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MONDAY 8-05-2013

Aug 05, 2013 -- 1:35pm

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8-05-2013 PODCASTS - 6AM    7AM    8AM


GUEST INFORMATION 8-05-2013

6:35 Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis, author of Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women into Combat. The book  is the first to scrutinize the new policy lifting the ban on women in combat, exposing why it dangerously contradicts centuries of military experience and medical science.

7:35 Julia Seymour, Business and Media Institute - According to a new study, NOT ONE of the network evening news broadcasts has reported that Obamacare incentivizes businesses to offer only part time work, even though this alarming fact has been reported across major print media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the LA Times and others. 

8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers "Visiting Past And Present" and today we head to the river!

The Wild and Scenic Rogue River (and Blossom Bar)

By Dennis Powers

The magnificent Rogue River has three distinct regions: the Upper Rogue, Middle Rogue, and Lower Rogue. Starting from the snowmelt and springs of the Cascade Range--including Mt. Mazama of Crater Lake--the Upper Rogue flows to Prospect, as the main tourist route from the lake winds with it. The Middle Rogue sweeps from Prospect to past Grants Pass. Located northeast of Grants Pass, tiny Merlin is close to the Lower Rogue River that is designated as the Wild and Scenic.

One of the original eight rivers included in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, the Lower Rogue’s protected boundaries start at the Applegate River mouth (7 miles west of Grants Pass) as the east boundary and Lobster Creek (11 mile east of Gold Beach) as the west boundary, a total of 84 miles. The congressional act protected these designated sections by prohibiting development and leaving them unchanged for future generations. As a designated Wild and Scenic river, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) jointly manage this section under strict rules meant to keep it wild. 

There are distinct sections within this boundary: the Hellgate (Applegate River to Grave Creek, 27 miles), the Wild Section (Grave Creek to Watson Creek, 33 miles), Recreation Section (Watson Creek to Blue Jay Creek, 10 miles), Scenic Section (Blue Jay to Slide Creek, 7 miles), and another Recreation Section (Slide Creek to Lobster Creek, 7 miles), all with different regulations.

The natural beauty of the Lower Rogue predominates: Sheer canyon cliffs meld with towering spires; Class IV rapids with huge boulders and boiling whitewater stretch, and then pass into mild riffles and quiet pools; old growth firs and pines mix with oaks, maples, and elms; old miner cabins to out-of-the-way ranches are seen; and the wildlife can predominate. Elk, black bears, deer, and even cougars can be spotted on the hillsides, as eagles, blue herons, wood ducks, mallards, osprey, Canada geese, and hawks fly overhead. Chinook salmon, steelhead, native cutthroat, trout, and other species flourish underwater. Meanwhile, popular activities--and depending on the section--include fishing, scenic driving, picnicking, hiking, whitewater rafting, and even jet boat tours.

Featuring 33 miles of class II, III, and IV rapids, one of the most popular whitewater runs in the country is the Wild Section of the Lower Rogue. Most boaters take 3 to 4 days to float this part that runs from Grave Creek to Foster Bar, the take-out. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest manages the Wild Section, and due to its popularity, floating it requires a prior, special-use permit during the high period from May 15th through October 15th.

The usage is regulated to protect the river corridor from overuse and provide a wild river experience. Approximately 120 commercial and noncommercial visitors are permitted to enter the wild section each day. During the non-regulated season from October 16th through May 14th, boaters need to fill-out an “off-season” permit to be on the Wild Rogue. Nearly 13,000 people on average float this section during its five-month summer permit season.

The sights are unique and spectacular. After the Grave Creek put in, one floats down the Rogue and the first difficult rapids met is at Rainee Falls. At later Whisky Creek, a cabin built by hardy placer miners around 1880 still exists. The Black Bar Lodge was named after a gold miner, William Black, and this site was actively mined until the early 1930s; built in1932, Zane Grey entertained his guests here and used it as a stopping point. Continuing on the way to Foster Bar, his cabin is near Winkler Bar, about midway through the Wild section.

Built by the Billings family before the turn of the century, the historic Anderson Ranch is at Mule Creek; it’s now used by the BLM as a museum. Passing through various rapids, including Coffee Pot and Blossom Bar, different lodges as Paradise and Half Moon Bar are then seen. After more rapids and sights, one comes to the Foster Bar takeout with Gold Beach some 35 miles away. Although many more sights, rapids, and experiences are on this section, the above should give an idea.  

The early pioneers named Blossom Bar due to the many azaleas that grew on the river’s north side. It has a deserved reputation as being the riskiest Class IV rapid on the river’s 33-mile section between Grave Creek and Foster Bar. While the great majority of rafters and boaters navigate this huge-boulder-strewn part, seven people have died since 2007 in the last seven years, including two so far in 2013. Given the numbers of people (up to 120 daily) who run the Rogue’s wild section, those with limited experience, and the potentially serious result from a mistake, one thanks the “river gods” that this number is not even higher.

As an additional video, see Greg Hatten’s, “How to Run Blossom Bar--Rogue,” at Running Blossom Bar. What’s difficult to imagine is that this run was impassable until the historic guide, Glen Wooldridge, began blasting away the boulders and rocks during the mid-1930s for “many years” throughout the Rogue’s rapids, so that boaters could even pass through them.

As to Blossom Bar, Wooldridge first worked on the lower boulders, and then went onto the upper ones, by exploding large bundles of dynamite. With a friend ready to light the fuse, he rowed his boat up to a targeted rock, some as “large as a house.” The bowman then reached over and dropped or tossed the bundle above the boulder, where the current was slow and pushed against the rock. With the dynamite now against it and underwater, Glen rowed quickly “the hell” away. To create a large hole in the middle of Blossom, he had to use a fifty-pound box of powder and eliminated three of them.

Glen Wooldridge, of course, couldn’t do that now, and the currents sweep different rocks into the rapids in an ever-continuing remake. An excellent book on Glen Wooldridge and his exploits is: Florence Arman and Glen Wooldridge, “A River to Run,” Wildwood Press, Grants Pass (Oregon), 1982.

Even with the reasons to respect Blossom Bar on a float trip, however, all of the rapids in this section--from Rainee Falls and Coffee Pot to the others--have to be navigated carefully. For that matter, one needs to respect and be careful with the entire Rogue River to have a long life in enjoying its use.

Sources: “U.S. Forest Service: Lower Rogue River,” at Lower Rogue River; “Bureau of Land Management: Rogue River Wild Section,” at Wild Section; Marta Yamamoto, “Rafting down Oregon’s Rogue River: Still wild, scenic 45 years later,” Mercury News, July 11, 2013, at Lower Rogue (With Numerous Images); See “YouTube: How not to run Blossom Bar Rapid – The Picket Fence Shuffle,” at Blossom Bar;Zach Urness, “Blossom Bar rapids on the Rogue River sees five fatalities in five years,” Grants Pass Daily Courier, September 24, 2011, at Fatalities; Mark Freeman, “Another reminder of river’s dangers,” Mail Tribune, July 19, 2013, at 2013 Fatalities.    

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