May 28-31, 1982
On a bright sunny day in May two cars departed from the South Eugene High School parking lot heading for the Rogue River. One car, consisting of Jan Gellenstein, Lee Lashway, Bonnie Ledford, and leader K.C. Kraft, was headed for Grove Creek. They would be joined later by Mary Fulton. The other group, headed by Shirley Froyd, was headed for Illahe. (The report of Shirley’s group was published in the July bulletin.) Car keys would be exchanged on the trail. Three of us, Bonnie Ledford, Wilbur Groner, and myself, had made the same trip on Memorial Day weekend two years ago. The big difference this year was the good weather. This meant more hikers, but the big difference was more boaters. Some of the camp sites were crowded and noisy. (Like firecrackers going off at 1:00 a.m.) Our group camped at Russian Creek, Quail Creek, and Camp Tacoma. We saw the osprey, the rattlesnakes (2) and the beautiful scenery. The highlight of the trip was the stop for beverage at Paradise Bar Lodge. A good time was had by all including Elaine and Dick Barrar, Shirley Froyd, Mary Fulton, Jan Gallenstein, Wilbur Groner, Lee Lashway, dot Leland, Bonnie Ledford, Jerry Malinor, and leader K.C. Kraft.
Report from the eastbound gang —
Members going from Illahe to Grave Creek were Jerry Malinor, Wilbur Groner, Dot Leland, Elaine and Dick Barrar, and Shirley Froyd, leader.
A warm clear day saw us begin at l:20. The first event occurred before we were out of the parking lot when Dick stepped into a fierce hole and turned his ankle. With ministrations of Dr. Jerry and grim determination he reached Tacoma Creek camp with us for our first overnight. It was a good stop with toilet facilities and river access. We built a fire and sang inventively. Jerry tended to a boaters cut hand.
Along the trail we enjoyed many wild flowers, a few harmless snakes, river views and heat. A very welcome stop came at Paradise Bar Lodge where cold drinks and warm hospitality were enjoyed. Tame deer let you pet them and they stuck their heads in the building hoping for a handout.
Blossom Bar Creek was a delightful lunch stop where we’d hoped to see boaters going over the famous rapids, but of course they all arrived after we were on the trail beyond.
Just about at our overnight spot at E. Mule Creek camp is the historic site of the Rogue River Ranch. Dot, Wilbur and Shirley tramped downhill to see it and it was well worth it. An interesting collection of artifacts from earlier days were in a well preserved building on beautiful grounds.
Somewhere along Missouri Bar we crossed paths with our westbound compatriots and exchanged car keys and tidbits of information. Later we visited Zane Grey’s cabin on Winkle Bar, climbing down a steep slope to do so.
Elaine discovered a tick above her ear so Jerry, and his entourage of assistants removed it. Ambling on we thought we’d stay at a new camp at Jenny Creek. The dot on the map showed it right next to the trail, but it not being a topo map didn’t show that it was 200 feet straight down the cliff — a boat camp only. So, we told our feet to march on to Bunker Creek, which we were supposed to do in the first place, but resisted because it was a 14-mile day. Bunker is not a real campsite and the only tent site was already taken when we got there at 7:17 p.m. so the Barrars pitched their tent on the trail, Dot and Shirley chose the bridge, and Jerry and Wilbur found a sandy spot down by the creek. Dinner was concocted on the bridge and Wilbur produced a tick over a clavicle that Dr. Jerry and cheering crew dispensed with needle, knife and tweezers and other tools of the trade. During the night Dot and Shirley had the rare privilege of seeing a Ringtail which stole some nuts from Dot’s pack. Miners used to make pets of these animals as mousers. Dick was still heroically marching along with his hurting ankle.
The last day we took our time enjoying the scenery, the uphill climbs, the conversations, flora, upside down kayaks, and a visit to an old miner’s cabin, and got to Grave Creek where Wilbur came up with two more ticks for Jerry and clan to operate on. We all ended a marvelous trip with dinner at Wolf Creek Tavern.