Medford, OR 7/30/06
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Ah, the beautiful sights and sounds of, uh, Medford?  True, this is not the place one thinks of as a vacation hot spot.  However, this is a good place to go for rafting- something we’d always wanted to try.  

 It took us about 6 ½ hours to get to Medford from Kingfisher. We came really close to running out of gas around Scio, but crept to I-5 and a gas station just in time.

 We stayed at the Valley of the Rogue State Park.  The park is well kept, with free showers, beautiful scenery and lost of grass and trees.  There isn’t really a lot to do at the park, but it’s located near a lot of things.  We chose it because it was just miles from our rafting rendezvous spot on the- you guessed it- Rogue River.  

We had chosen the beginners rafting package, which means we weren’t exposed to non-stop, heart pounding action, but there were still a few tense moments.  Natalie Portman, our rafting guide, was very capable, though, and got us through the tense moments without incident.

“Natalie Portman”, you are probably asking, “of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Garden State’ fame?”  Yes and, well, no.  She really did look like Natalie Portman.  Travis pointed out how unlikely it was that Natalie Portman, under the disguise of a fake name, spends her summers offering rafting tours in Medford, Oregon.  “You have to admit it is possible, though”, I whispered to him as we watch her set up the boat. 

In addition to offering a fun white water ride (Nugget and Power House, two class 4 rapids, were the most intense we came across), the rafting package we chose gave us a lot of time to sit and enjoy the scenery and wildlife on the Rogue.  The numerous turkey vultures, herons and osprey that we saw on the first leg of our trip were, unfortunately, nowhere to be found on the second leg when we had our camera.  We will always have our memories, though, of the beautiful wildlife we saw as we were piloted, gracefully and skillfully down the river by Queen Amadala herself.  See our pictures.