Rogue River East - January 16, 2016
Coordinator Jennifer Coalwell, narration by Bill Riley and pictures by Jennifer Coalwell

On Saturday the 16th, under the leadership of Jennifer, John, Lindsey, Tony Cannon (a new member), and I left Roseburg and traveled South on I-5 to the Wolf creek turn off, then West to the Rogue River.  We hit quite a bit of rain on the way down but it seemed to slack off the closer we got to the river. We parked at the Grave Creek Boat Ramp where we saw at least five rubber boats, including one or two pontoon boats, which were being readied for a float down the river.

We decided to cross the bridge over the Rogue and hike first the two miles down the west bank to Rainey Falls, just in case the rains returned later. We completed that two miles in just under one hour. The trail was quite rocky but since it was less traveled than the east bank the rocks were not quite as smooth so not as slippery. We did have to cross several streams which were no problem except for those who wore tennis shoes. The river was quite high though by no means as high as it had been previously as noted by signs of drift wood along the banks. While we rested a at Rainey Falls we were able to watch the first three boats pass through the swift water. All three took to the center or east bank which was not quite as traitorous as the west side of the river. On our way back we did meet three other hikers and one said that the two remaining boats did intend to try the west side of the river. Unfortunately we did not get to see them go over the falls.

We got back to the bridge in under two hours but as we did we noticed a strange dark object on the ground that seemed to follow John everywhere he went. It finally dawned on us that it was John's shadow. We Oregonian's are not used to seeing our shadows at this time of the year. We walked back to the parked cars and enjoyed our lunch while debating whether to hike the east bank. The good weather held so we started out. First obstacle was the creek just beyond the parking lot which involved a bit of wading or stepping on rocks. The trail on the east side was much steeper and considerably more slippery so we  had to be careful as an accidental fall could land us in the river. After not more than 20 minutes into the hike we came to a rather heavy water fall that went right across the trail. There was no way we could continue on without getting wet and risking falling so we waited there a while until another man and woman came along. The man elected to climb down the bank below the trail and cross the stream by leaping from one rock to another. The woman very capably followed behind him. We all except Tony had been on this trail two or three times previously. And we didn't know what other falls we would encounter ahead so we all agreed to return to our cars and head back to Roseburg. So completed another great hike with the Friends of the Umpqua.


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