Getting Closer

Getting Closer
Getting Closer

Monday, August 14, 2017

July 17 through 19 Fabulous Fun with Friends

Current Location:  Running Y Resort Klamath Falls Oregon: sunny, pleasant, and a bit smoky from the fires burning in Oregon and California including Crater Lake

If you have read the blog for any length of time, you know we have made some great friends through RV traveling and blogging.  I think most RV people know about this surprising benefit.  We count Jimmy and Nicky, the Intrepid Decrepit Travelers, among our very best friends, and we never would have known them without the blog.  Needless to say, we were delighted when Nickie let us know they would be traveling our way to Oregon during mid-July.

They wanted to see our new house in progress, maybe do some hiking (if you know the two of them, hiking is something they do a lot). However, living in the Rogue Valley in summer can be pretty darn hot, and we thought it might be fun to spend a day on the fabulous Rogue River.  That left a couple more days to spend doing fun stuff.

I sent Nickie an itinerary for a round trip route to Crater Lake, returning via a night with us at the Running Y.  Nickie saw the google map and said, Yikes!  (one of her favorite words), that is much too long to be in the car in one day.  I think the route was something like 185 miles, with planned hikes as well?  Maybe not.  We nixed that plan for a simpler one.

They arrived on Monday afternoon, in time for the 1 pm check in at Valley of the Rogue State Park, a lovely place just ten miles or so south of our place in Grants Pass.  Instead, they were given a new check in time of 4pm, due to “site maintenance”, and had to park their motorhome “Tergel” out in the hot sun until check in time.  We had already arrived at the house, but it was hot there as well, and everyone decided that our original meet up time at 5 pm at the house was still the best plan.

It was hot.  Did I already mention that? With the air going full speed in the MoHo and the Weber Q outside on the picnic table, I managed to put together a meal for the four of us to share in the new house.

After showing them around, talking about all the fun things to come with our house, we set up a table in the “dining room” where the breeze kept us reasonably cool.  Nickie and Jimmy were our second dinner guests in our new home, although they were the first to enjoy walls as well as the subfloor which was all we had when I cooked dinner for Grandson Matthew.

As is always the case when we get together, there was lots of laughter and silliness all around, playing with photos and trying to get selfies of the four of us.  Nickie worked very hard at getting her camera to actually take a time release photo, triggering even more laughter.  Sunset from the porch was lovely, the company was fabulous, and we all looked forward to the next morning’s adventure.

If you live in Grants Pass, the most exciting thing to share with friends and family is a trip down the Rogue in a jetboat with Hellgate Excursions.  We were lucky this year.  Lots of winter rains allowed the boats to run through Hellgate Canyon much later in the season than usual.  Sometimes by mid-July, the boats can no longer make the long day trip and will only travel as far as the canyon.

The Caveman Bridge with the arches and flowers is an iconic Grants Pass landmark

Our trip went through the famous canyon, beyond Graves Creek, and to the beginning of the permit required area of the Wild and Scenic Rogue.  The day gorgeous, a perfect day for enjoying the river. 

Approaching the first real rapids and Hellgate Canyon

We stopped for lunch at the famous Morrison Lodge, along the banks of the Rogue, and well known for a fishing destination since the 40’s

Nickie explores the grounds at Morrison Lodge where we had a great lunch

The Rogue is a magnificent river, emerging from Crater Lake and winding through some of the most pristine wilderness in Oregon on it’s way to the Pacific Ocean emerging at Gold Beach.  From Gold Beach, there are mail boat runs you can take for a day trip up river to Agness, something Mo did a few years ago, but I haven’t yet experienced.

I did take my phone along, deciding that getting the camera wet wasn’t worth it.  Hellgate Excursions promises that you WILL get wet.  I put the phone in a zip lock and only brought it out at safe moments.  Or so I thought.  The boat captains love to do that big spin thing that jet boats do, and we were traveling in tandem with another boat.  A few times we got a bit of spray here and there when they spun, but toward the very end of the trip, at the last place where spinning was allowed, the other captain decided a full on drench was in order. 

The wave that came into the boat wasn’t just spray, but like standing under a big wave in the ocean.  The phone got wet.  Thank goodness I managed to get it under my body upside down, and when it was all over, the phone was OK.  Whew!  I don’t have insurance on that ridiculously expensive Galaxy Note 5.  I did manage to get a few photos at least.

After a long day on the river, hot sun, and all the excitement, the four of us were perfectly happy to retire to our own places for the rest of the evening.

Early the next morning, we drove to the park to pick up our two guests for another day of adventuring, this time driving over the mountains from the Rogue Valley to the Klamath Basin.  We wanted to share the delightful luxuries of our Running Y villa with them. 

 Nickie on the beach near the lodge at Lake of the Woods

On the way, I mentioned I knew of a few nice places to check out along our route, and since this was a “water trip” for The Intrepid Travelers, they like the idea of visiting lakes and another beautiful headwater stream.  Lake of the Woods is right along the High Lakes Pass on Highway 140, the route we have traveled more times than I care to count.  Somehow with friends along, on a gorgeously clear sunny day, it looks all fresh and beautiful again. 

We then traveled north through the Wood River Valley to the beautiful headwaters of the Wood River, and yes, that turquoise is absolutely real.  I love the colors of a pure spring.

Mattie had a great time leaping about in the grass, and while it was hot, the mosquitos weren’t near as bad as they can be.  We had a makeshift lunch of cheese and crackers and veggies that just happened to be in the ice chest I was taking back from the MoHo to the Villa, so that was a lucky break.

Returning to the Running Y, there was time for a lovely cool swim before we took advantage of the lovely Ruddy Duck restaurant located in the main lodge of the resort.  Dinner on the deck overlooking the golf course and the surrounding mountains was amazing.  Mo and I have had drinks on that deck now and then, but until this evening hadn’t had dinner there.  Definitely worth repeating, and thank you Jimmy and Nickie for the great treat!

The next morning the 4 of us took Mattie for a walk on the 3.5 mile path around the golf course before we had breakfast.  I like cooking a big breakfast for company.  Don’t often do that for ourselves, so it is nice to have an excuse for all the trimmings.

In spite of the 4 pm check-in time, there was still a 1 pm check-out at the Valley of the Rogue.  We packed up and loaded into the car for the trip over the mountain by 11 to get our guests back to Tergel sitting at the park waiting patiently for the next leg of their Oregon adventure. 

What a special time to share with good friends. Lucky Us!