Trip Report: 2023 President's Day OWA Rogue Trip

2023 OWA President's Day Rogue Trip

Submitted by Jason Urasky


It's been a few years since we were able to run a President's Day Rogue trip.  Matt Saucy and Bruce Ripley led the trip. In total, there were 12 of us across 9 rafts and 1 kayak that were brave/desperate/foolish enough to take on the February weather. 

It hadn’t rained much leading into the trip and there wasn’t much rain in the forecast. The flow at Agness was steady at around 2700 cfs for the weekend.  

Friday: Alameda Bar

Most of the group arrived mid-afternoon at Alameda bar and had their boats in the water before the sun went down. There was plenty of firewood to keep us warm as the temperature dropped.  By the time the last of us went to bed, there was already frost on the tents.

Saturday: Alameda Bar to Horseshoe Bend

There was a thick layer of frost on the boats in the morning as we finished packing up. We had mixed sun all day and no real rain, so "nice enough" weather for February. 

Rainey Falls - 2 ran the middle chute, the rest opted for the fish ladder. Everyone got hung up a little on the last two rocks coming out of the fish ladder, with only the biggest boats requiring much effort to get loose. 

We camped at Horseshoe Bend. The sun fully came out as we were unloading gear and it was a nice opportunity to dry out the tent and gear. 

The electric bear fence was charged and operational. Despite the jokes, nobody wanted to test it to be sure…

Sunday: Horseshoe Bend to Tacoma

The sun came out shortly after we launched, and turned into a beautiful day, the kind that makes you forget that it’s still February. 

We had lunch above Mule Creek. Bruce Ripley gave a talk about the upcoming rapids that became a mantra of “space, space, space” through Mule Creek, and then “slow slow slow” through Blossom.   

Everyone’s run through Blossom went smoothly.  By the time we got to camp at Tacoma, we were almost wishing for shorts and sandals. 

Monday: Tacoma to Foster Bar

The night was warmer, with just a very light frost. The sun came out pretty early. By the time we were de-rigging and loading the boats at Foster bar, it practically felt like summer. 

The storm clouds were rolling in as we got home, with a couple of inches of snow sticking in Portland by the end of the week. Apparently, it’s still February…

Photos:  Launch;   Blackbar Falls, by Steve Herring; Blossom Bar, by Matt Saucy; Sunset by Matt Saucy.  

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