Mary Cone is the mother of two river guides who work for ARTA River Trips. She first rafted the Rogue River in 2012.
What is your connection to the Rogue River?
I’m the mom of two river guides and (now) a river rafter myself.
What are your favorite qualities of the Rogue River?
Great ARTA guides, beautiful scenery, fun rapids, cool hikes, lovely waterfalls.
Favorite spot on the Rogue?
Anywhere along the river is incredible but Mule Creek Canyon is spectacular. It feels as if the river is saying, “Come on along with me, look at what I can do!” Truly, there is nothing like the experience of racing down Mule Creek. On the shore, I would say my favorite place is in one of the campsites with a bit of sand. The one I like best is where there is sand and a creek running right alongside.
Is there a sense of community on the Rogue?
Yes. It seems to be an almost undefinable feeling of oneness, openness, strength, and force. I come away feeling that more things are possible than previously thought.
How has the Rogue River shaped your life?
Before my first trip, I was petrified to be in a raft on a river – hey, I was afraid to be in a raft on a pond. After my first rapid, I was hooked. Not only the thrill of the rapid but the beauty and strength of the river. After my first trip, I have been much more open to myself and what I can do. It was a turning point because I conquered my fear and not only did something I was extremely frightened of but turned out loving it!
Does the Rogue River have a personality?
What comes to mind first is strength and then openness of the heart.
On my first trip, we camped at heart beach. I had both of my sons with me, which in and of itself was wonderful, but then the three of us spent time looking for heart rocks and talking about things that matter. I still have those rocks, as a matter of fact I can see them right now lined up on my window sill. Happiness!
Any last words?
The Rogue has everything: big rapids, small rapids, bears, otters, salmon, really friendly people, great scenery, stars at night, and no bars on your cell phone!