Rogue Private Trip

September 28, 2007 at 9:56 pm (Kayaking, Rafting) (, , )

KoobWhat: ECHO Guides’ End-of-Season Trip

Where: Rogue River, Southern Oregon

When: 9/20 – Party at the Doublewide, 9/21 – Gear-up, food buy, evening bonfire and jam session, 9/22-26 River Trip

Who: 16 ECHO guides, 6 ECHO friends, a dog, a film crew, 2 surprise guests, and The Todd 1. Guides flew in or drove from Idaho, Texas, California, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Washington.

Gear: 2 kegs, 5 rafts, 1 cataraft, 1 ducky (that never even got inflated), 2 intertubes, 1 boogie board, 5 kayaks, not enough cases of beer, more bottles of liquor than we could count, Charlie Brown, Howie, 40 personal dry bags, 22 paco pads, 3 guitars, 2 mandolins, 1 slack line setup, Koob, 100 costumes/ dare wear outfits, 30 bottles of nail polish in every color, video camera and movie-making equipment, and some other stuff.

So, needless to say, the trip was epic and definitely the most fun river vacation I’ve ever been on. There was no trip leader per say; it was pretty much anarchy at its best. I don’t think we made it on the river before noon any day, and although we failed to make a layover day happen, we did stay at Horseshoe on day 3 until 3:45 pm.

river musicIt was a very musically talented group (Hata, Collen, and Trina on the guitars, Flower and Zach on the mandolins, Ori , the expert lyricist), so awesome jam sessions took place every night by the campfire and often on the river as well. We played every possible rendition of Gin and Juice, Wagon Wheel, and Zach’s very own Charlie Brown, and for some reason the songs never got old. Musical instruments were created from pots, grates, and other noise-making objects.

p1030163.jpgThe point of a private trip on the Rogue is non-stop fun and as little work as possible. I think we accomplished both with style and flair. Nails were painted (there were some artistic masterpieces), and costumes were flaunted (I’m not sure if Maggie or Trina even brought normal clothes). Flower spearheaded the slackline and Staci pretty much became a pro by the end of the trip. We played ultimate frisbee at the Rogue River Ranch, Koob in camp, had piggy back races, and slept in 30-foot-long guide piles. p1030189.jpgI think our record guide pile was 17 people.

Copious amounts of alcohol were consumed from the time we got up each morning until late in the evenings. Both kegs were emptied by the second night. I can’t say I really contributed in draining them, but the pitchers of beer at 8am might have been the reason they didn’t last the whole trip. On the 3rd night, Jordan pulled out his amazing red jump suit with “Todd 1” written on the back of it and the name stuck. Todd 1 emerged as the trip mascot/ ultimate decision maker (“Todd does not applaud!” “Todd is concerned.”) Under the influence, jowling (shaking one’s head to make funny faces) was probably the most popular pastime and there are over 150 pictures on my camera of guides looking like they have facial deformities to prove it.

n860485719_1376415_2285.jpgWe had plenty of great moments on the water as well. Shay started a new trend of blowing up his drysuit and floating down the rapids which was entertaining to watch, especially as he tried to figure out how to turn over. Zach and Flower ran Rainey Falls numerous times in innertubes and had one clean line after another. When we approached Blossom Bar, another group was wrapped on the picket fence, so the tubers and boogie boarder went to help. All of our rafts made it through the top move fine, but we had a near-wrap further down the rapid. p1050003.jpgNot much other carnage to speak of, although Zach and I fell out at Lower Blackbar Falls when we decided to go through the rapid standing up (probably not the best idea) and James ditched the oars to come join us. Shay, Maggie, Brooke, and Staci all tried their luck at kayaking and did great! And thanks to a few enthusiastic rowers, many of us never touched oars or rigged a raft the entire trip.

Ori, Jeremy, Jordan, and Hata starred in the Matlock brothers’ horror film about the Rogue River. At each camp, and many spots along the river, the film crew created a movie set and filmed for a few hours. The rest of us got to partake in some sing-a-long scenes and listen to Hata’s amazing horror stories around the campfire (they get better each time).

imgp1127.jpgOn the last night, we arrived at Solitude camp to the wonderful surprise of Jess and Geoff waiting for us with Irish Car Bombs. The night pretty much went downhill (or uphill, depending how you look at it) from there. Lots of blurry moments that were hilarious to recap the next morning including a couple of shotgun weddings. I awoke the last morning sleeping in a guide pile that was very un-strategically located in the kitchen (where they were cooking breakfast). I looked up and saw that Drew had slept right next to the blaster. He definitely got the award for worst sleep spot.imgp1134.jpg

There was sunshine pretty much the entire trip, and although it wasn’t super warm out, we had great weather overall. The flow was low for the Rogue: 1410 cfs the first day and dropping 100 cfs a day down to 1100. The salmon run seemed pretty poor as well, although, I am by no means an expert on that topic. Compared to the last time I ran the Rogue in the fall (2004), there were very few salmon leaping out of the water. A few bears were spotted, including a cub that chased us downstream.

By the time we reached take-out, we were out of beer and pretty much out of alcohol altogether. Luckily, Sherrie, our beloved shuttle driver brought us a cooler of cold beer. Good thing because It would truly be a tragedy on a private trip to do a sober takeout.

Group Photo

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1 Comment

  1. whitiecox said,

    Hey,

    I don’t know if I can imbed a photo in a comment, but I’m going to try…

    I think you’ll see why if I can pull it off.

    Dang, I guess I can’t. I wanted to send you pix of the Echo Guides’ private trip from ’84. Thought you’d get a kick out of the similarities. If you’re curious I’ll send it via real email. My address is sabotcat@SBCglobal.net…Although 85’s a little better just ’cause we’re lined up just about the same way.

    anyway, if you’re interested…

    Say hey from me to Trina if you’re talking to her.

    Mark Palmer

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