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Former first lady rafts the Rogue
The Daily Courier ^ | July 7, 2009 | Jeff Duewel

Posted on 07/07/2009 4:14:49 PM PDT by OregonRancher

GALICE - Laura Bush walked down the concrete boat ramp at Almeda Park with four lifelong friends from Midland, Texas, to begin a three-day raft trip down the wild Rogue River.

The former first lady graciously granted an interview, clad in long sleeves, long pants and a wide hat like her four pals on this sunny Monday morning. More of this story

(Excerpt) Read more at thedailycourier.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: laurabush; laurebush; riverrafting
It was her husband George W. Bush's 63rd birthday.

"I just 'Blackberried' him a happy birthday message and turned it off," she said. "We're out of touch now. He's probably mountain biking on the ranch."

Bush, Jane Ann Fontenot of Berkeley, Calif.; Marge Petty of Topeka, Kan.; and Regan Gammon and Peggy Weiss of Austin, Texas, call themselves the "Midland Five."

"We travel together all the time. We love national parks, and we like to do rivers too," Bush said. "We've been adventurous all our lives."

She listed Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Denali, Zion and Death Valley among their scenic destinations. They plan to see Crater Lake after their raft trip. Gammon is on the National Park Foundation Board.

The Midland Five were joined by five guides from Rogue Wilderness Adventures, based in Merlin, and 10 Secret Service agents, said Bob Rafalovich, leader of the trip. Rafalovich and his wife, Myrna, picked up some oysters and crab on the coast a couple of days earlier, and guide Mike Springer supplied a fresh-caught salmon for Monday night's meal at Black Bar Lodge, 12 miles down the river. Tuesday and Wednesday will be spent at Paradise Lodge not far below Blossom Bar rapids.

Myrna Rafalovich provided a picture of George Bush Sr. taken on his salmon fishing trip in 1988 on the Rogue, a few months before he was elected president, to give to Laura Bush. Myrna, who was on the kayak scout team for that trip, and her son Howard Stevens are in the photo.

She and her friend Breda Barragan chatted with Mrs. Bush at company headquarters in Merlin, and had their photo taken with her.

"I'm a fan of hers and she met all of my expectations," Barragan said. "She was so nice and down to earth. She didn't put on any airs. Just what I expected."

"It was an honor and privilege to meet someone of her stature," said Myrna Rafalovich, who owned Rogue Wilderness with her husband before they sold it to Brad Niva a few years back.

Niva said the company kept the trip quiet for a few months for Bush's sake. But they did photocopy a check from George W. for $989 as a keepsake.

"You don't get to see his personal check too often," Niva said.

On the boat ramp Monday, guide Drew DeChenne gave out some instructions before Bush and two of her friends got in the magenta-colored Myrna May raft, named after Myrna, and rowed by Bob. It was old hat for Bob, who has taken former governors Neil Goldschmidt and John Kitzhaber, former senator Mark Hatfield and Las Vegas hotel magnate Steve Wynn down the river.

"I'm pretty excited," added Aaron Fox, 39, one of the Rogue Wilderness Guides, who said he once rowed a boat with Martha Stewart down the river.

Soon they were bouncing down the Rogue, through Almeda and Argo rapids, headed for Grave Creek and the Rogue's Wild Section.

"We're just thrilled to be here," Laura Bush said.

1 posted on 07/07/2009 4:14:49 PM PDT by OregonRancher
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To: OregonRancher

This is one of the great rafting trips, three days through
the wilderness and stopping at some great river resorts.


2 posted on 07/07/2009 4:17:09 PM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: OregonRancher

I sure miss her. :(


3 posted on 07/07/2009 4:21:27 PM PDT by freeagle
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To: OregonRancher

Sounds like fun duty for her SS detail. Beats tailing the current First lady...lol.


4 posted on 07/07/2009 4:24:03 PM PDT by catbertz
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To: OregonRancher

An okie drifter behind a hook with a little red yarn, on a 5ft. leader. A few cold PBR’s in the water near the bank. Our most decent, charming first lady in decades floating by...


5 posted on 07/07/2009 4:28:39 PM PDT by VR-21 (The election of Barack Obama was a hate crime.)
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To: catbertz

You get wet and the waters cold but you never notice you’re having so much fun....


6 posted on 07/07/2009 4:29:32 PM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: OregonRancher

You see eagles, ospreys, otters, bear, salmon, trout, goats, hot and tired hikers, and a cold beer at days end.


7 posted on 07/07/2009 4:32:26 PM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: OregonRancher
Oregon is an extremely beautiful state, and has some of the finest rivers/fishing anywhere, like the Rogue, the Deschutes River in Bend etc.

Often told myself, if I ever leave So. Cal, it will be to Central Oregon area near Bend Oregon, near the Deschutes River.

8 posted on 07/07/2009 4:35:51 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Salvation
OR ping.

We'll be passing through there tomorrow, perhaps staying the night at Grants Pass.

9 posted on 07/07/2009 4:40:12 PM PDT by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Neda Agha-Soltan - murdered by illegitimate government)
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To: OregonRancher

I miss having a real lady as first lady.


10 posted on 07/07/2009 4:45:49 PM PDT by constitutiongirl ("Duty is ours. Consequences are God's."- General Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson)
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To: sionnsar

Stay at the River Lodge on 6th st and the river. You can
walk the bridge and enjoy Riverside Park on the south bank.


11 posted on 07/07/2009 4:50:52 PM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: OregonRancher

Done this trip myself. I bet she walks around some of the hairier rapids though. Didn’t stay at Paradise Lodge, went across the river to Half Moon, both are pretty nice, and secluded. Blossom bar is a bad a$$ set of rapids. That poor woman who drowned there last year and then got caught in the rapids for several weeks was awful.


12 posted on 07/07/2009 5:03:15 PM PDT by rednesss (fascism is the union,marriage,merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power)
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To: OregonRancher
Noted. Last year we camped at the Rogue, but my wife doesn't really want to repeat the experience of setting up camp late (enough) just to strike early in the morning.

The setting wasn't pleasant anyway last year -- they were running sprinklers a *lot*, presumably because of the fires, and it was *way* too warm and humid for our liking. Unlike previous stays years ago.

13 posted on 07/07/2009 5:29:44 PM PDT by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Neda Agha-Soltan - murdered by illegitimate government)
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To: catbertz

“...tailing the current FL” — you’d have to stay at least 5 car lengths behind to keep from ramming the caboose during sudden stops.


14 posted on 07/07/2009 5:47:23 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
You’d have to stay at least 5 car lengths behind to keep from ramming the caboose during sudden stops.

Yea, verily. Baby got back.

15 posted on 07/07/2009 5:55:52 PM PDT by Ole Okie (American)
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To: dragnet2

“Often told myself, if I ever leave So. Cal, it will be to Central Oregon area near Bend Oregon, near the Deschutes River. “

Visit there in the winter, you might just change your mind.


16 posted on 07/07/2009 6:01:08 PM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: OregonRancher

You’re in the Grants Pass region aren’t you?


17 posted on 07/07/2009 6:55:55 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Thanks for joining me in detention :)


18 posted on 07/07/2009 7:25:25 PM PDT by catbertz
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To: STARWISE; DrDeb
Ping :)

She and her friend Breda Barragan chatted with Mrs. Bush at company headquarters in Merlin, and had their photo taken with her.

"I'm a fan of hers and she met all of my expectations," Barragan said. "She was so nice and down to earth. She didn't put on any airs. Just what I expected."


19 posted on 07/07/2009 7:30:05 PM PDT by silent_jonny ("... in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye ..." 1 Corinthians, Chapter 15)
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To: silent_jonny

Don’t you just love our First Lady — there’s certainly nothing ‘former’ about Laura Bush!


20 posted on 07/07/2009 7:34:53 PM PDT by DrDeb
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To: silent_jonny; 1Peter2:16; 2Trievers; 4mycountry; A_perfect_lady; Alberta's Child; Allegra; ...
Thanks, jonny ... Laura and 'the girls' rafting trip ............. PING!

Cute!

21 posted on 07/07/2009 8:02:18 PM PDT by STARWISE (The Art & Science Institute of Chicago Politics NE Div: now open at the White House)
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To: STARWISE
I'm jealous! I'd love to go on a trip like that!

I love how they said how down to earth Laura is. I guess she doesn't hate America, like our current First MOnster does.

22 posted on 07/07/2009 8:08:06 PM PDT by CAluvdubya (Bono-Mack, Castle,Kirk,Lance.LoBiondo,Reichert,Smith,McHugh..WE ARE COMING...)
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To: OregonRancher

Some of the most beautiful and scenic wilderness rivers on the planet. Great fishing and hunting too. Welcome to Oregon First Lady, we are proud to have you in our fair state.

Pray for America


23 posted on 07/07/2009 8:45:23 PM PDT by bray (Rope & Chains)
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To: OregonRancher

I just think it’s so cool that she’s remained friends with these women from Midland, through all the changes in her life. I’m sure that’s how she’s remained so grounded. Hard to put on airs with old friends. ;o)


24 posted on 07/07/2009 9:20:45 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: OregonRancher; abcraghead; aimhigh; Archie Bunker on steroids; bicycle thug; blackie; ...
Oregon Ping

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Oregon Ping List.

25 posted on 07/07/2009 9:52:15 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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To: OregonRancher

I’ve gone Galt in Jacksonville, OR, 17 minutes from a nice steelhead run on the Rogue.


26 posted on 07/07/2009 10:08:12 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (It's the spending, stupid!)
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To: OregonRancher

Mt. Bachelor is perfect in the winter. Beats the hell out of Portland, which is where I’m stuck during the winter weeks until the weekend.


27 posted on 07/07/2009 10:24:07 PM PDT by Carling ("We've lost two people in my family because you dickheads won't cut trees down," - Warwick Spooner)
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To: catbertz

My please. What’s your poison? Gin, whist, pinochle or hearts?


28 posted on 07/07/2009 10:24:48 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Yech. My pleasure (of course).


29 posted on 07/07/2009 10:26:14 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: dragnet2
My niece and her husband ran a rafting company on the Deschutes until they sold it 3 years ago. They still do the transportation...
30 posted on 07/07/2009 10:45:44 PM PDT by tubebender (I just discovered where all my lost tag lines went...)
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To: OregonRancher; fish hawk; forester; Grampa Dave

Special guest on the Rogue River...


31 posted on 07/07/2009 10:48:00 PM PDT by tubebender (I just discovered where all my lost tag lines went...)
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To: tubebender

Her husbands last name didn’t start with a C did it?


32 posted on 07/07/2009 11:03:06 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: OregonRancher

I go mountain biking there all the time!

I was up there last Sunday riding on an old abandoned logging road, and this forest service guy came driving along in a law enforcement rig.

I asked him about some road closures and he was NOT very friendly...I wonder if he was checking things out before laura came to the Rogue?

Thanks, Oregon Rancher!

Ed


33 posted on 07/07/2009 11:42:05 PM PDT by Sir_Ed
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To: OregonRancher

Every time I go through that area I go back in time and think of how beautiful and delightful it must have been for the Native Americans from that area. The rivers full of fish, wild game all over the place, Oak trees full of acorns and most of the time fantastic weather. They must have thought it was heaven.


34 posted on 07/08/2009 1:08:54 AM PDT by fish hawk (Volition is a gift of God to reject Him or find peace in His love.)
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To: OregonRancher

This is near where I grew up. It’s nice to see it visited by such first class individuals.


35 posted on 07/08/2009 3:04:08 AM PDT by Portcall24
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To: STARWISE; GOP_Lady

thanks for the ping STARWISE... Looks like a wonderful time with good friends in a beautiful area. My only surprise is she did this during GWB’s birthday. The gossip rags will surely speculate on this one.

A side note - I am sure she looked more fashionable on a mere rafting trip & the side hikes, meals etc than the current FLOTUS has done on the current trip abroad:


36 posted on 07/08/2009 4:36:56 AM PDT by DollyCali (Don't tell GOD how big your storm is -- Tell the storm how B-I-G your God is!you)
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To: STARWISE
Thanks for the ping, STARWISE!

I LOVE our First Lady! (The real one, I mean.......)

37 posted on 07/08/2009 5:40:05 AM PDT by ohioWfan (Proud Mom of a Bronze Star recipient!)
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To: dragnet2

You’re in the Grants Pass region aren’t you?

Yep, along with several other Freepers...


38 posted on 07/08/2009 6:44:23 AM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: OregonRancher

I’ve been to the Rogue. Brrrr... The water is cold. Brings back good memories. I hope she enjoyed her trip.


39 posted on 07/08/2009 6:49:44 AM PDT by csvset
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To: csvset

The waters cold for a reason. The Cold Spring dam up river, way up river, releases water from the bottom of the lake, and
by federal law, releases just enough to maintain a water temperature of 60 degrees or lower. This is for the returning
salmon that can’t tolerate warm water. If it wasn’t for the dam, we’d have more floods and low, warm water in the summer.


40 posted on 07/08/2009 6:56:49 AM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: OregonRancher
Thanks. Two different places to be sure. No doubt your aware GP is lower, and affected by the pacific influence, with Bend being higher elevation, dryer, more snow in winter, but much less rain during the year. In fact is like 12" vs about 31" of rain...A dramatic difference, as Bend gets more of it's precipitation in the form of snow in winter. From what I have read and been told, most winters are not very bad, can be cold yes, but with only a few inches of snow here and there during the winter, and most of the time the the snow does not last long at all.

Is this basically correct?

We've been there a few times and it's just beautiful...I know their economy has been pulverized in the past 2 years or so....Of course they were growing by leaps and bounds, and housing went up way too fast, over heated, and literally melted down from what I understand.

41 posted on 07/08/2009 8:38:47 AM PDT by dragnet2
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To: dragnet2

Basically correct. The climate here has been compared to
the Napa Valley and checking climate maps, I can see why.

Bend is colder, dryer, and a lot hotter during the summer, plus it has been devastated financially. We like to visit
Bend, and that means VISIT, then we come home to the Rogue
Valley which is so different from the rest of Oregon.

The weather changes at Roseburg going north, from there up
you have the classic gray winters with a lot of rain.


42 posted on 07/08/2009 6:16:10 PM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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