We had to cover 11.4 miles (18.2 km) on this last day of our trip and we had to do it by a certain time. We had hoped to return to the Galice Resort via the Bear Camp Road but that wasn’t open yet. So we’d have to make the two-hour longer return via Brookings and Highway 199. To get back to our cars at a sorta reasonable hour, we had to be at the trailhead no later than 1330. Because the heat and overly full stomachs had been an issue, The LovedOne and I elected to skip breakfast and start our hike at 0730, right after coffee was served. No one, least of all us, was going to hike uncaffinated! This way we could hike in the cool of the morning and not have to overly hurry to reach the trailhead. Another option was to raft the last few miles to the trailhead. This is faster than walking and half our group availed themselves of this option.
The entire Rogue River Trail is great but my favorite section is the one from Paradise Lodge past the little cabin at Brushy Bar. In the past it’s been staffed in the summer by a Forest Service volunteer. Today the flag was raised but no one was obviously about, so we pushed on.
Our itinerary called for us to check-in with Glen at Tacoma, Brushy Bar, and Flora Dell, but we weren’t able to raise him on the radio until just before Flora Dell. We were to meet there for lunch. Then we got in the zone, blew past the Dell (the little sign that was there in 2015 has gone missing), couldn’t raise Glen on the radio, and so just hiked on. 🙄
We didn’t come out of the zone until we were past Hicks Creek and starting up the first irritating hill at the end of the trail. The LovedOne strenuously vetoed going back and climbing down to the river for lunch (and then back up), so we decided just to continue on to the trailhead. If the section at Brushy Bar is my favorite part of the trail, the three climbs needed to avoid private in-holdings between Hicks Creek and Billings Creek constitute my least favorite section. Colorful language erupted as we made our way up and over these encumbrances and out into the big meadow at Big Bend.
The “gazelles” (Sue and Barb) had, of course, reached the trailhead before us but we weren’t too far behind them. Sarah had come up from Foster Bar (where the rafts take-out) with our gear so we could switch to sandals. Glen and the rest of the group – Brenda, Lisa, Curtis, and Bret – showed-up a little later and we all piled into the van for the ride back on Highway 199 to the Galice Resort. We were in our car and heading home by 1900. Our now less than new cat – having finally become enraptured with our cat sitter – was only mildly enthused at our return.
And so our excellent return to the Rogue came to an end after four days, three lodges, 39.5 trail miles, two rattlesnakes, and a lizard. We owed the positiveness of this experience to the professionalism, skill, and experience of our guides, Glen and Sarah. There are really good, affable people – and good cooks. This is our third trip with Momentum and we remain impressed that this small, local company can attract such skilled and personable people. We were also lucky in that, once again, our fellow guests were also good, easy going people with interesting stories. We especially enjoyed Barb and Sue’s recounting of their various running and mountain biking exploits. Now may be the time for us to move on from the Rogue to more and different adventures? 🙂RETURN TO FRONT PAGE