Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Over the years I have floated the Salmon and Rogue Rivers more times than I probably dare to count. These are places where the rocks feel like old friends, pieces of the landscape which bring back memories of great adventures in the past, landmarks which drum up feelings of familiarity and being at home. And yet, one of the other things I love about these incredible river canyons is how much is left to discover, as my first trip down the trail showed me.
If rafting the Wild and Scenic Rogue River is an adventure in the familiar for me, I assumed hiking the trail would have a similar feel. Ultimately one sees the same canyon, just from a different perspective. However what I experienced is that perspective is everything and with a simple change in perspective a place which is familiar can become entirely new again. This canyon which I had enjoyed so many times from the river, when seeing it from above felt new, as if I had never seen it before. Creeks I had seen and enjoyed from the river had hidden treasures I never knew about. We found incredible new places for lunch, views which were nothing short of breath-taking I did not know existed. It was the same place, but entirely new.
There is also something about the experience itself which makes the hiking trips so different from the river. When you are on the trail, earning every mile with your feet in the dirt and sweat on your brow you are immersed in an experience entirely different from the relaxing ride of the river. The wildlife around is louder as it is not muffled by the sound of the flowing water. The smells are richer as you walk through the dense vegetation. It is an immersive adventure in a much different way than the river trip, which is why I love our raft supported hiking and trail running trips so much. You can experience the trail and the river, the smell of the flowers and the views from up high along with the relaxing floats in the pools and staring up at the canyon walls from below.