When Ann Parker, author of the Silver Rush mystery series, invited me to drive up to Ashland, Oregon, with her, I jumped at the chance to see plays and do a little research for my next book. I intended to sit right down and write about our trip, home of the great Oregon Shakespeare Festival, when we returned, but life has a way of interfering. My daughter, Carla, lived in Ashland for eight years, but I hadn’t been back after she moved away. Ashland and Shakespeare inspired me to write Twisted Vines, the first in my Shakespeare in the Vineyard mystery series. Here’s the Angus Bowmer Theater:
Ashland is located in the south end of Rogue Valley and is the home of Southern Oregon University (where daughter Carla graduated from and where Ann’s daughter Devon currently attends). Some people need their coffee fix; I need my Lithia Park fix. It’s a beautiful and diverse park right in the middle of Ashland. Almost one hundred acres of forested canyon-land around Ashland Creek stretch from the downtown plaza toward its headwaters near Mount Ashland. It’s a great place to spend time between plays.
There are many fine places to stay in Ashland, but we chose Anne Hathaway’s B&B because it’s in walking distance of downtown and the theaters. A little on the pricey side, but well worth it. Included in our package were tickets, at seventy percent off, to My Fair Lady and the best seats in the house. We also saw King Lear, a contemporary approach to capture what it means to be an aging parent.
I’ve always said you can find the most unexpected pleasures off the beaten path. Explore Ashland beyond Main Street and experience art amid the history of the Railroad District. Discover unique galleries and artist studios, inns, cafes, music, a railroad museum, and even a metaphysical center near where a grand station once received passengers from distant cities.
After one trip to Ashland, you’ll want to return again and again. Take a look. It’s a very special place: www.ashlandchamber.com