Winter has come early this year. For the first time in a long time we had a white Thanksgiving. GRASP scheduled their 23rd Annual Paddle UR Stuffing Off for the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is the first year I was able to attend.
Fresh snow and calm winds made this a very enjoyable day to be on the water. Temps in the mid 20s were a bit cool but everyone was dressed well for it.
There was one tree blocking the river about a hundred yards below the usual put in, so we decided to put in beyond it. There were a few other trees down, but we were able to work our way around or over all of them with no problems. It makes a much easier and enjoyable day if we don't have to get out of our kayaks when we are bundled up against the cold.
I had not been on this stretch of the Rogue since May 2012. A dozen paddlers joined us today, a couple of people I knew and several that I didn't.
The stillness of the winter woods and natural muffling effects of the snow made for a very quiet and relaxing day. There is a peace and tranquility after a fresh snowfall in the woods that can't be matched anywhere. It is a feeling I loved growing up wandering in the winter woods by my parent's house, and later when I would spend a lot of time skiing up north or in the mountains of Colorado. Now I get the same feeling paddling down a quiet river after a snowfall.
Ice had begun forming along the banks of the river for the first couple of miles, crackling as our boats disturbed the water when we passed by. It won't be long before the river is impassable if the temperatures remain this cold.
We saw several more hornets nests above the river. The bare trees reveal a lot that is missed in warmer weather.
The sun made a feeble attempt to come out once or twice, but the gray skies of November prevailed.
The water levels were good, keeping the submerged rocks from causing any problems, and the current just strong enough to keep us moving.
After a brief stop for lunch we set off again. The temperature warmed up a little, enough to melt the ice on our boats and paddles.
A river otter and some ducks were the only wildlife seen today. Several other kayakers were on the water, too, although we didn't see them while on the river.
We had to take out at 12 Mile and Summit Ave. due to ice in the lake above Rockford Dam. No need to take chances with the cold temperatures and cold water. At the rate that the ice is building up already this year we may have limited chances to get out again this season. A trip planned for the next day on the Red Cedar River was cancelled due to ice blocking the river.
A short paddle today, followed by a trip to a local pub for refreshments and tales of former trips to end the day.
Miles paddled today: 5.4. Year to date: 300.6.
View Rogue River 11 Mile to 12 Mile/Summit in a larger map