For most of my husband's life, he has heard people talk about riding the jet boats on the Rogue River. His grandmother and mother both had gone on the trip, and talked highly of it. For our vacation this past week we decided to take a trip up the coast of Oregon. We had read about a few things to do, but mainly just wanted to explore. But when we reached Gold Beach, we decided to take the Rogue river jetboat tour. I'll be honest, it was expensive, but I'm glad we did it.
The tour we took is 104 miles round trip. The Forest Service only allows 6 jetboats per day on the Rogue river. I know it's still probably not the best ecological tour to take, but I am glad we did. The tour we took includes some of the wilderness area. These jetboats have 3 engines, so have the power to manuever the rapids. The pilots have a lot of experience, and know the river well. It was a long tour; 7 hours, but I'm glad we took the longer tour.
I think for most people, just boating on the river would be hot and would get boring. But the pilots would occasionally do 360 degree spins on the river to get us a little wet to cool us down, and to spice things up. Our pilot had already been up the river that day, and had encountered some rafters who started water fights with him. Note: do not start a water fight with a jet boat, you will lose. :) The rafters would pull out buckets and water squirters when they saw our pilot returning with us to come back up the river. They would do their best to squirt any of us they could. But our pilot would do a sort of quick brake from behind and spray huge amounts of water on them.
Our pilot also stopped along the river to talk with the river folk he knew. One guy was waiting by the side of the river for us. Our pilot stopped the boat and delivered some cigarette papers he had bought for him in town. (The man swore he was only using them for tobacco.) He also stopped to chat with campers and rafters. It was kind of nice to see the people who were out on the river that day. they also limit the number of rafters on the Rogue river. I was SHOCKEd that most of the rafters we saw were people who looked to be in their 70s!
This isn't the best picture, but here is a picture of one of the boats.
Here are some of the animals we saw along the way: