U.S. Mail Boats on the Rogue River
When planning our trip to the southern Oregon coast in August 2006, my niece Katie and I had only heard of the jet boat tours out of Gold Beach but had never had the chance to take a ride. But in a stroke of luck, a friend offered us a complimentary pass for two. So one morning in the middle of our trip we found ourselves driving to the Rogue River Mail Boats, not entirely sure of what to expect. It was a beautiful summer day. We arrived a bit early as requested and were seated in the third row of the boat. We were given wool blankets to be used as seat cushions or as a cover from the wind. To sum it up, WE HAD A BLAST! We were treated to hours of beautiful scenery, wildlife viewing and jet boat fun. Jet boat fun includes going over the rapids several times just to “get it right” and turning around 360 degrees in the river in a variety of places. Our jet boat driver and guide was diligent in pointing out eagles and their nests, osprey, deer and even a bear. They have someone taking photos from one of the bridges and we came away with a great photo of us on the boat to remember the trip. In the summer of 2007, we went to Gold Beach specifically for the 104-mile jet boat trip. The longer trip takes you clear up the Rogue River to the spot where motorized boats are prohibited and only rafting is allowed. It’s not hard to imagine where the beautiful scenery for the movie “The River Wild” was filmed. The scenery all along the river is very beautiful. This time we took my sister along. Again, it was a beautiful summer day. We tried and lucked out in getting our same third row seats. My niece was anxious for her mother to get the splashing this time so we sat her on the end of the seat. Not far from dock we rounded a bend and saw six or seven fishermen lined up and equally spaced all hoping to catch the big one. Again our guide pointed out many animals and birds, and this time we saw a family of river otters which was delightfully fun. Their antics were quite entertaining. Both trips included a stop for lunch in the town of Agness. Each time we enjoyed a buffet of chicken, salad, potatoes, vegetables and an assortment of desserts. And on an environmental note, the company has adopted a sustainable state of mind. They have re-powered all their whitewater boats to ultra-low emission engines. They are smaller in size and have 35% better fuel economy. They have a good gift shop including sweat shirts, T-shirts, hats and assorted gift items to help remember the fantastic trip to Gold Beach. In the spring of 2007 we went on a similar jet boat ride in Alaska, but it didn’t compare at all to the fun we had on the original Rogue River Mail Boats. They are still delivering the US Mail to the town of Agness and have done so for over 100 years. For more information on local river guides in Oregon, please visit our Guides and Packers section. Have a blast on the water this summer!
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