Ashland, OR is a somewhat unusual town. Although it is located hundreds of miles from a major city and should be nothing more then another depressed rural town, it is famous as a center for culture because of the presence of the Shakespeare festival there. Along with the Shakespeare festival comes a great assortment of tourist shops and restaraunts. And right in the middle of the shopping district lies a wedge containing three drinking fountains.

These drinking fountains provide the other thing Ashland is famous for, the lithia water, water that supposedly has magical health restoring properties. This water is drawn from an underground stream, a stream replete with important, vital, Ital trace elements. However, a careful scientific study of the effects of this water on health can not be done because no one has been able to keep the damn stuff down. This water tastes incredibly metallic. Although not actually "foul", in the way of tasting rotten, it does taste like something people weren't supposed to drink. The years have washed away the memory of the taste, thankfully. Perhaps very sulfuric water would be the best comparison.

However, in any case, tourists to Ashland will make a show of drinking this water, perhaps for the same reasons that people eat peppers that are incredibly hot. There reactions to the water are amusing to watch.

And, of course, if you were to go to Ashland, you would not want to miss out on a chance to drink the water and experience the famed lithia water directly.