Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt, but it can lead to something close to indifference. Or at least a danger of being taken for granted.
Here in Douglas County, some of us share the habits of those residents of Anaheim, California, who never venture into Disneyland. It takes a nudge now and then to propel us into places others admire from afar. That gentle prod may come from seeking places to guide our visitors. Or, with a slight twist, make that our Visitors Guide.
In case you missed it, The News-Review’s May 28 edition included copies of our annual publication devoted to the many attractions and activities found in the Land of the Umpqua. And while modesty may be a virtue, we think the 32-page guide presents a profile of Douglas County as a place that ought to be shared.
Think about it. How many counties can offer shorelines, forest trails, sparkling lakes, sweeping waterfalls, fir-lined mountains, farms, ranches, sheltered campgrounds and an entire river system within its borders? We call it the Visitors Guide, but the handbook is just as valuable for year-round residents who tend to forget the wonders in and just beyond our backyards.
Now, with all of summer still to spin out before us, is the perfect time to sit down with the guide and plan to explore or return to some of the spots that have been waiting patiently on the to-do list.
If you admire original artwork but don’t know any artists, turn to page 9 for a list of county galleries. Seven museums or historic sites are described in detail three pages later. Recharge your natural-world batteries by heading out to the Elkton Butterfly Pavilion, the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area east of Reedsport or the handy-to-civilization wildlife pond just steps away from the Fred Meyer store in Roseburg.
Find information on nearly 80 miles of scenic wilderness, with trails and hikes rated for difficulty. Discover the best spots for rafting, fishing and whale watching. Get a lead on scouting out wineries and tasting rooms in a burgeoning county industry.
Americana leaps from the guide’s pages with summaries of down-home fairs and festivals scheduled to coincide with peak sunshine days. Rev up for Graffiti Weekend, Roseburg’s signature celebration.
The guide provides outlines for the county’s best-known events — Music on the Half Shell, Wildlife Safari, the Douglas County Fair. But also described are the more hidden gems that might have attracted your notice but haven’t yet snared your attendance. This may be the year to boo and hiss at a melodrama presented by Oakland Community Theatre. Or to eyeball the fingerlings at Rock Creek Fish Hatchery near Idleyld Park.
Copies of the Visitors Guide are available at The News-Review office at 345 N.E. Winchester Ave., Roseburg. Watch online for the updated version at nrtoday.com.
Walt Disney was a great showman. But we’ll put our Adventureland up against his any day.