August 22, 2011

Move Aside Mt. Rainier -- Rogue River Wins My "Best of the Trip" Award

I was sure that Mt. Rainier would end up No. 1 in my rating of stops in my "trip of a lifetime" through the Pacific Northwest, which ended this past Saturday. But then last Wednesday we checked into a motel in Gold Beach, OR, and our waitress at the restaurant where we went for supper raved about the Rogue River -- which empties into the Pacific at Gold Beach -- and the jet boat trip up the river.

Her enthusiasm was so contagious that we changed our plans and got up early the next morning to sign up for the half-day tour that started at 8:30 and ended at 2pm. As has happened to me often in my travels, this unplanned event, decided on the spur of the moment, turned out to be the high point of the trip  for me.

The jet boat, which can operate in water as shallow as six inches, also can make a fast full-circle spin when our skipper/guide wanted to give us an extra thrill. He is a licensed fishing guide and avid fisherman, so he knew the river, its inhabitants and history well.

Here are few photos from the trip:

This is the starting point in the beach front town of Gold Beach:

And our boat:

A  couple of cormorants strut around on a nearby dock. The Japanese in the past tied bands around these birds' necks that would permit them to swallow smaller fish but not larger ones, which they would bring back and spit out for their owners:

This bridge was completely covered by water with logs deposited on top of it during the historic Oregon floods of December, 1964 and January, 1965:

Here are two of the several sightings we had of American eagles. We also saw many osprey, otters, deer, and a herd of distant elk. But no bears, although we did see the blackberry bushes lining the banks that the bears feed on.

That's a pretty good salmon catch!

This is the entrance to Copper Canyon. A proposal to build a hydraulic dam here led to the enactment of the the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Protection Act of 1968.

As we headed back down, the lower river was filled with mostly frustrated fishermen who weren't having the same luck as those we saw upstream:

I may use this photo as my computer screen saver to remind me of this wonderful day:

1 comment:

janinsanfran said...

I have to ask: was the restaurant Spinner's Sea Food ...? We ate there when passing through last spring and were very pleasantly surprised.

Looks like a great trip!