Category: On travel

A view from the top of Soda Mountain

By John Yunker,

From Soda Mt. to Mt. Shasta

Living in Ashland, Oregon, we’re spoiled with nature.

We have deer and foxes and the occasional bear all within city limits. And you can escape people in about twenty minutes by simply lacing up a pair of sneakers and walking up into the hills.

But occasionally it’s nice to get in a car and really get out of town. Which we did last weekend. We hiked via the Pacific Crest Trail to the top of Soda Mountain (about 6,000 feet) and were gifted with this view south into California and Mt. Shasta.

The Soda Mountain Wilderness Area is one of the newest protected areas in these parts. And we plan to return.

Celebrate Earth Day & win free books!

By Midge Raymond,

For Earth Day, Ashland Creek Press is offering an eco-fiction sampler and book giveaway.


Simply email Ashland Creek Press at editors [at] ashlandcreekpress [dot] com, on or before April 22, using the subject line EARTH DAY, and you’ll receive a copy of our Eco-Fiction Sampler, which features excerpts of six works of environmental fiction.

You’ll also be entered to win a copy of one of the six eco-fiction titles from the sampler — we’re giving away one environmentally friendly e-book and one paperback (printed on paper from Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified sourcing), so please mention your preference in your email.

When you enter the giveaway, you’ll be added to our mailing list, from which you can unsubscribe at any time (and your info will never be shared).

For more about Ashland Creek Press, click here. For more about our environmental literature, click here.

Happy Earth Day!

Dining well in Boston

By Midge Raymond,

When I was in Boston last week for AWP, I ventured from downtown Boston over to Somerville to try the vegan restaurant True Bistro, which was well worth the rush-hour T ride and the windy, sleety 10-minute walk.

Boston is one of my favorite cities ever (I lived there for 10 years and still miss it), but if you’re downtown, you’ll find lots of meat on restaurant menus (not just the usual but boar, rabbit, duck, and other animals I don’t like to ponder being on my plate), and often vegans have to make a few off-menu adjustments. So I was thrilled, of course, to find a place where I could order anything off the menu without asking a lot of questions about it.

True Bistro is a lovely, peaceful little place; it was quiet when my friend and I arrived, and had filled up with a pleasant hum by the time we left.


They have a nice wine list and make a kick-ass martini — and this, naturally, is where we began. Next: my friend had the house-made ravioli (with sweet potato and galangal filling and lemongrass coconut cream) to start, and I had the soup du jour, which was a creamy mushroom bisque with cashew cream drizzled on top. I’d post photos, but alas, we both polished our appetizers off too quickly…they were absolutely delicious.

Dinner was even more delicious, which we didn’t think was possible. My friend had the phyllo triangles with caramelized onions, swiss chard, seasoned tofu, and sorrel cream.


And I had the red curry with tofu, baby bok choy, winter squash, king oyster mushrooms, and grilled rice cake (it was between that and the Vietnamese crepe, and our server recommended the curry). I was not disappointed…it tasted as beautiful as it looks.


Every bite was amazing, and I can’t recommend True Bistro highly enough. My friend, a non-vegan, was as impressed as I was — it’s the perfect restaurant for anyone who appreciates the importance of taking care of one’s health, the world’s animals, and the planet (as the restaurant’s mission states: “Of particular concern to many vegans are the inhumane practices inherent in factory farming and the intensive use of land and other resources for animal farming that creates widespread air and water pollution.”).

My only regret is that we didn’t have room for the desserts…I really wanted to try (among others) the death-by-chocolate cake, featuring whipped coconut cream and crunchy shattered caramel. Next time, I’ll start with that.

Ashland is for wine lovers

By John Yunker,

Ashland is known for theater, for nature, for hippies.

And wine?

But this is changing. Ashland is home to one winery but is a great jumping off point for a day trip to more than a dozen wineries.

Places like Cowhorn, Troon, Quady North, and one of our new favorites, Red Lilly.

The Red Lilly tasting area alone, shown below, is worth a visit.

The winery sits on the banks of the Applegate River. This river makes its way north to the Rogue River and then onto the ocean.

And if you want a great way to not only visit these wineries but also get an inside look at how the wine is made, check out Southern Oregon Winery Tours.

We met the owner recently and he’s now got us interested in booking a custom tour.

So when you visit Ashland make sure you block out some time for a tour of the Applegate…

Congratulations to John Colman Wood

By Midge Raymond,

Congratulations to ACP author John Colman Wood, whose novel The Names of Things has made Nina Sankovitch’s Thanksgiving list for 2012 on Huffington Post Books.

Nina writes, “I use my list to acknowledge at least a few of the great books that come out every year — some of which garner much less than the attention than they deserve and some of which are rightfully lauded by us reading hordes but deserve re-mention nonetheless.”

Given the number of books Nina reads every year, we are thrilled that The Names of Things is among her favorites. Here’s what she writes:

The Names of Things by John Colman Wood: This book tells the story of a man who journeys to Africa to find again the groups of nomads with whom he traveled years ago. As an anthropologist, he was always looking for the names of things as a way to define their meaning in the culture he studied and how such meaning connected to his own way of life. As a man now trying to deal with overwhelming sorrow, he finds that the name of a thing is only the place to start understanding the substance of experience, and that in the end, it is the substance that might sustain him, while the names twist away.

You can read Nina’s original review here — and click here for info on how to get your own copy.