Low Water Greets Inner Tubers On Rogue River

Last year was an unusually dry one for Southern Oregon, so it is no surprise that the Rogue River is quite low.  This means rocks are poking their heads up at inappropriate places and tree branches are plainly visible.  But the current is not as strong, so if you end up on a rocky bar, you can simply walk to deeper water.  However, a lack of rain, combined with a very warm May, has allowed more moss to grow, so be careful of your footing!  I would recommend sports shoes or boots, not sandals, and, of course, a sturdy flotation device.  The waves are smaller in many rapids, and dodging is more of a requirement, especially in rapids like Rattlesnake or the series of rapids below Casey State Park.  But, on the whole, the river is more forgiving than previous years, and resembles more the pre-Lost Creek Dam years when there was no river control.

For kids, there are more sand bars, beaches, and places where there is no current.  You can simply lie on your back and float.  This is a great time to introduce kids to the fun of being in the river with a minimum of danger.

Whatever age you are, please visit the Rogue River this year and have a great time!

One Lovely Blog Award And Best Moment Award

I am deeply grateful to photographyartplus for nominating me for these prestigious awards.  I hope that my posts have been of interest to my visitors.

About me:

1.  Blue is my favorite color, since I have a love for rivers.

2.  I began inner tubing the Rogue River when I was 12 and haven’t stopped.

3.  Carousel is one of my favorite musicals.

4.  I am a lifetime member of the British Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

5.  Fluorite and tourmaline are two of my favorite minerals, because they come in many colors.

6.  I have a passion for Lewis Carroll and his illustrators.

7.  I enjoy taking photos of nature.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers for One Lovely Blog Award and Best Moment Award:

1.  auntyuta

2. photographyartplus

3. thesophomoreslump2

4. leaf and twig

5. twng32

6. thejapans

7.oahuhiking

To all of the above, congratulations!

A Passion For Flowers

I must confess that I’ve had a lifelong passion for flowers with their assorted blooms, colors and shapes.  I think my love of flowers started when I bought petunia seeds at Armstrongs, planted them in the back corner of our lot and watched them grow.  Then I remember looking at a book of flowers with such intriguing names as zinnias, morning glories, larkspur, delphinium.  The color photos showed me a world of beauty.  Many years later, it was my privilege to walk through Mrs. Tucker’s wonderful garden at Rogue’s Roost with its fragrances and patterns.  And, it was no accident that I chose botany as one of my chapters in The Magicians of Form, and that I asked my interviewee, Dr. Frank Lang, to identify the plants and flowers in the riparian environment surrounding our home while we walked to the Rogue River.

I do have a fondness for roses and camellias and have taken hundreds of photos.  (Incidentally, my sister Nancy has won several awards for her roses.)  When it comes to landscaping, I am indebted to the helpful suggestions of the Medfords, who took the trouble to explain how to prune rhododendrons and roses.  Mr. Medford’s penchant for gardening is well-known, but Mrs. Medford possesses a fine eye for beauty and order.(I might also say that Mrs. Medford’s famous apple pies are just as good as they are reported to be.)  Also, my flowering dogwood is an inspiration to me, and azaleas are something to reflect on.  I offer you some photos of flowers that have a place in my heart.   

Introducing TouVelle State Park

TouVelle State Park on the upper Rogue River is one of the most scenic parks in Southern Oregon.  It presents a riparian environment rife with wildflowers, blackberry bushes, trees, and many kinds of birds.  As to the latter, the park is a favorite of birdwatchers, who are seen often wearing their binoculars.  Tou Velle Park has expanded to include a nature trail which hooks up with the Denman Wildlife Refuge.  Before the flood of 1955, a military bridge connected the two parts of the Tou Velle Road, which remain as isolated segments in different parts of the valley.  One of my photos shows what’s left of the bridge, a mere pylon.  At the lower end of the park,  Bybee Bridge, a double cantilever bridge, once ruled supreme, but was removed for a cement bridge that created numerous obstacles for boaters, and detracted greatly from the beauty along the shore.  The lowest ramp is recommended as easier and safer, and many boats take advantage of it.  Fishing is plentiful, but no famous holes for summer steelhead.  The park’s inhabitants also include frolicsome children, for whom a special rock dam was built so they could play in the river without danger, and dogs chasing sticks.  Below I have posted photos from Summers 2011-2012, which give a feel of the park’s activities and pleasures.

Inner Tubing Season 2012 Comes To A Close

Yes, the inner tubing season of 2012 is coming to a close.  The water level and temperature of the Rogue River have dropped and mornings are decidedly cooler. Leaves are falling and autumn is approaching.  It has been a splendid season with spectacular days.    The only drawbacks have been the smoke due to fires, and an abundance of trees, which the county has tried to remove.  But the steady warm weather has made for wonderful tubing, which is fast becoming a memory.  I hope all tubers on the river had as much fun as I did.  Here’s to another great season!

The Adventure Of Bitterman Falls On The Rogue River

Bitterman Falls is a solid Class3-(3+ in high water, flows above 5,000 cfs.) rapid, which precedes the well-known Gold Nugget Falls.  It is an adventure!

“The calm before the storm.”

Bitterman Falls is an exciting ride.

The far right is not the way to go.

The far left is not much better.

Tubing The Upper Rogue River, Part 1.

IMG_0574IMG_0573IMG_0417IMG_0379IMG_1186In tubing the Upper Rogue River, the floater has more choices, because of the recent removal of Gold Ray Dam and Savage Rapids Dam.  Basically, you can tube from below Lost Creek Dam to Gold Ray Rapid, and from Gold Hill Park to Graves Creek without too much difficulty.  High water creates some large holes, which should be avoided if possible.  Since the tube can only take a curler of a certain height, anything above that height will result in a swim.  Places to watch out for include the long rapid near the former Obstinate J Ranch, which is full of turbulent eddies, cross currents, minor reversals, and rocks.  This rapid is about 1/2 mile below Casey State Park.  Over the years, many, many people have gotten stranded or have tipped over in this rapid.  Rapids such as the one above Rogue Elk Park acquire considerable force as does Horseshoe Falls just above Rattlesnake Rapid.  Twin Bridges Rapid just above Valley of the Rogue State Park should not be taken on the left, because of sharp, rocky ledges.  It is wise to get out immediately on the left below Gold Ray Rapid since an irregular wave through a broken weir at the right occurs very soon, and Bitterman Falls, Gold Nugget(Hayes, Dowden) Falls, and T’lomikh Falls are definitely not for tubers.  The photos above include one of drop below Casey Rapid,  two of Rogue Elk Rapid; and two of Twin Bridges Rapid.  Photo below is Casey Rapid.IMG_1187