Rogue River Trip Report 2005

by Paul A. Rosales In early July, Bryan Wood suggested a trip to Gold Beach, Oregon to take a jet boat trip. Here's a snip of what he wrote about the jet boats; "They are about 45-50 feet long and have about 12-15 rows of seats holding at least 7 or 8 people per row. They are powered by 2 big block Chevy or Ford engines running jet pumps which allows them to travel up river in water so shallow you wouldn't believe it if you weren't seeing it..."

There was some back/forth e-mails, and eventually the Labor Day weekend trip was put together by Mark and Trish Aguas and (Trish's brother) Ron and Pat Russell. Deposits were sent in, and we were all to meet in Grants Pass, Oregon on the Saturday before Labor Day Monday. I'd read about these boats and was finally going to ride one! Mercedes Ratliff (RV-6A) with her friend Mike met up Saturday morning with Victoria and I at the Rosamond Skypark, and we departed as a two-ship. We joined up with Laird Owens & Christine Johnston (RV-6) and Tom & Lori Prokop (RV-6) over Gorman VOR then turned north towards Willows (WLW) for lunch.

We continued a 4-ship northbound when we heard Bryan & Sherri Wood (RV-9A) on frequency. We met up with them on the ramp at Willows where we all refueled then sat down for a great meal at Nancy's Airport Cafe ;-)

We departed a 5-ship (it's great flying with a bunch of RVs). Below you see Tom & Lori Prokop off our left wing with Bryan & Sherri flying the flag. We arrived to Grants Pass (3S8) to find, I believe, 15 RVs parked on the ramp and two Van-taxis. That's Ron & Pat Russell, Chris Jones (RV-8A) and Victoria smiling by the van. I tell you that the van rides are always a hoot when Larry Schneider is in the van with you!

After getting all checked into the motel, we all lounged around the pool for awhile then went out for a fun Italian dinner :-)

Sunday Morning, the two vans loaded up and headed to the tour operator Hellgate Jet Boat excursions. Our group of 30 easily filled 7 of the 8 seat rows!

Here's a group picture taken from the bridge seen above in the middle picture as we headed out;

For the next few hours, WE HAD A BLAST RIPPING DOWN THE RIVER!!! Here are a few pics;

On the way back up river, we stopped at the beautiful Hellgate Lodge where we had a big, family style brunch. That's Chris Jones, Chris Kleen and Christine Johnston smiling back at ya'.

On the walk back to the boat, we took a couple of (mandatory) group pictures;

On the ride back, the boat driver asked if we all would like him to spin the boat...ah...Hell yes! Here's Gary Sobek's video of spinning the boat, and check out these wetheads (Tom Prokop in the middle picture, soaked...);

And then before we knew it, we were back to the loading dock, unloading our soaking wet bodies. If you have not run on one of these jet boat, by all means, DO IT, FUN FUN FUN! Here's a fun Bear statue in front of the Hellgate office;

We were back to the motel early afternoon. Todd & Sue Ehlinger (RV-6A) were going to fly back home to their new, Alturas (NoCAL) home along with Bob & Nancy Watson (RV-9A). Victoria & I were yet to see there home so we decided to tag along. We packed up our things, headed to the airport and departed Grants Pass a 3-ship for the short (137nm) flight southeast to Northern California's California Pines airport (A24) in Alturas. We're just turning final to the narrow runway, visible in the last picture (end of the runway is at the lake);

We had a great visit with the Ehlingers and Watsons, and then we had a nice dinner. The evening's entertainment was a short drive into Alturas where we went to see a movie :-) Monday morning, we got a call from Tom Prokop telling us to expect the arrival of 3 RVs, so a short while later, Tom & Lori, Larry & Gerri Schneider and Gary Sobek & Robin Vrachan arrived. They were given a tour of the home and saw the empty pad... Todd was yet to erect the beams on his hangar pad...What to do with all those men gathered there...let's have a HANGAR raising! So the men worked together, and in short order, we had all the beams to his hangar bolted in place :-)

After a bit of hangar-flying, it was time for the SoCAL folks to head south and for Larry & Gerri to start heading for Phoenix. We said our goodbyes to the Ehlingers and Schneiders, then departed 4-ship: Tom & Lori, Gary & Robin, Bob & Nancy and Victoria & me. We pointed to Cameron Park (O31), near Sacramento, where they had fuel and a nice Mexican restaurant within walking distance. After arriving, we fueled, parked then walked over for some lunch. Here are some pics of the approach and departure ends of runway 31;

After lunch, we all departed and flew south, southeast down the San Joaquin Valley, then across the Tehachapi Mountains. We waved goodbye to our travel companions as we descended into Rosamond. We had a super time with the group, and we look forward to doing it again, next time starting from the ocean at Gold Beach and running up river ;-) We traveled ~1100nm, putting 10.2 hours on the plane with four flight legs of 2.6, 2.8, 2.6 and 2.2 hours. My thanks to Bryan & Sherri Wood for first thinking of making this trip, and to Mark & Tricia Aguas and Ron & Pat Russell for putting it altogether! How can you NOT have fun with that many RVers!?!?!?!

As Bill Marvel likes to say, "RVs are wonderful magic carpets!" Get your Magic Carpet finished; Keep poundin’ them rivets! Paul & Victoria

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