Rogue River Backpacking trip
May 23-26, 1980
The four-day Rogue River Backpacking trip began on Friday, May 23 and extended through Memorial Day. Two groups were made up; one starting from Illahe and the other beginning at Grave Creek. Each group hiked the entire 40-mile trail. By exchanging car keys, we were able to avoid losing a day through switching cars. (Group going to Grave Creek arrived about 12:15 p.m., the group going to Illahe arrived about l:45 p.m. on the last day.)
We encountered quite a bit of rain the first three days of the hike. Betty Legris served as “active” weather forecaster for group A. Neither of the groups stopped as planned the first night. As Pete Cecil said, “We didn’t overshoot the campground, we just decided not to turn back.” Dave Predeek found an excellent shelter from the rain. After a long, wet hike on Saturday, the meeting of the two groups at Tucker Flat Camp was, a joyous occasion.
The river was full of boats for the Memorial Day weekend. The only parts of the trail with very many hikers, however, were the half dozen miles at each end. We met people from Colorado, San Francisco, New Zealand, Grants Pass, Medford, and many other places. Both groups also encountered friendly black tail deer. At Paradise Lodge, we were given a cordial welcome by the owner. One of our favorite areas was between the lodge and Marial. Devils Stairs, Inspiration Point, Stair Creek Falls and Mule Creek Canyon are located here. As many as 15 boats at a time could be seen coming through the rapids. The views from the rocky cliffs near Grave Creek were also spectacular. Whiskey Creek was another beautiful area. Glenn Meares extended our mountain training by “climbing the wall” down to a sandy campsite at Bunker Creek.
Although the skies were usually overcast, the panoramic views, excellent trails, abundant flora, and congenial companions made it a memorable occasion. Both groups enjoyed a stop at Wolf Creek Tavern south of Roseburg. Backpackers were: Peter Cecil, Wilbur Groner, K.C. Kraft (leader), Karen Kraft, Bonnie Ledford, Betty Legris, Glenn Meares, Dave Predeek, Gene Thaxton.