Well, we're back from our first trip of the season. Every year since 2002 we have gone to Ashland (which is a 6+ hour drive) twice a year to see the plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
. We go in the spring to see the early season shows, and head back in the fall to see the rest of the plays, including the ones in the outdoor theater. We usually see all but a couple plays every year. This is a great trip, and we really enjoy it every year.
We always camp at Emigrant Lake
which is a county RV park on a bluff overlooking the reservoir. This time we pretty much had the park to ourselves. The only other people in the park were the camp hosts, and one or two other campers who came and went. The bottom half of the park where we were was completely empty and we got the primo spot on 'the point'! Site 21 - if you go there, that's the one you want!
We saw five plays, one every afternoon, one every evening. They were all fantastic, but one was particularly special. We saw Coriolanus in the New Theater, which is a very small, up-close theater, and the stage is on the floor right in front of the audience. We were in the front row, and literally worried about actors tripping over our feet (they never would, they're way too good for that), but it had soldiers and battles - just a few feet in front of us! Actors were often within arms length of where we were sitting! It also had a small cast made up almost entirely of actors we were already very familiar with from previous plays - all top class actors, even in the smaller roles. Getting to see them work so close up was was amazing - quite an experience!
The other fun part of this trip was taking Barclay for his first outing in the trailer. He did fantastic. He not only behaved in the crate on the ride down (we stopped for potty breaks and walks along the way) but he tolerated being crated while we were gone to the plays twice a day, and overnight for sleeping. He was happy-go-lucky the whole time, and we got to spend lots of time together between plays. We even went to the local dog park, where he was scared of the big dogs playing there. However there was a puppy area no one was using so we went in there with him so he could watch the big dogs, and once he seemed comfortable I talked to a nice lady with some small dogs and she brought them over to the puppy area to play with him - so he got to meet some new dogs and run around a bit. It was a very positive experience!
Obviously we really enjoy going to see the plays and staying at the lake, since we do this twice a year! I highly recommend the plays at OSF, and even if you're just passing through you can often get a ticket for that evening's show. Even if you don't want to see a show, the lake is still a great place to make your home base while you're there.