Salmon fishing off S. Oregon coast looks good for 2015

Salmon fishing off S. Oregon coast looks good for 2015
FILE - This undated file photo shows a chinook salmon fighting near Brookings, Ore. Anglers landed more ocean salmon last year out of Brookings than any of the state's other 10 salmon ports, and this years salmon seasons look nearly as good. (AP Photo/Mail Tribune, Jamie Lusch)

Enough adult salmon are now finning off the Southern Oregon and Northern California coasts to give Brookings a good chance to repeat as Oregon's top port for boating chinook. But the ever-changing ocean currents have to do their part.

Cruising Oregon Coast beaches on a fat bike

Cruising Oregon Coast beaches on a fat bike
In this Feb. 10, 2015 photo, West Salem, Ore. resident Craig Wojcik rides his fat bike on the Oregon Coast beach in Lincoln City, Ore. between Taft and Road End State Park. (AP Photo/Statesman-Journal, Zach Urness)

It's difficult to say this, but there's a good chance my love of hiking Oregon Coast beaches is gone forever.

Forest Service issues decision on Oregon dunes, off-road use

Forest Service issues decision on Oregon dunes, off-road use
This photo taken in 2008 shows a mix of trails, beach and open sand which makes the Oregon Dunes a destination for off-road enthusiasts from throughout the Northwest. Most of the routes off-road users have cut through vegetated areas in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area will be closed under a decision from the U.S. Forest Service aimed at ending years of wrangling. (AP Photo/The Corvallis Gazette-Times, Andy Cripe)

Most of the routes off-road users have cut through vegetated areas in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area will be closed under a decision from the U.S. Forest Service aimed at ending years of wrangling.

High Desert bikeway brings sunshine into the rainy season

High Desert bikeway brings sunshine into the rainy season
David Davis rides the Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway, a 30 mile route in Central Oregon, which offers views of Mount Jefferson and other Cascade Mountain peaks on Jan. 19, 2015 in Central Oregon. While it does offer a higher percentage of sunshine-filled days, a freezing fog sometimes invades the valley. If the weather isn't clear and sunny, it's probably not worth getting on your bicycle. (AP Photo/Statesman-Journal, Zach Urness )

At these low winter moments, what's needed is an injection of sunshine. And for that elusive cure, I decided to head across the mountains to a little-known corner of Central Oregon and ride one of the state's best winter bike routes.

Anglers have hopes for banner winter steelhead run on Rogue

Anglers have hopes for banner winter steelhead run on Rogue
FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2013, file photo, winter steelhead fisherman side drift on the Rogue River through Rogue Canyon near the Grave Creek Boat Ramp in Galice, Ore. Rogue anglers have plenty of reasons to suspect this year's winter steelhead run could be a banner occurrence. (AP Photo/The Mail Tribune, Jamie Lusch, File)

Rogue anglers have plenty of reasons to suspect that early steelhead also means often, meaning this year's winter steelhead run could be a banner occurrence.

Winter is a special time to visit Oregon's Proxy Falls

Winter is a special time to visit Oregon's Proxy Falls
In this photo taken on Jan. 1, 2015, ice covers part of the Upper Proxy Falls, located near McKenzie Bridge, about 60 miles east of Eugene, Ore. The two waterfalls on this easy hike off McKenzie Pass Highway are among the most frequently photographed in Oregon and often draw a crowd on weekends during summer or autumn. Come back in winter, though, when the highway is closed to vehicles and the preferred mode of transportation is skis or snowshoes, and it's a far different experience. (AP Photo/Statesman-Journal, Zach Urness)

Take a hike on Proxy Falls Trail during summer or autumn, and there's a good chance you'll have company. Come back in winter, though, when the highway is closed to vehicles and the preferred mode of transportation is skis or snowshoes, and it's a far different experience.

Newly painted Ore. lighthouse almost ready for tours

Newly painted Ore. lighthouse almost ready for tours
FILE -- Yaquina Lighthouse in Newport

The Bureau of Land Management says the 95-foot-tall lighthouse has been surrounded by scaffolding and wrapping since mid-October as old paint was removed and a natural cement wash was applied.

Oregon Caves expansion expected to boost tourism

Oregon Caves expansion expected to boost tourism
FILE -- This Aug. 9, 2005 file photo shows Fran Mainella, then director of the National Park Service, looking at a feature of the Oregon Caves National Monument outside Cave Junction, Ore., highlighted with a flashlight by tour guide Chas Davis. (AP Photo by Jeff Barnard)

You won't see a different cave or a new chateau at the Oregon Caves National Monument. But some are calling the expansion of the landmark, with legislation attached to a defense spending bill signed recently by President Obama, a monumental change.

Oregon's Horse Butte attracts winter mountain bikers

Oregon's Horse Butte attracts winter mountain bikers
In this Dec. 13, 2014 photo, Kent Benesch, of Bend, Ore., rides the Swamp Wells trail near Horse Butte east of Bend, Ore. (AP Photo/The Bulletin, Joe Kline)

Thanks to drier areas east and north of Bend, mountain biking is a year-round pursuit in Central Oregon.

Tips for dog safety during the winter months

Tips for dog safety during the winter months
In this Dec. 18, 2012 photo, dogs run in the snow on Hyalite Canyon south of Bozeman, Mont. “If it is below zero, you might want to really think about being outside with your dog,” said Dr. Spencer Anderson of Baxter Creek Veterinary Clinic in Bozeman, Mont. (AP Photo/The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Ben Pierce)

On a recent cross-country ski trip in the Bridger Mountains, I noticed my dog was walking a little funny. It was a frigid day and close to a foot of snow had fallen the night before. Kato, who burst out of his kennel with his usual exuberance at the car park, was looking chilly on the trail.

Skiing bounces back; Idaho resorts upgrade

Skiing bounces back; Idaho resorts upgrade
FILE - In this photo taken on Dec. 17, 2010, Tamarack Resort in Donnelly, Idaho, makes snow in preparation for its opening day. Not long after the recession put the skids on skiing like an unwaxed board in heavy crud, Sun Valley, Brundage and Tamarack resorts are applying a fresh coat and hoping to slide into a smoother future.(AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones, file)

Not long after the recession put the skids on skiing like an unwaxed board in heavy crud, Sun Valley, Brundage and Tamarack resorts are applying a fresh coat and hoping to slide into a smoother future.

Oregon retriever earns Hall of Fame credentials

Oregon retriever earns Hall of Fame credentials
In this Nov. 11, 2014, Gem, a Labrador retriever, gets a work out at the Kenneth Denman Wildlife Area in Oregon. on November 11, 2014. Gem nailed the six series of three-bird retrieves to earn her third master nationals honor in five years. It not only earned Hall of Fame status, but the win will see the names of Gem and her owner Elaine Goodner engraved on the Women's Challenge trophy as three-time Masters champions. (AP Photo/The Medford Mail Tribune, Jamie Lusch)

Elaine Goodner stood nervously next to her aging Labrador retriever Gem in a Northern California field knowing the next few hours would determine their legacy.

Hot springs offer warm respite from winter

Hot springs offer warm respite from winter
This photo taken on Sept. 27, 2012, shows a rustic bathhouse at Bagby Hot Springs in the Mount Hood National Forest about 70 miles east of Salem, Ore. The hot springs in the Beaver State vary considerably. Some are wild outposts with naked hippies running around, others are pricy retreats and some are little known secrets. (AP Photo/Statesman-Journal, Danielle Peterson)

Geothermal activity creates pools of relaxing glory that are particularly welcome when the temperatures dip and the rain falls across the mountains.

Nez Perce Trail siting gets another look

Nez Perce Trail siting gets another look
In this July 26, 2014 photo, participants take part in the annual Chief Joseph Days Parade in Joseph, Ore. The Nez Perce Trail running from Wallowa Lake to 40 miles from the Canadian border in Montana commemorates the months-long flight for freedom of Chief Joseph and his people. This fall, the U.S. Forest Service invites public comment on the siting of the 1,700-mile trail. (AP Photo/The Observer, Katy Nesbitt)

The Nez Perce Trail running from Wallowa Lake to 40 miles from the Canadian border in Montana commemorates the months-long flight for freedom of Chief Joseph and his people. This fall, the U.S. Forest Service invites public comment on the siting of the 1,700-mile trail.