Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One Creepy Toad....

They came creeping out after dark. Camped near Missouri Creek on Oregon's Rogue River, these Western Toads stayed safely burrowed away until twilight. Silently they emerged, sitting atop the warmed rocks of the camp site. They have voices like the weak peeping of baby chicks...

One of Whitewater Warehouse's clients took several photos and captured the true "beauty" of these beasts. Enature.com says that these toads are active at twilight (just what we found to be true). The site also says that at higher elevations, where nighttime temperatures are low, they can be active during the day too.

The toads live in burrows of their own construction or hang out in homes made by small rodents. Lovely....I see a new magazine in the making for these guys..."Toad Burrow Beautiful."

Friday, April 25, 2008

One Oar in the Water....

We believe it is important to use the best, more innovative equipment on the water...especially when it comes to what types of oars our guides row with on the Rogue River. Sawyer oars (and paddles) are made in southern Oregon by the Sawyer Paddles & Oars professionals. For over 40 years this company has been on the forefront of paddle and oar advancements. Their original Douglas Fir oars were light weight and had the ability to withstand the tough conditions unique to whitewater use. Today, the company also produces under the "Smoker" brand (these are solid Ash paddles and oars). Its newer hybrid oars are made of both composite and wood/composite and are arguably more durable than their wood counterparts and much lighter.

Our Whitewater Warehouse guides all have their own preferences regarding which type of oar they like to run on our Oregon rafting trips. But the one constant is that they all have selected Sawyer oars brand as their oar of choice.

Bruce Bergstrom, owner of Sawyer, had a couple interesting facts to share about his company. "I am proud of that our company has supplied the oars that set the Northern Atlantic Crossing record and also supplied the oars for the recent Southern Atlantic Crossing record. It is amazing to me to think about the individuals that set these records rowing for 2 1/2 months in a 20 foot boat." For more information on this interesting company which sells paddles and oars to hundreds of outfitters and even more private boaters, check out their website at: Sawyer Paddles & Oars

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rafting the Fish Ladder

This "sneak route" is called the fish ladder and is located on the wild & scenic Rogue River. Folks use this route to bypass Rainey Falls (a Class V rapid on the Rogue River). Super fun rapid to kayak through...think it is classified as a class III rapids. You can see at the top of this rapid one of Whitewater Warehouse's pontoon rafts making its way down the pool-n-drop series of rapids. Oregon rafting and kayaking at its finest!

Monday, April 21, 2008

MeTime: Girlfriend Getaways (& Boyfriend Breaks)

Just read about the latest “travel trend.” A travel writer noted that the hottest vacation ticket today are girlfriends who are traveling as a group to a pre-planned destination. So what planet has this writer been on?!? We here at Whitewater Warehouse have been sponsoring all-women Oregon rafting trips for the last 11 years. They are some of the most fun (and wild) trips that we run every year.

Of the 35+ multi-day rafting and kayaking trips that WWW runs on Oregon’s Rogue River, over a quarter of the trips are booked in majority or totally by women’s (and men’s) groups. The nice thing about a multi-day rafting trip is that participants are able to relax and experience some down time (MeTime!). As the aforementioned travel writer says in her article, “traditionally, women planned family vacations where they were the ones making sure everyone is happy, everyone is safe, and everyone is entertained.”

Now women are saying it’s our turn for fun and relaxation. Women can afford to travel and they typically do it “in style.” Over the years, Whitewater Warehouse has hosted all kinds of groups of gals wanting to getaway. A few were celebrating their 60th birthdays together. The company has also welcomed professional women’s groups that want to work & play together. Even girlfriend reunion trips—where old friends were able to reunite and share what’s happened to them over the past several years.

Maybe it is because the Rogue River offers a safe escape that these trips are so popular. Vegas has made this phrase popular but its true on the river too…”What happens on the river, stays on the river!”

Friday, April 18, 2008

the 'ol swimming hole

The best Oregon swimming hole can be found about 10 miles into lucky rafters' and kayakers' Rogue River adventure. This beautiful, nature-carved stone pool shown in the photo above is fed by a snow-melt creek that topples about 10 feet into the pristine pool. The Rogue swimming hole, surrounded by giant boulders and craggy trees, is regarded by some as the quintessence of beauty and a special spot to enjoy a relaxing, cooling break.

The folks in the photo were all guests on a Whitewater Warehouse Rogue River lodge-to-lodge rafting trip and stopped to cool off that day in the 100+ degree weather.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rogue Class IV: Stunning Mule Creek Canyon

How cool is this photo? This shot was taken by one of Whitewater Warehouse's clients looking "down the gullet" of Mule Creek Canyon on Oregon's Rogue River. This particular stretch of the Rogue River is class IV--which means lots of water, lots of fun, and lots of adrenaline rushes.

The Canyon is located about 20.5 miles inside the wild & scenic section of the Rogue River. Its rapids have some pretty descriptive names like: "Jaws," "Telfer's Hole," "The Narrows," and "Coffee Pot." With names like those, it doesn't take a huge imagination to figure out what could happen to a kayaker who decides to run the most adventurous lines!

Factoid: Mule Creek was named in the summer of 1852 when a company of soldiers from Fort Orford tried to open a trail along the Rogue River in this area. One of the men in the company (named Williamson) rode a mule named John. When the mule was turned loose to graze at the spring of this creek, it wandered off and was not found. This incident resulted in the stream being called "John Mule Creek," but the name was later shortened to the present "Mule Creek."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Rogue River Bald Eagles Thrive

In 1978 the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service set aside 4,200 acres in southern Oregon to enhance nesting alternatives for the magnificent bald eagle. The Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge consists of 4,200 acres, primarily old growth Ponderosa pine, incense cedar, and white and Douglas Fir.

The mature stands of trees in this particular refuge have open branching patterns of large limbs which allow easy eagle access and can support many birds. Located on the northeast slope, the roost also shelters these raptors from the harsh and prevailing winter winds. As many as 300 bald eagles have used the roost in a single night.

The Refuge has allowed undisturbed nesting habitat for several bald eagle pairs. Since its inception in 1978, the Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge has made it possible for these magnificent creatures to be seen up and down the wild and scenic Rogue River canyon. In fact, the photo above was taken last year by a Whitewater Warehouse client while rafting through the incredible Rogue River canyon.

The Refuge is closed to the public (to protect the privacy of the eagles) but from December through mid-March excellent opportunities are available outside the Refuge to observe early morning fly-outs of large numbers of bald eagles and other raptors.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rogue Creamery Wins Fans All Over The World

In the small, southern Oregon town of Central Point an artisan cheese maker has captured the attention of the world cheese marketplace. Rogue Creamery has quietly produced a world-class (and award winning) line of raw milk blue cheeses since its start in 1957. Recently, a San Francisco writer wrote of the dairy, “with Crater Lake Blue, they (Rogue Creamery) have a distinctive product worthy of a seat in America’s admittedly small blue cheese pantheon.”

Crater Lake Blue is a rindless cheese with a creamy texture and moderate pungency. It is bolder in flavor than the dairy’s other blues (Oregonzola and Rogue River Blue) but not particularly aggressive. These cheeses get their unique flavors because they are created with raw milk. And in that ingredient was “the rub.” Until recently, the United States government did not allow export of raw milk products. In September of 2007, all that changed and the government approved the raw milk health certificate for use in exporting to the European market. The rest, as they say, is history. Today Rogue Creamery’s products are receiving prestigious awards both here in the States and in the European marketplace.

We at Whitewater Warehouse have been enjoying Rogue Creamery’s fantastic artisan cheeses for years. The Rogue River Blue is a favorite of our employees and customers. It is strong, but not overpowering, and has a sweet, rich finish. The Oregonzola makes for an out-of-this-world salad that we serve often at home to our guests….

Oregon Blue-Nut Salad!

½ cup of roasted, pealed, and chopped hazelnuts
½ cup finely chopped red onions
½ cup Rogue Creamery’s crumbled Oregonzola
6 – 8 cups of organic salad mix (or more if you like) – chopped roughly

Mix the above four ingredients together and toss with the following dressing: 2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar, 2 tablespoons of walnut oil, 2 tablespoons of hazelnut oil, dash of freshly ground pepper

Monday, April 7, 2008

Oregon Waterfalls

When you think of the Rogue River canyon, waterfalls don't necessarily come to mind. But as you raft, kayak or hike down the canyon you will come upon myriad beautiful small and large waterfalls. One of the most spectacular waterfalls is located at the bottom of Mule Creek Canyon and is called Stair Creek Falls.

This photo was taken in 2007 in front of this incredible waterfall. The two young men just finished inflatable kayaking through Mule Creek Canyon and are taking a photo break in the bone-chilling waters of the snow-melt fed waterfall. Truly a unique, one-of-a-kind Oregon experience. To check out more geology and geography on the Rogue River, click here

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oregon Vacations: Rogue River Rafting & More!

Thinking about vacationing in Oregon? Then rafting the Rogue in southern Oregon may be just the family vacation for you. Oregon has so much to offer those travelers looking for adventure, national parks, and great lodges. Coupling a rafting vacation on the Rogue with another Oregon destination can extend your Oregon fun and would allow you to explore more of Oregon’s wonders. Who wouldn’t love a vacation on the craggy beaches near Gold Beach or the mysterious Crater Lake and then finish up with a great lodge-to-lodge whitewater rafting trip? You can even stay in charming tree houses at the woodsy Treehouses Resort. Or visit a quaint and upcoming southern winery. This kind of multi-venue trip works well for those who would like to have a week or two in Oregon. Oregon, part adventure..part culture, yes the best family vacation ever!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Whitewater Twins Turn 50!

OK, the cat is out of the bag. The twins (Joy & Joyce) from Whitewater Warehouse turned 50 years old and threw a big birthday bash! This last Saturday, Joyce's house was filled with meaningful family and friends--lots and lots of laughter and the sharing of great memories. Ahhh, and then the food. There was fresh smoked salmon and steelhead, unbelievable cheeses to complement the fish, yummy salads, and super rich desserts (gotta have chocolate).

Joy and Bob own Whitewater Warehouse and Joyce works part time in the Whitewater Warehouse (WWW) office. You may know her by "Renee" which is her office name. When she started at WWW, we all felt it was too confusing for her to answer the phones as Joyce because her voice sounds so much like Joy (or Joy sounds so much like her!) So, we made the executive decision to have Joyce go by her middle name, Renee, when she answers the WWW phones. Now you know "the rest of the story."

The photo above was taken by Joyce's son, Sam, and shows the party twins (Joyce on the left, Joy on the right). Friends Ann Werner and her partner, Terry Dibble, gave them the fun 50th Queen Crowns that you see Joy and Joyce wearing in the photo. Don't be surprised if the two wear them to the office while answering your phone call!