Monday, September 26, 2011

Rolling on the river

Here are long overdue photos from our weekend trip to Brookings/Gold Beach! We camped in Brookings at a really nice state park, then drove to Gold Beach to ride the famous jet boats at Jerry's Rogue Jets! They still deliver the mail upriver — that's how remote this area is. And the boats take you through all that remote wilderness, which would be difficult to see otherwise.

You can take longer, rapid-running trips, or a shorter, leisurely trip. We did the shorter one, mostly because it was cheaper. But I feel we need to do a longer trip at some point — it sounds like so much fun, and you get so deep into the woods.

Here's the Gold Beach bridge from the boat at the start. We saw a guy hook his first salmon when we drove by him! There were tons of anglers out there, fishing for Chinook salmon.

Further upriver, we came across a ridiculous amount of osprey (as well as other wildlife I couldn't get pics of — lots of deer, and one black bear)! Here's a couple osprey up in a tree, guarding their nest.

The trip was about 40 miles upriver, and the scenery pretty much looked just like this the whole way (with the occasional bank fisherman waving as we passed). There were tons of salmon rolling in the river.

And you know powerlines that have those colored floats on them that always span rivers? Well, we passed a few of them, and our guide said they released salt to help the salmon acclimate to the freshwater in the river.

That's obviously ridiculous. Salmon have been here far before we figured their life cycles out. But too many people in that boat completely believed him. Hilarious.

Here's the view from dinner, where we had an awesome blackberry cobbler. I could eat it every day, truthfully. But it's in Agness, population less than 100, and it would take hours to drive there along the Agness Highway from U.S. Highway 101. Hours.

Our boat, from the bank of the river. We were enjoying nature before we hopped back on the boat — it was HOT there.

Another view from where we ate dinner. There were tons of incredible house along the river as well, but I don't have photos, sorry. Some of them are only accessible by boat, if you can believe it.

View back upriver as we headed back toward the ocean. Just a perfect day.

And the bridge, with fewer fishermen, as we made our way to dock.

When we got back, we were met by this gorgeous sunset at Harris Beach State Park. We stuck around for awhile before heading back to camp.

On our way home the next day, we stopped at Whaleshead Beach, a park just north of Brookings, that I was recommended to see. It was incredible. Nice wide beach, warm sun and incredible vistas. Did I mention there was basically nobody there?

And the waves crashed thunderously on the beach heading south, creating this enchanting mist. It was a wonderful way to stretch our legs before the long drive home.