A Day in the Life of Ruth

Overlooking Medford from Lower Table Rock.
Overlooking Medford from Lower Table Rock.

Who else but my daughter would start her day by getting up at 4:30am to pack her husband’s lunch and then get herself dressed in her biking gear in time to head out on her bicycle to meet a group of friends at 5:15am for a 20-mile sunrise ride? Not only can she motivate herself, but when she decided the night before to do the sunrise ride, all she had to do was post the plan on FB and she has enough dedicated followers that half a dozen other people actually showed up to do the ride, too (her mother wasn’t one of them)!

Returning from the sunrise ride, she made sure her daughters got off to school and that her guests (me and Lee) had our breakfast. Then she filled the house with the yummy smell of dinner preparations as she assembled a delicious meal to simmer in the crockpot. She already had the day’s outings planned and wanted to make sure dinner would be ready for everyone at the end of the day.

We packed our lunches and drove north of town to do the 5-mile hike at Lower Table Rock. We had done the Upper Table Rock hike several times before on previous visits, but hadn’t yet been on the lower one. The lower trail is quite different, but after reaching the top, it provides the same beautiful views of Medford from a slightly different angle. We usually aren’t here at this time of year and were excited to see a lot of gorgeous wildflowers along the trail and bright green fields and hills in the distance.

Approach to Lower Table Rock.
Approach to Lower Table Rock.

An unusual photo.  I didn't think I ever managed to be in front of Ruth on a hike or bike ride.
An unusual photo. I didn’t think I ever managed to be in front of Ruth on a hike or bike ride.

One sample of wildflowers.  We learned that the common name is "farewell-to-spring."
One sample of wildflowers. We learned that the common name is “farewell-to-spring.”

Made it to the top of Lower Table Rock.
Made it to the top of Lower Table Rock.

After hiking and biking you’d think it might be time to go home for a nap. But, no, the next thing on the agenda was to go to a friend’s house who had offered us a “pick your own” visit to her garden. She had a large strawberry patch with the berries just beginning to ripen. It was hard to get those berries into the bucket instead of into my mouth. My mother raised strawberries and I got spoiled growing up always eating strawberries fresh from the garden. All the years since, being forced to buy them from the supermarket, I couldn’t believe how great it was to eat the strawberries right out of the garden, fresh and vine-ripened like God created them to be.

Freshly picked strawberries, rhubarb and turnips.  Yum!!
Freshly picked strawberries, rhubarb and turnips. Yum!!

This busy day happened to be Tuesday, and, of course, my active daughter, even with guests for the week, could not postpone the Tuesday Night Ladies Ride that she faithfully organizes every week for women in the area. When she had posted the planned ride she noted that her mother would be joining. I felt like I couldn’t bail out of this ride. Not to mention that she also spent extra time putting different pedals on her road bike so that I could borrow it. And sacrificing her road bike meant she would be doing the ride with her mountain bike. But don’t think the extra effort required to pedal a mountain bike while the rest of us were on road bikes slowed her down any. The only reason you might have seen her anywhere except in the lead would be because she was being considerate and hanging back to keep her lagging mother from feeling left behind.

I had been afraid to ask how long this evening bike ride would be. I’m familiar enough with Medford that I figured I could turn around and find my own way home if it looked like I wouldn’t be able to pedal as far or as fast as this enthusiastic group. Rain clouds had been threatening us the whole way. When it started to rain in earnest, the group decided to shorten the ride. I breathed a sigh of relief because just before that we had discussed the next turn and how much further it was going to be and I thought there was no way I wanted to go that much further before turning around. As it was, by the time we got back we had done a 20-mile ride. A second 20-mile ride for my super athlete daughter on top of a hike and a busy day as hostess and homemaker extraordinaire.

I’ve described just one day in our weeklong visit to Oregon. I didn’t get around to sharing the wonderful hike that Ruth led us on Monday. Today Ruth and Lee are getting ready for a bike ride to Ashland, where we are meeting others for lunch. And this evening is the big graduation event for our eldest granddaughter. I can’t keep straight all the other things Ruth has planned for us this week, but you can be sure we won’t be sitting around!

The Tuesday Night Ladies Ride group.
The Tuesday Night Ladies Ride group.

Ruth is famous for this pose.  This one was yesterday's hike up Grizzly Peak.
Ruth is famous for this pose. This one was Monday’s hike up Grizzly Peak.

Author: bjregan

Enjoying retirement activities. Main goals for retirement are to stay spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.

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