, a good-sized group of Medford Grizzlies yesterday made the ascent of Baldy, the foothill to the east of Phoenix. The trip was made on foot from Main and Central streets to the summit, and then down the opposite slope to Phoenix, a total distance of about fourteen miles. At Phoenix a bus awaited the travelers for the home stretch. The first lap ended in a natural park 400 feet from Baldy's summit, which has been dubbed by the Grizzlies Camp Hi Jinks. There luncheon was spread and huge pots of the far-famed Grizzly coffee was brewed over the campfire. Appetites sharpened by the tang of the morning air and by the stimulating exercise were finally appeased, and after an hour of relaxation the final ascent of the summit was made. From this lofty height the hikers were rewarded with such a magnificent panorama of the valley as is rarely surpassed.
The descent led through a region of intense geological interest, the marvelous caves and natural stone castles of Quigley Rocks being explored and examined.
Credit for the success of the day's outing is largely due to the efforts of the committee, Mr. and Mrs. McKee and Mr. and Mrs. Bunce.
Yesterday's trip was in a measure a warming up for the conquest of Grizzly Peak, to be made next Sunday. All members are required to attain this height to qualify for full membership in the Grizzly Society. All are urgently invited to swell the crowd on this occasion, and those interested may communicate with the chairman of the committee for that trip, Cole Holmes.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 22, 1916
30 HIKERS COMPLETED HARD CLIMBThirty of the 45 hikers who started on the moonlight climb to the summit of Mt. Wagner Saturday night reached the peak of the mountain at 9 o'clock the following morning--the last two and a half miles of the hike made in a snowstorm, and over a snow-covered, perilous mountain.
One Slight Accident Mars Trip Made by 45 Saturday Night
The hikers left the Plaza at 7:15 Saturday evening and reached the Skyline Mine in three and a half hours. Here they enjoyed a midnight supper and rested until 4 o'clock in the morning, when 34 started on the remaining climb, reaching the summit at 9 o'clock. One of the hikers, meeting with a slight accident just after leaving Skyline Mine, together with three friends returned and waited there for the return of those completing the hike. They returned to Ashland about 3:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon, tired and worn, but unanimous in declaring the hike a real success.
Those making the hike were: Irene Clark, Ethel McCormack, Helen Vawter, Virginia Hooper, Lorraine Sparr, Emily Taylor, Lillian VanNatta, Esther Gardinier, Frances Hardy, Iris Hubbard, Muriel McCutcheon, Sylvia Greenleaf, Clara Atterbury, Etta Mathers, Bonnie Pollard, Bernice Bergoyne, Laura Woolfolk, N. W. Wells, Harold Allison, Culver Anderson, Emerson Pratt, Roland Jones, Milton Franklin, Lester Gardnier, Lauretta Davis, Tom Beswick, Wilson Torrence, Paul Atkin, Delmar Hubbard, Homer Osborne and Orie Moore.
Ashland Daily Tidings, undated clipping circa 1928. In the margin of the clipping is written: "Skyline 4:15 - Summit 9:15 - Skyline 12:00 - Home 1:30."
Last revised February 27, 2013