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The Commute to Medford
From my RV Campground

  The commute from my recreational vehicle at Howard Prairie to my job in Medford on a good day is 47.5 minutes from door to door. Occasionally the commute is longer due to weather conditions. What you see in these first five photos is a commute I've done a couple of time already. It begins with a clean but snowy road. Snowy road near the lake
Less snow toward the summit As I drive down the mountain the road gradually gets better but still icy.
  I leave my fifth-wheel in a front wheel drive car which is nearly as good as a four-wheel drive. Road is getting better as I travel down the mountain
  Ashland, Oregon in the distance In the distance under the clouds you can begin to see Ashland, Oregon as I travel down the mountain.
Click to see What's New at RVeCafe On this day, when returning back to the fifth-wheel, I'm looking toward my mountain destination from Ashland, Oregon. The mountain is inside this very dark and wet cloud. The view of the mountain from Ashland. The mountain is buried under a very dark storm cloud.

  The commute up/down the mountain is only 22 miles long but begins in Ashland at 1,870 feet then ends at Howard Prairie at 4,600 feet. The Buck Prairie Snow Park is the highest point at 5,200 feet so I actually gain/lose 3,300 feet in about 18 miles, some pretty steep driving with several "hair-pin" curves. Still, the driving is more fun than the Interstate 5 freeway driving but is designed more for my son's Nissan 350Z than for my Toyota Camry.
  While traveling down the mountain toward Ashland and Interstate 5, most days I get to see Mt. Ashland Ski Area. This is a fine mountain to ski, rarely crowded with mostly intermediate runs. They have one small area for beginners and another small area for advanced. Mt. Ashland Ski Area
  The drive on Dead Indian Creek Road Compare the trip up and down the mountain at the left with the 12 miles between Medford and Ashland below. I am often presented with visual "treats" during my commute. This is not usually something you would see on a highway such as the one pictured below.
This is a portion of the famous Interstate 5. I-5 starts at the Mexican border in California and ends at the canadian border in Washington. Yes, this is the "Route 66" exit at Ashland, not the same Route 66 as in the song and TV show although this Rt 66 is also only a two lane, winding road heading east to Klamath Falls. Once you take this exit, you see the view below. My resort is about 5 miles over the crest of the mountains in the distance. Interstate 5 nearing Rt. 66 Exit
The view toward Howard Prairie Resort, just over the last mountain.

Finally, I'm nearly to the resort. About 3 miles over the crest of the mountains above you get this close-up view of Mt. McLoughlin. So this is not a dull commute. It's not like being half conscious on the Interstate. The most dangerous part is not the road or the other drivers but the wildlife. Deer are everywhere and I've had to hit the brakes hard several times to avoid a collision.

I have a regular job at the resort in addition to my "day-job". The address for the resort is 3249 Hyatt Prairie Rd., Ashland, Oregon. The mail is delivered to the big black mailbox you see below but is located 12 miles from the resort (that's rural delivery). I pass by the mailbox twice each day so my job is to pick-up and deliver the mail.

3249 Hyatt Prairie Rd. is the mailing address of the resort.
Nearly halfway June 12, 2007: Each day I must commute the mountain run. Starting at Howard Prairie Lake, I climb 500 feet to the summit of the ridge then drop into the valley, 3000 feet below. In the evening, I do the reverse route, climbing 3000 ft to the summit. It is 17 miles of climbing. The photo to the left shows the view looking up the hill at 5 miles from the valley. I consider the high voltage line to be the halfway mark. If you pass your cursor through the photo, you will see the view looking down the mountain. Click on the photo to enlarge the uphill view. Enlarged, you can better see the high voltage line, the half way point. Howard Prairie Lake is 6 miles to the other side of the ridge. You can also view the map of the route above.
Click here to jump to the 2006 Commute photos.
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