Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rogue River Gorge - an unexpected surprise

Traveling back from Crater Lake, we saw a sign for the Rogue River Gorge and of course, we had to stop and check it out. 

 The Rogue River is a major river system in southern Oregon and winds down from the mountains. As it enters an area of ancient lava flows, it enters a very narrow gorge that is spectacular. Here, the river drops about 10 feet as it enters the head of the gorge.

 The gorge narrows down to about 5 feet wide at the narrowest point and seems to be less than 10' throughout the gorge. The water also drops rapidly and as a result really rushes through.

 While the gorge is narrow, there is LOTS of water that flows here. Indeed, we learned that over 400,000 gallons a minute flows through here!

 The river was not the only interesting thing to see -- there was this living stump! Apparently, when the tree was was young, it grafted roots with the large tree to the left of Orinda. Then, when the tree was cut down, the stump continued to live and covered the stump with bark. Never know what we will see!

 The water not only runs through here fast and deep, but it is cold as well. At an average temperature of 44 degrees, Orinda was glad she did not have to wade through it.

After 500', the river emerged from the gorge to resume it's normal width. It is hard to believe that all this water was rushing through a gorge only 5' wide. Interestingly, the river actually goes under ground a few miles downstream from here, before emerging as a major river moving to the Pacific.

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