Rainie Falls and Whisky Creek Cabin, Rogue River Trail - March 6, 2010
Coordinator Richard O'Neill, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill

This last Saturday the hiking club went to the Rogue River, a perennial favorite.  However, we changed it up a little.  Normally, the standard hike is to walk along the north side Rogue River Trail to Whiskey Creek Cabin and back.  We did do that this last Saturday but first preceded that route by hiking the Rainie Falls Trail on the south side of the river.

Despite hiking along the same river but different banks, there were some notable differences.  For one thing, the Rainie Falls Trail was rockier and ruggeder ("ruggeder" probably isn't a real word).  It also was closer to the river, making for a more rivery (don't think "rivery" is legit, either) hike.  Because the south side is shadier, moss rules.  The similarities include the same wonderful cliffy ambience the north side offers.

I had hiked on the Rogue at the end of last January and the difference was notable.  There were a lot more flowers.  Toothwort, shooting stars, snow queen, saxifrage, goldfield, and sea blush were the main culprits.  I also saw some scarlet fritillary buds, theyll be putting on their showy display in about a week.

Rainie Falls had always been a source of frustration as the falls can only be heard and not seen from the north side.  One year, Dollie and I bushwhacked down to the river to see the falls and we still couldn't really see them from the river bank on the north.  Ah, but the south side is different and we oohed and aahed at the falls when we arrived there. 

The falls aren't very tall, only about 10 feet, if that.  Actually, they are more a rapid on steroids than a waterfall.  But the whole Rogue River pours over them, boiling, churning and seething noisily.  It's quite the show.

On the way back, Lane and I observed some geese squabbling over territory and other members got to see a bald eagle.  Western fence lizards (bluebellies) were everywhere. 

After lunch, a sizable group continued on to Whiskey Creek Cabin for an 11 mile day.  When we got to the cabin there was another hiking group there.  Exchanging pleasantries, we identified our respective organizations.  When I mentioned the Friends of the Umpqua, the hike leader said "oh, we saw a nice article in the paper about this hike".


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