Pint Size Perspectives: Rogue Returned
Hi, my name is Maya, I’m 11 years old and I went on my second self-support kayak trip to the Rogue River in June. I went with my sister (Hannah), my mom (Emma), my dad (Marc), our friends Allen and Melissa. Packing our boats was much easier than last time but still pretty difficult because we took our Remix 47’s, which are bigger than our Axioms but still small. Meanwhile, Allen had a Green Boat, and if you’re wondering it’s a little over 10 feet long. So while my sister and I were packing as lightly as possible, Allen was deciding whether he should pack one pineapple or two.
One of the first rapids of the day was Rainie Falls (class 5). Only my dad and Allen ran it. My dad had a nice line and went straight through it no problem, Allen’s huge boat made it look easy as if he’d run it a million times. Afterwards Allen said it definitely wasn’t class 5. Everyone else took the fish ladder which was pretty easy apart for a small drop at the end. There weren’t any more really big rapids that day, only a couple of class 3 rapids. Melissa taught us to boat scout from the eddy closest to the rapid. She explained to look for the entrance, exit, eddies and hazards in order to create a good line. That night at camp Allen decided to pull out the machete he was carrying between his legs down the river. We all thought that was a bit dangerous. He claimed it was for warding off the bears but he only really used it for chopping up fruit or tethering his kayak.
On the second day it rained but that was ok because we were going to be getting wet anyway and we had already packed up the camp before it started raining. In the first part of the day there weren’t many hard rapids, but in the afternoon there was Coffee Pot and Blossom Bar which are class 4. When we got to Rogue River Ranch, we stopped for lunch, it was closed for COVID but we managed to find shelter from the rain to eat. Just before Coffee Pot, we saw a baby bear who we named Ferguson. Then we dropped into Mule Creek Canyon that has the Coffee Pot feature in it and I was a bit scared. The canyon was fine but I capsized in Coffee Pot and luckily I made my roll quickly. Once we were out of the Canyon we went immediately into Blossom Bar. It wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be. At the end after nearly all the rapid was done I got hit by a big wave and it knocked one of my hands off the paddle and I had to do a hand roll. After that we all wanted to get ice cream and drinks at Paradise Lodge but sadly they wouldn’t let us in due to COVID. That night we camped at Brushy Bar, the same as last year. My dad brought his Biolite stove, which sometimes doesn’t work very well and only seemed to get going when Melissa got out her Jet Boil stove.
I woke up on the third day of our trip and found out a bear had eaten some of our food. We decided to name him Oscar the Naughty Bear. He had managed to get our dry bag of food down from the bear hoist. We still had breakfast and some food for lunch but it was still upsetting. The paddle for the day was a little easier than the other days. It’s more like smooth class 2 / 2+ than class 3. There are lots of amazing surf waves on the 3rd day and we all stopped at almost all of them. We stopped at a creek for lunch because Allen said it had a hiking trail. While we were looking for the trail Allen suddenly started to dig up a plant. When we asked what he was doing he said that it was Soap Root and he needed it in case he got poison oak. He did the same thing on the way back but this time it was Solomon’s Seal which he puts in tea for his muscles. For lunch we ate Starkist salmon packets that we found in Grocery Outlet. They are now my favorite river food. The takeout was only a couple hours away from there.
I had so much fun on the Rogue River this year! I hope that I will be able to go back next year. The wildlife was amazing (even Oscar) and the views were incredible! If you want to take an intermediate river trip but don’t know where to go the Rogue is the place to go.
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