Gene's Note: Snapshots of Southern Oregon

It is a beautiful morning, and as I sit here, I can see glimpses of the Table Rocks in the distance and the peak of Roxy Ann from my office window.  These landmarks remind me of all the natural beauty Southern Oregon has to offer. When I think about all of these snapshots, the memories of incredible experiences throughout my life in Southern Oregon come flooding back to me. They take me back to memories of the sun glistening off the waters of Lake of the Woods as I sit in those big red chairs at the lodge. They remind me of the climb from the valley floor to the top of the Table Rocks and reveling in the beauty of our valley. Within just a couple of hours, we can enjoy an exhilarating jet boat ride up (or down) the Rogue River, see the deer graze peacefully on the shore or see an eagle soar quietly above. In that same time, we can sit on the top of a sand dune on the coast and enjoy the grandeur of our own little piece of paradise that we call Southern Oregon. These memories remind me of how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful place.

I frequently revisit my favorite spots and still seem to find something new every time. Oftentimes, the best thing we can discover is ourselves, or the ones that we love…

I still remember back when my wife Tina and I were first dating, we had plenty of time and precious, little money. Yet, we could afford to walk along the trails at Mill Creek Falls. The all-encompassing smell of the evergreen forest, punctuated by the sound of the powerful waterfalls is a memory that has always stayed with me. Just last year, we took a few moments to slow down and walk the trails of Mill Creek Falls again. It was such a perfect opportunity to put down the devices and focus on each other in the awe-inspiring beauty of the nature that surrounds us. 

Now the snapshots of my memories are punctuated with the smiles of my grandchildren as we rediscover all the special treasures that we enjoy in this incredible place we call home. Walking on a sandy beach or a tranquil bike ride through the countryside provides the opportunity to slow down and savor all of the beauty we enjoy. This beauty is magnified by the smiling faces of the little ones that we love so dearly.

Seeing my grandchildren experience this beauty for the first time reminds me of all the breath taking snapshots that you sent in last year of your favorite spots in Southern Oregon, during our July Photo Contest. It’s amazing how looking at a familiar place from someone else’s perspective makes everything new again.

So, I encourage you to share your snapshots of Southern Oregon by participating in the photo contest again this year. Join other members in celebrating the beauty of the place we live and to rediscover it as I have. You can submit your high resolution photos of local land marks by emailing them to See our website for more details. I hope you take the opportunity to get out and spend some time exploring Southern Oregon and creating some new snapshots of the awesomeness that we call home!