With commands such as left forward, right back, forward two and HOLD ON! the adrenaline rush of white water rafting on the Rogue River makes for an awe-inspiring (and ridiculously fun) afternoon on the water.
Rafting the Rogue River
I’m not a particularly brave soul, but I do enjoy the water and being outside. I was looking for an adventure for Abi and I to share with our son and his fiance (now newlyweds!) who were visiting us here in Ashland and I thought of white water rafting on the Rogue River; I can do that – I thought – and told myself so everyday. After all, we’d done it before – rafting on the Snake River in Wyoming and the Rio Grande in New Mexico, so I could certainly handle white water rafting on the Rogue, right? Right!
Our adventure guide of choice was Indigo Creek Outfitters based in Ashland.
The Adventure Begins
We started our afternoon on the river by walking to the Indigo office and all the while I was silently convincing myself that this would be great! And by the way, when you’re heading off to take on such an adventure, leave the phones and and wrist watches and anything of value at your accommodations because really, are you going to take a call on your cell phone while paddling down a river? If the answer to that rhetorical question is yes, you probably seriously need an afternoon on the river. Because, sometimes, it’s good to turn off the electronics for a few hours.
After a safety talk, each of us was fitted with a life vest and helmet, which we took with us on the Indigo blue van. It was a short 30-minute drive to the river where we launched the rafts. I felt like a kid again, headed for summer camp (although truth be told I never went to camp).
The Old Lady in the Raft
We were lucky enough to have Will (Mr. Indigo Creek) as our guide. Once we were on the raft we were given clear and easy instructions as to how to paddle and when. The nice thing about Indigo Creek is that if paddling isn’t your thing, no problem-o, they’ll make sure you’re seated where you can just hold on and enjoy the ride.
Secretly, I was thinking, should I? But nope, I went for it, picked up my paddle and listened closely. I didn’t want to be the old lady on the raft who was too chicken to do more than just hold on.
For 5.5 miles we saw beautiful wonders as we glided down river on the Rogue River with its cool clean water and wildlife such as bald eagles, Canadian geese and osprey. It’s a nicely paced trip, floating with Will and his guides, plenty of time to relax and take in the stunning scenery while gearing up for the next run of white water. And what’s super nice is there is always a photographer, on another raft, shooting pictures of everyone!
Surfing the Rapid!
There are several areas of white water with Nugget and Powerhouse being the biggest and the best. It should be noted that while I use the description of “the biggest” it’s in comparison to the other rapids we ran that day. I’m fairly certain that by an expert’s definition, there are much bigger rapids out there, but I was more than happy with what we did. It was way too much fun without being totally scary. At least not in my book.
Not only did we run the rapids, but then Will had us turn our raft around (facing the rapid we just came down) and he taught us how to surf the rapid, which was by anyone’s definition just beyond fun; but I’m glad I wasn’t in the front of the raft!
A Few Hours on the Rogue River
If I had any trepidations before, I was nothing but happy while on the river and sorry to see it end. It truly doesn’t get any better (I think I say that a lot, but it’s true) than spending a few beautiful hours on the Rogue River and it made for a highly memorable day for our little family.
- Originally published on June 16, 2013