President's Day 2020
2020 President's Day Rogue River Trip
Submitted by Skip Currier
Photos by Steve Oslund and Bruce Eicher
The President’s Day trip has always been one of those, ‘should I wear enough layers so I look like the Michelin Man’, ‘is it going to rain so hard I need a mask and flippers’, or ‘will it be warm enough for shorts’ type of trips.
Well, for the 22 boaters and kayakers who decided to do the trip, you couldn’t have written a better script!
Most of the group met at Galice Lodge on Friday. Once we were in our assigned rooms, most gathered in the common areas for stories, meet and greets, and maybe a beverage or two or more. Saturday morning all were up early and at the table for Galice’s famous all you can eat breakfast. Marilou and crew do it up right! Everything is laid out and ready. Including getting shuttles and such taken care of. Can’t beat that!
Once at Grave Creek, Steve Oslund led the safety talk, answered questions and we were ready to go. But wait, there’s more. Because we were a smaller group, and because it was supposed to rain on Saturday, we decided to make our camp at Battle Bar instead of Horseshoe Bend. It’s an extra four or so miles of rowing, BUT, it has a huge shelter with an ancient rock fireplace!
We row down, get through Rainie without incident. OK . . . one little swim. And what do you know, only a few drops of rain. We haul all of our stuff up to the top, get our gear set up, and Bruce and Katie Eicher roll out the apps. Not just any apps. Steak bites with chimichurri, veggies, and crackers with cream cheese and homemade habanero jelly. Wow! What a start to a great evening. And as par for the course, we had some cocktails. Steve, always prepared, thought ahead to bring two gallons of gimlets! Which made making dinner a snap.
Dinner Saturday was a group effort. Steve, Skip, Josh and Sam made meatball subs. An aside here - while on a previous summer Rogue Trip, the four of us camped at Tacoma on our last night as usual. WRRR was having their Summer Trip as well. They were in the lower camp and were OK with us staying in the upper. We moseyed over to have a beer with them and they were getting ready to serve dinner. No plates!! They were using those little plastic baskets with paper liners to serve their food. No plates to wash=good thing.
So, how do you serve 20 or so meatball subs at once and make sure the cheese is melted. For those that have done any plumbing, do you know what a Burnz-O-Matic is? You can melt cheese like no other. Remember those paper liners? Don’t be Gimlet impaired when using the torch! After a quick clean up, we all moved our chairs around the fireplace for chit chat and a beer or two. There were some interesting stories and I’ll leave it there.
Sunday morning, we wake up to rain and fog almost down to the deck. The shelter was magic for those that camped inside. Everything was dry.
Bill Goss was up early and made an awesome breakfast of hot coffee, oatmeal and lots of fresh fruit. By the time we were done with breakfast and cleaning up, the rain had stopped.
We got everything down to the boats and loaded and were completely dry. And it was burnin’ off! By 11AM the sun was starting to come through and by the time we got to Rogue River Ranch, it was absolutely beautiful out! Again, we had a quick safety brief on the run through the canyon as well as Blossom Bar. Who was going to scout, set safety, etc.
After everyone made it though OK, it was a nice easy run down to Tacoma. In beautiful weather..
Once at camp, Brian and Melissa Albers put on the dog with a super good assortment of meats, cheeses, pickled vegetables, the works. Delicious!
After some brief hydration, Sean made up some of the best river burritos ever seen at Tacoma Camp. Once again, we used the baskets and paper liners. Clean up went quickly and we all circled around a two firepan fire. It went George Thorogood from there. Bourbon, Scotch and Beer for you younguns.
Monday morning was bright and clear. It got pretty cold overnight. The inside of the tent fly was soaked!
Down in the kitchen area, Sean was at it again! This time with sausage and egg breakfast burritos and all the fixings. And plenty of hot coffee. By the time we put on, the sun was peeking over the rim and the row out was uneventful on a picture-perfect day. It’s being on trips like these, meeting old friends and making new ones, that make OWA such a special club!!! Thank you all for one of the best Rogue trip yet! And a very appreciative shout out to all of the kayakers for setting safety and being so helpful to the group!