I had a dream in my twenties that I’ll never forget. Two hungry cats were mewling and pacing outside the door. Their cries were pitiful and anguished. I did not know what they needed. Were they hungry? Were they hurt? I felt desperate and worried: I had nothing that could comfort them. But right before I woke up something in the dream shifted. I suddenly realized that what they needed was right in front of me. All I had to do was open the door.
That dream feels symbolic to me about the way we think we don’t have what we need and how we search outside ourselves to find something that has actually been with us all along.
I’ve traveled all over the United States and as far away as Niger, West Africa to write about everything from eco-friendly hotels for the New York Times to the last herd of wild giraffes for Smithsonian magazine.
But what about Ashland, the small city in southern Oregon where we live?
I realized driving into town recently that there are many places in Ashland that we have not visited, and so much about our own city that I don’t know.
I’ve written about wines from Walla Walla, Washington and interviewed wine makers from all over southern Oregon but I’ve never visited Weisinger Family Winery, which is said to have a tasting room with gorgeous views.
We’ve also never gone to the Dagoba Chocolate Factory, which is also right here in town. Sadly, the company was bought by Hershey and is lobbying in favor of GMOs. I’ve heard there isn’t much of a tour to speak of. But still, Dagoba is in town and we’ve never even biked by it.
Which brings me to Project Discover Ashland Oregon.
Project Discover Ashland, say what?
I want to make an effort to spend more time in Ashland (that sounds weird, doesn’t it? Since we live here…), see our town with fresh eyes, and discover more about where we live.
For this series, I plan to spend time with my family adventuring to places in Ashland, Oregon and around Southern Oregon that we’ve never been to or hadn’t thoroughly explored, and then post about our experiences and impressions on this website.
What do you think? Do you take advantage of everything the place you live has to offer? Want to join me with a “Project Discover Ashland” in your own town?
Published: September 7, 2012
Updated: January 19, 2020