Taming the wild river in an air-filled rubber inflatable

Written by Jef Hatch, Pilot staff writer July 24, 2012 08:18 pm

Joy evident by the smiles on their faces, a group of pleasure seekers handle white water on the Rogue River with relative ease. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
 

What is the number-one rule when rafting a white water river?

Don’t fall out.

Granted, the Rogue River – at least the part my family and I rafted last Thursday – has only one Class-3 rapid on it, but it is still important to stay in the boat unless you intend to swim.

 

We decided to spend the day rafting after an invitation from family reminded us that life without fun is just work.

Thursday morning dawned drab and dreary, but the clouds burned off well before the trip began and the temperatures climbed into the low 80s just before we boarded our rafts. 

The coordinator of our trip had arranged for two rafts to be delivered by Ferron’s Fun Trips which rents rafts for the day, drops them off wherever you want to start and then picks you up where you pull out of the river.

We began our trip at the Hog Creek boat ramp just outside of Merlin and after sorting out who would ride in which raft – we had 25 people ranging in age from 19 months to 38 years – we started floating the Rogue. 

The scenery on the Rogue River is amazing, with jagged rock formations, spreads of timber and lush, grassy meadows that end right at river’s edge.

The blackberries hadn’t begun to ripen yet and so bears were not visiting the berry patches, but turtles, geese, ducks, fish and a river otter made their presence known during the day.

The day got just warm enough to invite friendly water fights and occasional dips in the water, but because the summer has been cooler than normal, the water was cold enough to rush swimmers back into the boat after just a few moments.

About halfway into the trip the more adventurous of the group scaled the cliffs to take the 30-foot plunge to the water below before continuing down the river.

The river spit us out at Argo Park, weary but pleased with a day well spent. 

A number of excursion companies exist with packages to suit all experiences levels.

A quick Google search will impart phone numbers and websites galore for companies ready to help adventurers plan their get away from civilization and onto the wild river.