Rogue Paddlers

A write up on our completed Rogue River trip.

We've now left California and headed over the border to Oregon, where we wanted to check out the Rogue river, one of the first designated Wild and Sccenic rivers. Problem was its a run needing permits that are handed out annually and the section is 34 miles long with no way to cut it down. Plus we didn't have a shuttle.

However a visit to a rafting outfitter soon meant we had a potential shuttle and so we headed to the Ranger station and were lucky enough to pick up a permit from some of the cancellations they had. This was bear territory and so I (Sharon) was keen to do the run in two days which meant 17 miles each day…

It started pretty well with us getting on at 1pm Saturday, but the wind soon picked up making it a little harder work. The rapids were bouncy and fun, and the guidebook we had picked up, turned out to be very accurate. Not long after 5pm, we pulled in to ask some camping rafters how far we were as our plan was to get half way down the river. They very kindly invited us to join them at their camp and provided a cold beer when we got out – Heinekin has never tasted so good. A group of famiy and friends, they were running the river in 5 days and had actually got off to camp because of the wind before we'd even got on the river that day… Their hopsitality was awesome and soon we were provided with hot proper food (not the dehydrated packet stuff we'd had to look forward to) and wine – incredible! It turns out Bill and Donna owned NRS (a paddling/rafting company) and so we had chats about the kit differences over here. Everyone made us feel very welcome, and we had the luxury of songs around a campfire, complete with S'mores! (For the uninitiated, these are toasted marshmallows sandwiched between honey crackers and chocolate – perfect for ensuring my blood sugars didn't go too low) They even had spare chairs enough for us! The rafters from the camp next door were also invited, making a lovely evening with people for who the river was an important part of life. We were able to put our food in a bear proof box, and so well fed and content, we slept well.

The next morning, fuelled on by a heart cooked breakfast courtesy of our new friends, we carried on downriver making good progress. In fact, we reached the take out before 1pm meaning the whole trip had taken 24hours, an impressive feat I think! It was a lovely, fun river even if we didn't see quite as much wildlife as we hoped – however we did see turtles, deer, ospreys, bald eagles and lots of baby ducks.

We're going to have a couple of days off paddling and are heading to see the Tempest at a Shakespeare festival in Ashland on Tuesday.

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