Southwest Oregon: Rogue Valley and Umpqua Headwaters

June 23-25, 2008

Twenty Nine of us, 24 Obsidian members, and five guests, enjoyed a blending of excitement, informative tours and river habitat.

Day 1: We visited Sunny Valley’s Applegate Interpretive Center (several commented that they would have enjoyed more time here), the nearby Grave Creek covered bridge and the burial place of the 16 year old pioneer girl, for whom the creek is named. Next, we checked into our motel, grabbed jackets and readied ourselves for a 4½ hour jet boat excursion and dinner. Our route was from Grants Pass, at the foot of the motel, to Hellsgate. The boat operators gave a thrilling ride, with a number of tight water drenching 360 degree turns, and racing with a companion boat. They also provided informative wildlife and river history narratives. Dinner in a 400 person pavilion, was both plentiful and delicious.

Day 2: Our activities consisted of tours and facility visits. The first stop was in the tiny community of Ruch and its mega church, which draws approximately 6000 worshipers per week. We viewed the amphitheater, which looked like it would seat several thousand. From Ruch, we took back roads to Medford and Harry and David’s facilities. We toured the Chocolate, Moose Crunch and Cake buildings. Most of us loaded up on their store products. Next we were at Roxy Ann Winery for lunch, wine tasting, and talks from their staff. The third stop was Dogs for the Deaf, which is the largest such program in the world. We saw demonstrations of training, training settings consisting of complete home rooms, videos, and dog housing. The last stop was at the Crater Rock Museum. We viewed a slide show on minerals, had a tour and were treated to viewing a 250 pound Obsidian piece brought to the Museum by it finder, to recognize our Club Name.

Day 3: This day consisted of following the beautiful Rogue into the mountains, switching to the equally attractive Umpqua, near their headwaters, and making many view stops. These included: Cole M. Rivers Interpretive Center, the Natural Bridge area, The Rogue Viewpoint at Union, Diamond Lake Overlook, Views of Mt. Thielsen and Bailey, lunch at Lemolo Resort, several waterfalls, and unnamed, but attractive pullovers. We also received a talk from John Ouimet, District Ranger of the Umpqua National Forest. We arrived back in Eugene at 7 p.m., somewhat weary, but highly pleased.

Riders were members: Ethel Allen, Don Baldwin, Ewart Baldwin, Barbara Beard (leader), Paul Beard, Paula Beard, Marylee Cheadle, Evelyn Claycomb, Keith Claycomb, Rachele Fiszman, Barbara Flanders, Dennis Flanders, Jeanette Forsman, Dora Harris, Marjorie Jackson, Ben Jeffries, Pat Jeffries, Verna Kocken, Dot Leland, Barbara Payne, Don Payne, Virginia Prouty, Cristy White and Vera Woolley; and nonmembers: Ron Bauer, Ron Bauer, Jackie Jensen, Caroline Rayburn, Susan Reinoehl and Eva Wright-Bever.


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