In this post, I am going to tell you about my trip to Oregon last week, so it's going to be a long one. This trip had been planned for quite a while, and Justin and I have been looking forward to it for quite some time.
The highlight of the trip was our multi-day Rogue River adventure. Justin and Arthur, his brother, have done several of these types of trips, and they are one of Justin's favorite things to do. I thought that this was the experience of a lifetime. I had no idea what to expect out of a trip like this, but it was amazing. The river is so wild and beautiful.
We packed up all of our camping stuff, food, and personal items and piled them onto three rubber rafts. During the 4 days, we paddled down the river negotiating rapids and enjoying the beautiful scenery and wildlife. During the 3 nights we set up camp at campsites along the river, cooked dinner, and slept overnight. It was A LOT of work, but it was definitely worth it. Time really slows down when you're away from everything else. All the work that it takes to get to such a remote, wild location makes enjoying the surroundings that much more enjoyable. I am so happy that wild places like the Rogue River exist right in our own country.
Having never been whitewater rafting before, I was a bit nervous when it came to running the large rapids. After the first day, a lot of my nervousness wore off as we made it through many small and large-ish rapids. The picture above is Blossom Bar - a Class IV rapids with many rocks and fast waters. We got out of the boats to scout the rapids before we ran them, but I have to say, I was SCARED. I did NOT want to fall out of the boat, and I didn't even want to think about what would happen if it tipped over completely. Getting back into the boat to go through the rapids was a little bit difficult. Justin and Arthur did an amazing job getting through these rapids with all of us and our boats in tact. We learned after the fact, that Blossom Bar was both Justin and Arthur's most difficult rapid to date, so congrats to them for earning a new personal best.
This is Gabe and Mike. Gabe is a friend of Arthur's who came on the trip with us, and Mike is his dad. It was really cool to have them on our trip, because both of them have run many rivers and they both had run the Rogue several times. They both shared their knowledge of the river, rapids, and campsites with all of us and really helped to make our trip great. I also thought it was sweet for Gabe to bring his dad on the trip for Father's Day.
Gabe also brought his adorable new puppy, Blue. She was such a joy to have on the trip, and dogs really help keep bears away. She was so cute and fun, and everyone always wanted to pet her and play with her. She even had a little doggy life jacket to wear on the raft.
On the last day of our river trip, we took a short hike from our campsite to Tate Creek. A little ways up the creek is a natural waterside and pool. A few of us (not including me) took a shot at the slide. The picture above is of Arthur going down the slide. The small waterfalls of Tate Creek were so beautiful that they didn't look real. It was amazing. Just the amount of work it takes to get to this spot - 3 days rafting down the river, and then a hike - made the sight just incredible.
A large part of what made this trip really fun was the great group of people I was with. There were nine of us, plus one puppy, and I don't think I could have picked a better group. Our group included (clockwise from the top left): Mike, Josh, Sarah, Emily (my cousin), me, Justin, Arthur (Justin's brother), Brady, Gabe with Blue. I would gladly do one of these river trips again, and I am so glad that I got to have this experience.
The day after we got back from the river, Justin, Emily, Arthur, Josh and I went to four vineyards around Eugene to do some wine tasting. I did not do any tasting due to my abstinence from alcohol for three months (this was probably the most difficult time), but it was fun to go along. All of the wineries were beautiful, and I even bought two bottles for myself for when I jump off of the wagon in a couple of weeks. We visited King Estate, Chateau Lorane, Hinman Vineyards, and Sweet Cheeks Winery.
The next day, Justin, Arthur, Josh, and I went for a short hike up Spencer Butte. The trail was only a short drive from Emily and Arthur's house. I am counting this towards my mountain hiking goal, so I will go into this a bit more in a separate post.
During our last full day in Oregon, Justin and I drove out to the coast. On our way to Newport, we stopped at Seal Rock to walk around the state park and take some pictures. It was a bit of a foggy day, so our views weren't that great, but it was nice to go out exploring, and the coast was still beautiful.
You can see the rest of my pictures here. It was really nice to spend time with Emily and Arthur and I really liked getting to know their friends as well. This was the first time in a long time where I went on vacation and didn't really want to come back. Eugene, Oregon is a really wonderful and unique place, and the more I see of the West, the more I fall in love with it. I am really hoping we'll get to go back again soon.