A Love Letter to the Rogue River
They say that your first love is the most powerful; it’s one that you’ll never forget. And let me tell you, Rogue River, I won’t ever forget you.
Like most guides and their first river, I came to your banks seeking something inspiring, something exciting. But you’ve given me so much more, river. You’ve given me a home—a place to grow. You’ve helped me transform from a child to an unwavering woman. And your unbridled beauty has been stamped across my heart.
How could I not fall madly in love?
The way your deep emerald water welcomes the morning mist at dawn is our little secret, but even your daytime display is alive with towering forests, mossy rocks and babbling springs.
The first time I went canyoneering up Mule Creek I was paralyzed by the perfection of your narrow canyon curves and turquoise pools. Every time I return I can’t help but kiss your mineral-stained walls.
And then there’s Tate Creek waterslide, taunting even the most adventurous river folk with its exhilarating drop-off. I’ve seen you make grown men giggle with giddiness, river.
I love your softer moments too. The times when I tuck my oars under my knees, lay back, and take in all that you have to offer—bashful black bears clambering up the hillside in the Flora Dell flats; golden eagles gliding through the wind in Kelsey Canyon; the springtime salmon fighting endlessly to make their way home.
But like all things wild, our love has been tumultuous, river. Like that time my oar broke before the Picket Fence at Blossom Bar. Or that morning when my raft dangerously dangled above the rage of Rainie Falls. But your lessons of humility have always ended in a deeper appreciation of you and your relentless power.
More than anything, you’ve given me a life full of perfect moments. Little bits of inspiration that are a constant reminder to cherish the simplicities of another day lived. Warm crimson sunrises that gently wake weary boaters. Cold splashes from your playful rapids. Late night shooting stars at Half Moon Bar. Every single part of you has given shape to the most pure form of happiness I have ever felt.
Rogue River, you are my greatest gift. My favorite teacher. My first love.
Thank you for not only sharing your wild waters with me, but for allowing me to be a part of them.