Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rain: Jackson WellSprings in Southern Oregon, Ashland and Portland

Jackson WellSprings in Southern Oregon (Ashland) is basically midway between the S.F. Bay Area and Portland, Oregon. It's a good stopping place between the two when driving.

Remarkably like Harbin Hot Springs, as an idea, Jackson Springs seems a little more fragmented, and is neither as pristine nor as beautiful.

So, alternative, hippie communities emerge around hot springs ... At Jackson you see tee pees (which people are living in), tents, a geodesic dome, and painted school buses in the back parts. People dress is colorful and relaxed clothing. There's a very nice 3-foot tall, bronze statue of Ganesh at the far end of the swimming pool. And there are other human size stone statuary around the grounds. Interesting other objects from the east are also around. And people appear a little rougher, perhaps because this is a rural area ...

It costs $15.15 to camp overnight, including access to the pools. (For comparison, Harbin Hot Springs cost $25 mid-week for a 24 hour period to camp and one person in your party must be a member of Heart Consciousness Church $10/month, and a youth hostel in the SF Bay Area costs about $22 per night for a bed). After dark the pools are clothing optional. They have internet access here for free, too. In the day, school kids were in the swimming pool.

This hot springs is very close to Interstate 5 ...

So this place is pretty countercultural {in Roma - Gypsy, Native American senses}, and a little raggedy ... And Hippie lifestyles are still loosely part of the fabric of southern Oregon and the west coast of the U.S.

There's a great food coop in Ashland (established in 1972). And spring water in the beautiful downtown park has lithium in it - Lithia Park, it's called. Lithium may make people happy I've heard.

And the Shakespeare festival takes place in Ashland ... setting a tone and drawing people, and thespians.

And Umpqua Hot Springs (Toketee springs) is nearby (about an hour away) and is also supposed to be great ...


Portland, Oregon, is wet. It rains a lot here, but experiencing this is different from knowing it. I lived here from 1979-1987.

First impressions: Teenage young men have longish, loose hair, but not too long. Many women are quite overweight. People are friendly, and there's a widespread quality of mildness culturally, relative to California.

And the well-known, and long-lasting, Powells' Book Store has expanded. ("Powells loves Reedies" - still:).

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