Lower Takelma Rapid Packs A Wallop For Inner Tubers

Lower Takelma Rapid, just below Takelma Park, packs a real wallop for inner tubers.  The rapid begins with an innocuous rock bar that occurs to the right of an island.  Tubers need to pull to the left as they pass over the bar, because the right current will take them into a tree and an overhanging bush that are close to the right bank.  Nevertheless,  tubers will find themselves on the right.  Now they must pull hard to the left to dodge a waterfall over a ledge on the right, and, in particular, avoid a nasty boulder at the left end of the ledge.  Then they will drop a few feet into some truly large waves.(At high water the waves converge to form a huge hole, which must be dodged to avoid a swim.)  Tubers will need to balance themselves as they climb the steep waves until they encounter calmer water downstream.

The rapid has an interesting history, and the current rapid is a relative newcomer, having been formed by high spring water just a few years before.  As long as I can remember, the river always split into different channels and some of them were so shallow that a child could ford them easily.  As this was one of Dad’s favorite steelhead holes, I often did just that.  An hour to a restless child is a long time and I recall wading the shallow bars around me in search of a shiny jasper or multicolored agate.  Often I was more fortunate than Dad, and the bottom of the raft was littered with shiny minerals.  Over the years the river continued to push the bars down, culminating finally in the threatening Lower Takelma Rapid.  The imprints of children’s feet on the sand bars have become a mere memory.

Back To The Rogue River

It’s the end of June, and I’m back to the Rogue River.  Water flow is high, over 3,000 cfs coming from the Dam, and near Tou Velle about 3500 cfs.  The weather has been erratic with a few warm days offset by cooler, rainy ones.  I think tubing season is probably one to two weeks away.  The water is still quite cold, about 51-52 at Takelma Park.  I prefer a flow of 53+, so I don’t feel the stinging sensation that comes from cold water.  I offer a few photos of the river and the surrounding flowers near my home and Dodge Bridge.      

Time To Swim The Rogue River

It’s quite warm in Southern Oregon with temps. in the 90s, and it’s time to start swimming.  I took my first swim a few days ago, and can’t wait to go back.  The trees and plants adjoining the river give the surrounding area that fresh summer aroma.  The water itself isn’t too cold, and quite refreshing.  It’s just the thing to break up any work you may have been doing.  Have a great time on the river!

Wave From Upper Takelma Park Riffle

Inner Tubing Season Begins In Southern Oregon

The weather has finally warmed up to the point where inner tubing is possible on the Rogue River.  The Rogue River between Casey State Park and Tou Velle State Park offers great whitewater for inner tubing.  There are several Class II rapids with a few Class II+ and a Class III-.  Strainers can be a problem, and there are several waves that can flip a tube.  Best stretches are from Casey State Park to Rogue Elk Park, and from Dodge Bridge to Black Oaks.  The latter stretch includes Horseshoe Falls Class II+, and Rattlesnake Rapid Class III-.  The photo below is Takelma Park Riffle at about 4,000cfs.IMG_0114