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Gold Beach ‘Rogue River Rally’ 2012

NWTFC Rogue River Adventure Rally

August 20-24, 2012
Gold Beach, OR

Turtle Rock Resort

Rally Wagonmasters Ed and Jeanette Block


Bob and Judy Alonzo, Jean and JoAnne Lacues, Nick and Teri Alvanos, Jack and Joann Lindhorst, Ken and Helen Anderson, Ben Paschall and Penny Braden, Bob and Peggy Beers, Ron Mahugh and Mary Burchett, Bob and Barbara Brown, Gene and Carol Nemish, Harry and Mary Carlson, David and Sue Pierce, George and Lynda Cook, Ken and Judy Schindler, Tom and Candis Egalite, Stan and Barbara Shackell, Bob and Linda Fitzgerald, John and Marie Turner and Grandson Alex, Dick and Nancy Harris, Steve and Kathie Webber-Plank, Chuck and Barbara Hasman, Rodger and Colleen Wright, Guests: Dave and Jutta Flatter, Stacia Norris and Matt Czubek, Craig and Anne Porter & the Young’s from Arizona

A great group of Trekkies and Trekkers-at-heart gathered at Turtle Rock RV Resort in Gold Beach, Oregon for an adventurous, summer rally. Members had come from as far as B.C. Canada, ID, MT, Northern CA, & AZ. We met at the clubhouse for freshly-popped popcorn and a rally intro while snacking, enjoying our beverages and preparing for a yummy finger-food potluck. All appreciated the area info provided and the attendance list that included members’ photos. Names were drawn for “Safari” gifts donated by Monaco RV LLC — purple coffee mugs and S/S thermal cups, ID pouches, key chains, tote bags and lanyards . . . something for everyone. We had a supply of firewood delivered, so enjoyed a good campfire every evening.

Day 2 started with a generous continental breakfast – getting the rally off on the right foot. Some immediately headed for Myers Creek Beach to explore the tide pools at low tide. Resort owner, Kachina, taught a unique, seaweed craft class to 11 of us – baskets fashioned from naturally-dried bullwhip kelp. Our ‘creations’ were stitched with waxed twine and had the look of cowhide. All gathered for a photo.

Coastal weather got to a comfortable 75 degrees. Our lunch that day was a true ‘blast to the past’ where we ordered from a good 1950’s menu at Happy Days Malt Shop. It was the burgers, the shakes, the music and classic cars we loved . . . and lots of memorabilia, books & photos. Sue Pierce was astonished to spot her brother in the Ventura (Calif.) H.S. class picture of one of the era’s rock ‘n roll greats! Several followed lunch with NFS-recommended hikes. The Shrader Old Growth Interpretive Trail led to groves of impressive trees, and the Myrtle Tree Trail was nearby, across the old Lobster Creek Bridge. It was a short, moderate hike to one of the world’s largest myrtle trees – approx. 88’ tall, 42’ around and a canopy nearly 70’ wide.

The day allowed time to visit each other and get to know our new folks, solve Trek problems, walk pets, beachcomb, and decide on one of Gold Beach’s many restaurants for dinner. There was a lot to chat about around the campfire that evening in anticipation of our Rogue River tour. It was a wonderful sight – and relief — to see Nick & Teri Alvanos pull into their site — our Trek couple from Everett, WA whose fuel pump failed en route, and far from home. They had notified the office, but as days passed, we were concerned they could miss out on our jet boat tour. It was nice they took the breakdown in stride and were ready to have fun!

Day 3 started early for our Jerry’s Rogue Jets group of 48. Some had to get their dogs to pet care or join others to carpool, but all showed up at the dock by 7:45 a.m. to board our two boats, the Blossom Bar and the Chinook. Jackets and boat blankets were appreciated during those early hours but the temps soon rose into the 80’s. Our 104 mile round-trip tour took us under Gold Beach’s impressive bridge and up the Rogue as it twisted past fishermen casting from the gravelly shore, past the Lobster Creek Bridge, and the occasional cabin or lodge hidden in the trees with a long stairway or tram to the river – treasured getaways that have stayed in the same families for generations. Our pilot, Jeff Laird, had been taking these jet boats up the rapids since the 70’s and had stories to tell of the river, the history of its people, the impact of floods and its variety of fish and wildlife. We saw a couple harbor seals at first — and then playful river otters and impressive birds – large white egrets, blue heron, a bald eagle and several osprey and their nests atop towering trees. We had dressed right knowing we could get WET – which we DID! A few brought big squirt guns and subjected the entire boat to swift, soaking retaliation! With 1,000 hp driving water jets, the pilot could choose a safe area to create huge swells, bow dive or spin the boat end-for-end in a mighty, soaking splash. His yellow lab, Sadie, was used to it! We were 10 minutes ahead of our group’s 2nd boat, but knew they were having thrills of their own. A rest break came near Agness, at 32 mi., where we climbed the trail to Cougar Lane Lodge to use their facilities and visit the camp store.

Life vests were now required as we continued into the rugged, wild section of the river. Our boat would dart between huge boulders and nose into the river, drenching those seated up front or in on the edge of their bench. In warm weather and quick-dry clothing, all could enjoy the spray. We encountered a group of kayakers and others on large rafts — some who had set up camp on the shore. Circling turkey vultures called our attention to a black bear feeding on a salmon. At Blossom Bar, the passage was too narrow to share with rafters or to turn around, so we headed back the 20 miles to Agness, having more spinning fun and spotting another bear on the rocky shore. Both of our groups merged at Singing Springs Resort for the good full buffet lunch. The ride back to Gold Beach was quite warm and we were glad we had taken the early tour. Many headed for the interesting Rogue River Museum. Kathie Webber-Plank’s name had been drawn to receive a free photo of her group as they passed under the bridge, waving. A copy of each photo was purchased for our club history album.

Back at camp, the socializing continued. Some visited each other’s coaches to check out storage solutions, upgrades or repairs, or simply relax in the sun before fixing dinner in their Trek or heading for local restaurants. The day ended with a peachy sunset, a fine campfire and starry skies.

Day 4 was ushered in with another good breakfast at the clubhouse. Drawings commenced for our three excellent door prizes . . . an outdoor Summit Rocker (Camping World), a nice 4-place setting of ‘Safari’ pattern dishes (Webber-Plank donation), and a lovely, donated, watercolor-on-silk print by SW artist & ‘Trekkie’, Anna Balentine (Young). Lucky winners were Colleen Wright, Peggy Beers and Chuck Hasman. All members stayed for our NWTFC business meeting. Prez John Turner provided a good agenda, including a vote on a few by-law amendments and discussion of future rallies. It was then a ‘free’ day till 4 p.m. – to relax & visit, fish or golf, check out the Myrtlewood Factory, or other Visitors’ Center recommendations. Thursday’s happy hour and potluck BBQ was a good time! Our rally group was such a congenial bunch that everyone felt welcome and appreciated. The resort provided two large barbeques and with Matt Czubeck and Ed Block overseeing the grilling effort, all meat was cooked to perfection. A request was made to provide website recipes for the yummy appetizers and side dishes.

With most having received 5 punches on their ‘Quick Draw’ envelopes during the rally, it was time to discover if the card inside showed a winning poker ‘hand.’ Colleen had a couple queens, but David Pierce won with three deuces . . . his prize, the 2nd Summit Rocker – both chairs generously donated by Camping World in Fife, WA. Rock on! Dave! We had a good crowd at the last evening’s campfire. The camaraderie had been wonderful. There were already some goodbyes as several couples would be on the move by dawn.

The remaining breakfast items were eaten or distributed the next morning — and, with everyone pitching in, the clubhouse was left meticulously clean. Ed presented Kachina & Tressia (mgr) with S/S Safari mugs and a NWTFC logo ‘card’ all had signed thanking Turtle Rock Resort for a marvelous stay. Kachina said they hoped we’d return, as our rally was the largest and easiest group they had this summer . . . and the friendliest.

Ed & Jeanette