Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Dateline: Eugene, OR 3/25/08

After leaving Yreka this morning, I passed a sign marking the highest elevation of I-5, 4310 feet at the Siskiyou summit. I noted an outside temperature of 37 degrees. After that it was a long, steep, foggy downhill drive into Ashland, the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a popular retirement community. Ashland is a small town full of stores, restaurants, and galleries. It was nice to do some walking as I checked out bead and clothing stores, and Websters yarn store.

Even I get tired of shopping once in a while. That's how I was feeling when I took off for Medford, about 20 miles from Ashland. I was planning to skip Middleford Yarn and Stitchery, which was on the list I made from the web, but I happened to pass it by accident and decided I was fated to stop in after all. It's a pretty big store with lots of needlepoint and knitting yarn.

Dancing Beads, in downtown Medford, was permanently closed. It looked like the closing was recent, since there were still boxes of merchandise in various stages of being packed up. Last time I was in Medford, several years ago, it looked to me like the downtown was in decline, and today's glimpse confirmed that idea.

At that point it was after 2, and I was dismayed to find out that I still had a 150-mile drive to Eugene, where I had already made a reservation at a Best Western. Unlike yesterday, when I drove 250 miles almost without thinking about it (and then another 100 later in the day), today the 150 miles seemed endless and I found myself getting dangerously tired. I finally made it to Eugene with no mishaps. Instead of giving in to tiredness, I went to dinner at Cafe Yumm, which serves bowls of rice, vegies, avocado and other good stuff, and lived up to its name.

Eugene seems full of yarn and bead stores, which I'll explore tomorrow (assuming I get my shopping energy back). Then comes the shortest drive so far, 100 miles to Portland, where my first Bead Expo class starts on Thursday morning.


alce said...

It sounds like a great trip, but drive safely! We want you home in one piece.

Vivian said...

I hope you have a chance to relax a little today with the shorter drive, and get ready for the real fun part of the trip. Good to know the situation in Medford -- we were thinking about staying there in the summer.

Melanie said...

Yes, Dancing Beads in Medford has closed unfortunately, I loved that store. The rest of downtown Medford however, is booming! We may not be as large a metropolis you see in CA, but Medford is one of the top two fastest growing cities in Oregon. Come back and give us a chance!