August has been an intense month for the Rogue River community. As many of you know, the Big Windy Complex Wildfire caused the Bureau of Land Management to close the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River on July 30th. Boaters and tourists have had their summer vacation dreams dashed and outfitters and local businesses have lost a lot of income during the peak season. Air quality has, at times, been dangerously smoky and it has been a difficult fire to control because of such extreme terrain.
While we have been working long hours in the office working with our guests, many of our guides have stayed around the Galice area helping the fire crews by rowing rafts full of supplies and personnel to various stations along the river. You can read our guide Nate’s account. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the firefighters and emergency personnel who have been tirelessly working to control all of the wildfires that have occurred this summer. Our guides have witnessed firsthand the drive and dedication of these folks and we are proud to have been a part of the efforts.
The Forest Service issued special permits to outfitters to take guests down the Deschutes River and we decided to take them up on the offer. Cole, one of our new guides, spent eight seasons working on the Deschutes and was an integral part in making these trips run smoothly. We ran a couple of incredible trips down, including our popular Brews with Views trip with Double Mountain Brewery. It may have even been “one of the best Double Mountain trips to date” says trip leader J.R. Weir.
Office staff and guides alike worked fast to make these trips rock and our guests were as happy as they would have been on the Rogue. The beautiful desert canyon provided blue skies and big, shady campsites, and guests had the chance to Standup Paddleboard and ducky to their hearts’ content. Judging from what they said about it, it looks like our guests had incredible experiences. Here are some guest quotes about their Deschutes trip:
“Very knowledgable about the river even though this was their first time on the Deschutes. Took very good care of us and helped me to feel relaxed.”
“It was a delight to find that being on the river was only a part of what made the trip so wonderful. Being in camp…reading, drawing, photographing, fishing, playing games, hiking & exploring, waking to the starry sky and sunrises and just enjoying the riverside environment were equally a wonderful part of the trip.”
“I really appreciate all the hard work that everyone contributed to reschedule our trip from the Rogue to the Deschutes.”
As our 2013 season comes to an end, we have been able to run our last few trips and kayak schools on the beloved Rogue River. We are all happy to be back to running the world-class trips we are accustomed to. We’ve learned a lot this past month, been kept on our toes, but have come out strong, knowing that we can handle whatever’s thrown at us.