Rafting down the Rogue River

IMG_1467I hadn’t planned on dawdling in Southern Oregon. Just drive my friend to her new home in Williams, Oregon, and get on the road by noon the next day to complete my drive from Portland to Monterey, California.

But what do you do when it’s gonna be another hundred-degree day and your lovely hostess says “a bunch of us are going to float down the river. Why don’t you come?” Here’s what I did–reflected on the matter for oh, five minutes or so, and concluded that life is too short and unemployment too precious to decline such an invitation. Shortly, nine people, two trucks, four kayaks and a couple coolers of icy beers were winding their way north along the very scenic roads to the Galice Resort, where we rented a raft and gear and got a shuttle seven miles up the river, all for about $90.

After slathering up with sunscreen and cinching our PFD’s tight (that’s Personal Flotation Device, of course) we slid into the water for a few hours of leisurely floating, paddling and the occasional class I or II rapid, punctuated by a few refreshing swims. Surrounded by rugged hillsides and fragrant pines, we saw herons, mergansers, osprey and a couple of small dark swimming mammals–mink, perhaps?

We pulled out at the Galice Resort close to sunset, to a classic rock soundtrack from the live band up on their inviting deck. A little tailgate party followed: cold beer, watermelon, and chips. What a lovely way to spend a scorching afternoon.

Thanks to Michelle, the aforementioned lovely hostess, organizer, driver, and kayak-den-mother. Here she is!IMG_1470