Wednesday, September 12, 2012
No Smoke, No Fire--Rogue River Raft Trip 2012
An early September raft trip on the Rogue River was an excellent way to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall.
My husband and skilled rower, Mike, navigated one of the five rafts we took through the Rogue River Wild and Scenic stretch last week. After our recent trip on the Salmon, we were happy that the Rogue River had no active forest fires. We really lucked out with the weather--hot, sunny days and cool evenings. We launched at Almeda Campground and were out of touch with civilization for the next five days.
Two of our favorite rafting cohorts, the Michaels brothers, know how to relax and have a great time on the river.
On the first day of the trip we had to get beyond Rainie Falls, a truly scary rapid. Some folks actually go over the falls, many getting tossed out of their rafts. We, on the other hand, lined up with other rafts to bump our way through the side chute, "fish ladder." This is a much safer way to go.
We spent most of the first day on the river in order to make it to Horseshoe Bend Campsite. This is really a beautiful spot, high above the river. There's a great rapid to swim, as well as wonderful tent sites and a perfect bocce ball court. (Bocce ball is one of out new river activities, and the competition was fierce with lots of "trash talk".) We stayed two nights, enjoying the heck out of our one lay-over day.
I spent some of the day on this 9 x 12 watercolor sketch.
And here is the inspiration for the sketch.
To give you a better idea of what these trips are like, I took a picture of our kitchen set-up--a four burner stove, four tables, a kitchen box full of dishes, pots, etc. We don't do without on these trips. Dinners usually include two or three side dishes along with a delicious entree. I would bet that we eat as well or better than people on a guided trip.
And then there is cocktail hour. Tough, huh?!
The Rogue has a problem with bears. To deter them from raiding camps for food, the Forest Service has set up electrified bear fences in many campsites for campers to place coolers and other food storage boxes in at night. However, the wire makes a great clothesline as well.
The river does have some of the most beautiful scenery with the evergreen covered mountains, blue skies,
and dramatic rocks.
Last year I was able to get some great bear-eating-salmon photos which inspired the painting "Mine!"
This year I'd have to piece it together. First a little dead salmon . . .
then some bear.
As the salmon return to the rivers to spawn, they die and float. That attracts other animals besides bears. We saw an unusual amount of turkey vultures this year, both flying and doing their scavenger thing along the shore.
A bit cuter were the turtles out sunning on the rocks.
Toward the end of our trip we saw quite a few of my favorites--herons. Unfortunately, I did not get good photos, but here is one I captured on the shore. (Perhaps a painting will come out of this.)
Nice on site sketch! LV
September 13, 2012 at 11:26 AM
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