Rogue River: A White Water Adventure

July 2016


Dear Family and Friends,

Brother Richard organized a white water rafting trip down the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. The group was brother Joel, sister Barbara, brother Richard, nephew Philip, cousin Linda, Kim, Annee, Therese, Annee's son Joey and me.

On Tuesday, Joel, Philip, Barbara, Linda and I drove in Joel's car down to Grants Pass, Oregon, a trip of about 230 miles. We checked into the Quality Inn there and drove over to the Climate City Brewing Company for craft beers and appetizers. Richard's group arrived a little later (Richard, Kim, Anne, Therese and Joey). We all went to the Wild River Brewing and Pizza Company for dinner.

The next day we drove north on I-5 from Grants Pass to the first exit and took Merlin Road and Galice Road to drive west to a place called Rand where we entered the river at mile post 14.

A ferry service was used to drive the cars to the end of the river trip.

Start of the trip

Tina, who runs RR Outfitters, and our three guides (Joey, Guy and Kyle) were there to meet us. Right away Kyle floated off on the orange "Gear" raft (carrying our camping gear). His early departure meat he can find the better camp site for the evening.

There were two Joeys on this trip: Anne's son and our river guide.

We had 3 large rafts: The "gear" raft (no passengers), the "paddle" raft (usually 5 or 6 passengers who helped by paddling) and the third raft that carried our blue dry-bags, lunch fixings, ice chests and usually 2 or 3 passengers.

We packed our clothes and change of shoes, etc in large blue dry bags which we'd open at night. Things we'd want to access during the day were put in smaller red dry bags. The bags were numbered so we could tell ours from the others.

Philip with the 3 kayaks.

We each wore life vests. Before we started, the vests were cinched onto us with 4 fasteners. The vests had different names written on them so we knew which one was ours. They were each named for different places on the river (mine was "Black Bar").

Joey (Kim's son) and Kim

Joel, Therese, Tina and Tom looking at the Rogue River Outfitters shirts

On the River

Paddle boat

More of the paddle boat

Kayaks and paddle boat


A calm stretch of the Rogue River

Richard, Barbara, Joey-2, Linda, Anne, Joel, Therese, Kyle, Kim, Joey-1, Philip, Tom at Zane Gray's cabin.

Zane Grey purchased this mining claim and cabin from a gold prospector in 1926.

There is a tradition of placing heart shaped rocks at the base of this California Black Oak tree on the Zane Grey property. No one knows how this started but there are 500-1000 heart shaped rocks here.

Barbara and Kim at Zane Grey's cabin.

The property consists of a dozen structures/buildings of varying sizes, a dry stacked rock wall, fruit trees, a wooden drift boat, garden, modern care-taker building, etc. There was a landing strip, too.

More info can be found here: OR_JosephineCounty_GreyZaneCabin.pdf

Joey and Tom in the paddle boat

Joel and Linda in the boat carrying our "dry bags" (luggage)

Joey in his kayak

The Jet Boat/Mail Boat from Gold Beach. We saw 5 or 6 of these. They can only go as far as the Paradise Lodge (the last place we stayed): we saw them only on the very last day of rafting.

The Rapids

Here is a video of our group on the Rogue:

July 2016 Rogue River Rapids


Anne beginning a run at the rapids

Joey in the Gear Boat

White water!

Lots of white water

Philip flipping out

Waiting for the kayaks to come through the rapids

Paddle boat ahead of the 3 "duckies"


Our 5 tents greet us on the first night. Joel's sleeping mat was on a big rock!

Dinner was served here

Getting served fried chicken at our table

Joey and Kyle cooking our meal

Waiting for dinner (second night out).

Our camp on the second evening

Our lunches! Salads, sandwich fixing, brownies ... so good

Richard, Barbara and Tom - talking the situation over.

Kyle - grilling steaks and two veggie burgers

Joel and Tom wasting away from hunger

Tom in his tent.

Our guides were Kyle, Guy and Joey.


Heaven: The Paradise Lodge

We were so happy to have this be our last night on the river. Hot showers, electricity (during certain hours), full bar, big rooms with real beds!

Tom's room on top. In the 2 rooms beneath, Anne, Therese, Joey in one, Richard and Kim in another.

Tom's room had 3 beds!

Dinner that night at the Paradise: Tom's vegetarian couscous dinner surrounded by plates of grilled steaks!

Guides Joey and Kyle

Tom, Joel, Barbara and Philip in front of their 2 rooms.

Breakfast on the last day - French toast dipped in egg then frosted flakes!