Prepping the sturdy and stable pontoon rafts
Gorgeous day dawns in Southern Oregon. Okay, well, it was really beautiful – partially because we were all looking forward to it as well. Funny how it’s as ‘nice’ as you want it to be.
I got up and drove to meet Bob and Guy at the Rand boat launch for the inaugural White Water Warehouse and Women Enjoying Beer Raft & Craft Trip. When I arrived they were both occupied preparing the 2 pontoon rafts, setting up equipment, gear, coolers, and so on. Practiced hands to be sure – they’ve been at this since 1983.
The guests began arriving at 9 am and everyone exchanged introductions. After our own bags were dry bagged and packed on board, Bob gave us a safety talk and we were off!
Lunching it up - Day 1
Down the lovely and very scenic Rogue River. That first morning, 3 of us experienced the trip at water level in inflatable kayaks. All life jacketed up, we floated along and had an ideal first morning.
Oh – and I started the trip Dunkers Club, going over twice – kerplunk! The key to kayaking, I learned, is to head straight into waves; being 90 degrees to them is how you’ll make it through them. The water, I’m here to tell you, was lovely and felt great in combination with a strong sun.
The river was also deep enough in most places to safely be in the river, legs dangling below you, with no fear of scraping. The tough part is getting back into the kayaks with a bulky (and important) life jacket. Once again, Bob & Guy are smart veterans who help guide you the entire trip so you are totally at ease and able to fully enjoy the adventure.
Tumultuous Rainey Falls
We put in at Rainey Falls for lunch where Bob and Guy proceeded to efficiently unpack and set up. It was obvious right away no would go hungry unless they simply didn’t eat! Fresh foods and plenty of it – cucumbers, hummus, blueberries, cherries, sandwiches (meat, tomatoes, trimmings, PBJ), pasta salad and lots of other stuffs. Lemonade and water to quench our thirst and restock the water bottles, a nice view to enjoy during the midday meal and a cloudless sky to gaze at. Tough job….
After repacking up and heading into the current again, we traveled a while more, with a stop at a water fall with a spot deep enough to cannon ball into – which some of us did following Bob’s lead!
Back into the current we go towards Black Bar Lodge, our accommodations for the night. We landed peacefully, everyone happily intact, around 5pm. After a quick group unload, we headed to our charming cabins, showered up and met in the lodge for the first beer tasting and pairing – 1 of 2 for the trip.
Craft Beer - the "Craft" part of the trip
This being the first time WWW & WEB have collaborated, it went off with much success. The lodge is comfortable, we had three courses and the very happy guests and gracious hosts all had a good time.
Ninkasi was our featured beer partner. And I couldn’t resist also featuring a Russian River beer each night too.
The menu the first night looked like this:
Mmmmmmmm! Lots of great questions and comments came from the group, we all polished off a few (taster) glasses of the beers and savored the foods.
Inside my Black Bar Lodge cabin
Needless to say, they were then really excited about the next nights treats!
After dinner, Bob shared some entertaining stories about the river, lodge and area folk which was totally relaxing. As if we weren’t relaxed enough! A little more conversation flowed and with the sun going slowly down, we all bade good night to each other after given our time to regroup for tomorrow and headed out to our cabins.
It didn’t take long for camp to be silent save for the deer and birds settling in around us. Lights out at 10 as the generators got turned off for the night.
To bed. Ahhhhh….
Day 2 – tomorrow.