Friday, May 29, 2009

Crater Lake Lodge Opens

So many of our White Water Warehouse guests stay at Crater Lake Lodge while traveling with us that we had to make note that the Lodge is "now open for business" although the park itself still has significant snow. Typically, the Lodge opens in late May (this year is obviously no exception) and stays open until the snows close it to guests in mid-October.

Built in 1915, the lodge is an architectural 
wonder--inside and out. Sitting on the edge of the 
caldera overlooking Crater Lake, the views are stunning.

The Lodge books early and fast so don't hesitate to call if you are interested in staying for a few days to enjoy day hikes, boat cruises, biking, fine dining, and, of course, the spectacularly blue Crater Lake. Call 888-774-2728 or check lodging availability immediately by clicking on the Lodge's online booking service.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One-of-a-kind Raft for One-of-a-kind Rafting

For over 30 years, White Water Warehouse has run Rogue River rafting trips with its unique and original (designed and built by our in-house professionals!) pontoon rafts. These "babies" are so comfy that we actually have guests book on our Rogue River rafting trips because of the way they ride in the water. Interestingly, folks with back issues find these rafts extraordinarily relaxing. The pontoon's design makes it easy to elongate your legs while supporting the back and lower lumbar. Also a cool design because it sheds water so it doesn't hold onto cold H2O.

The video shows our Whitewater Warehouse guide maneuvering the pontoon raft through a Class III "sneak route" around the famous Rogue River Class V rapids called Rainey Falls. You'll note that there are no guests in the raft--we have our guests walk around the Rainey Falls rapids and they meet the guide/raft at the bottom. That way, they also get to watch the entire descent (and video tape it as well!)

Call us today to book your river adventure 800-214-0579. We boast 26 years of grins for our customers (and us too!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rogue River Landmarks Preserved

Rogue River Landmarks: In early May, the Nature Conservancy finalized the purchase of 1,710 acres on the plateau and slopes of upper Table Rocks, completing a conservation project begun 30 years ago. The $3.9 million deal expands the protected status of Table Rocks to almost 4,900 acres.

This beautiful piece of land is located in southwest Oregon, just north of Medford. And it is a remarkable landmark for many reasons. For one, there is an extraordinary diversity of spectacular wildflowers that bloom from March until June that includes expanses of goldfields, grass widows and brodiaea. The dwarf woolly meadowfoam grows only on the Table Rocks and nowhere else on Earth! The slopes below the rocks support Oregon white oak, madrone, ponderosa pine woodlands, and Rogue Valley chaparral.

A federally listed species of fairy shrimp has been discovered inhabiting the vernal pools on the top of Table Rock and the oak woodland and chaparral at the Table Rocks provide the northernmost known nesting site of the blue-gray gnatcatcher.

Besides its incredible bio-diversity, Table Rocks is important because it is the site of incredible geological history and cultural history. To the Takelma Indians, Table Rocks was a sacred site. It was the heart of the world.

About 40,000 people hike the Table Rocks each year, finding ecological delights or simply the peace and quiet of nature. Many of our White Water Warehouse hiking guests take side hikes each year to Table Rocks to listen to the beautiful song of the western meadowlarks or take in the vast meadows of dwarf lupine, wild onion, and fawn lilies.

To get there: Take I-5 north out of Medford, Oregon. Take exit 33 east about one mile to Table Rock Rd, turn north (left) onto Table Rock Rd, proceed 7.6 miles, passing Tou Velle State Park, turn west (left) onto Wheeler Rd and continue approximately 1 mile to signed parking lot. The two-mile trail to the top of lower Table Rock begins there.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Britt Festivals: Mixing the Music

Oregon Music Festivals: In our blog, we write about southern Oregon's gems. Right at the top of these treasures sits Britt Festivals. Conceived in 1963 by Portland conductor, John Trudeau, "The Britt" has been offering world-class music for 47 years. Trudeau picked the tiny town of Jacksonville and the incredible historic hillside estate of Peter Britt. The venue offers music lovers great views, incredible acoustics, and it is nestled in the quaint southern Oregon town of Jacksonville.

Sara King Cole, Marketing Manager for the Britt Festivals is a wealth of knowledge. "47 years ago Britt Festivals started with a plywood stage and a canvas canopy--there are great stories about the original classical musicians literally having to protect their instruments from the rain coming through the leaky canvas roof. Today, we have a permanent stage, full cover, and a top-of-the-line sound system so our musicians no longer have those concerns."

The Britt Festivals' 2009 performances begin June 12 and run through September 15. The artist lineup boasts an incredible array of musicians and performing talents. You'll find everything from the classical (a three-week festival that is still the heart of Britt) to Etta James, Diana Krall, and a special August 30th performance by Pink Martini honoring Oregon's 150 birthday celebration.

More information is available by accessing the Britt Festivals website or by calling their box office at: 1-800-882-7488.

All photos copyrighted by Britt Festivals.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wildlife Safari - A Bunch of Cool Cats!

Oregon Destination: Southern Oregon's Wildlife Safari is something you must see to believe. Located on the rolling hills of Winston, Oregon, Wildlife Safari's 600 acres are home to hundreds of animals from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Your ticket into the park buys you a peek into what an African Safari must be like. From the safety of your vehicle, you will see these beautiful creatures--and they can take a peek at you too!

Darlene Alexander, public relations for Wildlife Safari, has a cute way of describing this unique park. "We like to say, 'If you were any closer, you'd be lunch!' You can see by the photos I sent you that many of our animals are so curious they will stroll right up to our guests' vehicles. We specialize in bringing people and animals together!"

Many of our White Water Warehouse clients have visited the Safari over the years and always call to report what a unique experience it was for them. "Unforgettable," is the word we hear over and over.

But Wildlife Safari is much more than simply a viewing park. It has a long history of conservation, education, and research of native and exotic wildlife. Staff participate in programs to protect and conserve white rhinos, African elephants, and cheetahs. Since 1973, 161 cheetahs have been born in the park, making Wildlife Safari the largest and most successful cheetah reproduction project in the western hemisphere.

For an adventure you'll never forget, take Interstate 5 to exit 119 (Hwy 42) and follow the signs to Wildlife Safari. Entry fees vary so call ahead--541-679-6761 or check out their website for more information.

All photos copyrighted by Wildlife Safari, Dale & Elva Paulson, and Darlene Alexander.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oregon Caves Chateau Celebrates 75 Year History

Oregon Historic Hotel: We asked Emilie Young, current director of the Chateau at the Oregon Caves, what she found most interesting about the 75 year history of the beautiful hotel. Without hesitation, she answered, "I find it fascinating that 10 business men came together in the middle of the Great Depression to conceive the Chateau. The group privately funded the design and the building of the structure. Their intent was to build a local, non-profit attraction that would employ local residents, display local art, incorporate local-sourced food, and play off the huge attraction of the caves. These 10 men," says Ms. Young, "had the vision to create an economic development component to aid the surrounding communities."

This rustic, Swiss-style, wood-framed building is securely nestled in a forested ravine by the cave's entrance. With its shaggy exterior sheathed in Port Orford cedar bark, the wooden post-and-beam Chateau is a visual delight. The 75-year-old lodge has 30-inch diameter log columns, a rustic staircase crafted from oak and madrone wood, a massive marble hearth, a 1930s-style coffee shop, and, in the dining area, a section of Cave Creek that's been channeled to flow through the graciously elegant room.

Designated as one of the "Great Lodges of Oregon" (the other two are Crater Lake Lodge and Timberline Lodge), you can overnight in one of its stately rooms and dine in the Chateau's unique restaurant. The Chateau at the Oregon Caves is located at 20000 Caves Hwy, Cave Junction OR. Phone 877-245-9022 for lodging or dining reservations or visit the Chateau's website.

This just in from the weird file...we just had to add a blurb about the ghost hunter taking on the ghosts at the Oregon Caves Chateau....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oregon Caves Celebrates 100 Years

Oregon National Monument: Actually 100 years is a relatively small amount of time in the "life" history of these fascinating caves located near the tiny southern Oregon town of Cave Junction. The 100 year celebration is a nod to President William Taft's 1909 designation of the Oregon Caves as a National Monument. Often referred to as "The Marble Halls of Oregon," these caves are worth preserving...and viewing.

Geologists say the cave's bedrock, originally limestone, likely formed around 240 million years ago, before being buried underneath thick piles of lava and mud. Pressure and heat from molten rock transformed the limestone into marble. In the last 1 - 2 million years, water has been the cave's patient architect, carving out hollow passages and building up striking formations shaped like parachutes, bananas, fancy draperies and gothic columns. There's also cave popcorn, formed in the direction of airflow, and moonmilk, composed of tiny calcite crystals, but with a look and feel of ricotta cheese. These crystals were once used medicinally by European peasants to heal livestock wounds.

The only way to enter the Oregon Caves is on ranger-led tours. The moderately strenuous, 90-minute standard tour meanders about a half-mile through sometimes low and narrow passages and climbs more than 500 stairs. Good walking shoes and warm clothing are necessities--the cave temperature is a nippy year-round 44 degrees. For those who can't take the tours--the first room of the cave is accessible.

For a full list of schedule activities, call 541-592-2100 or visit the Oregon Caves website. In an upcoming blog, we will highlight the beautiful Oregon Caves Chateau...a rustic Swiss-style, wood-framed building that is nestled in a forested ravine by the cave entrance.