Back in 1988 or so, my brother, myself another guy, Mike and a friend of ours, we’ll call him Doug, put in at the natural bridge park on the upper stretch of the rogue river. This run from natural bridge to river bridge (aka Takelma gorge) had been pioneered the summer before. It’s a 7 mile stretch of the Rogue that is very different from the mild-mannered lower sections many river runners know and love.
Takelma gorge is full of solid class 4 and one class 5, filled with nasty undercuts and unpredictable log jams. It’s run fairly routinely now, but back then we were pioneers.
We were following Doug through the rapids because he and Mike had been down twice before.
It was a great day in early July. We didn’t know Doug too well, and Mike not at all, but they were nice guys and competent boaters. Doug, though seemed kind of off. He was quiet and kept shaking his head and staring up into the blue sky. His eyes were red as if he hadn’t slept in days. There was something about him that just wasn’t right.
Since we didn’t know him well, we didn’t know if this was his normal function or not, so we kept our thoughts to ourselves.
About a third of the way down the run is a rapid called, “therapy falls.” This is its original name. I hear boaters also call it knob falls. It’s a nasty 20 foot spigot waterfall that was (it’s changed since) very difficult to line up with and boof. Of course, like most rapids on this stretch of river the falls hadn’t been named yet. It was on this day that it got its name. Continue reading Takelma Gorge Rogue River: Naming Therapy Falls