Tutus and Wine: White Water Rafting in Oregon

I’m not a serious outdoorsman.

I’ve never been a river guide or worked in a national park. Heck, I used to fake a stomach ache to get out of going outside for recess. When I travel, I like to visit cities with nice restaurants, hotels, and running water, above all.

Don’t get me wrong. A love for adventure sits close to my heart and there is nothing I like better than going somewhere new. With that in mind, I bit the bullet and signed myself up for a trip on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. I’m not ashamed to say that I chose the “Wine on the River” specialty trip because I heard they took it easier on newbies. The wine was just a bonus!

Southern Oregon is beautiful in any weather, but it was absolutely perfect in September. The days were balmy and I didn’t see a single cloud over the course of the 4-day trip. I got to know all the guides very well, and it was exciting to hear some of the more technical aspects of the rapids explained.

We also had a chef along from a gourmet restaurant in Eugene, Oregon. Out of a portable camp kitchen, Chef Jeff created an amazing 4-course dinner for over 30 people every night, and he did it without a single dropped meatball or broken plate. Even if Mark “the Wine Guy” had the lion’s share of the credit for his fantastic pairings and skill with a corkscrew, Chef Jeff got applause after every course!

The dinner entertainment was top notch. The first night, we all dashed for our cameras to get a picture of a black bear who was calmly fishing on the other bank. On the second night, we were better prepared and had a whole photoshoot of a mother and her cub, fishing, climbing, and occasionally tumbling back down the hill. After dinner on the third night, we had an impromptu astronomy lesson with our port wine and several new constellations were invented. My favorite evening was the last night, when the ladies donned their best dresses (and so did a few of the guys – you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a 6 foot, bearded river guide dancing in a tutu).

This trip surpassed my expectations in every way. I paddled a kayak for the first time and loved every minute. The guides answered every question with respect and patience, and bent over backwards to make this “special interest trip” classy, fulfilling, and completely live up to the “gourmet” tagline attached to it.

I’m a convert. Adventure travel doesn’t have to be “roughing it”. A table on a sandy beach, with pinecone centerpieces and headlamps for candles, served up some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. Hundreds of animals, thousands of pines and firs, and billions of stars, make for a fantastic hotel room. And as for running water? The Rogue covered that aspect in spades.

Are you ready for adventure?

We’ve been connecting our clients to water adventures around the world since 1987. We partner with select outfitters who share our values and are pros at creating exceptional experiences. If you’d like more details on our Oregon or any other trips, please give us a call at (928) 440-9691 or send us an email – we’ll guide you through!