The morning sun takes forever to illuminate the steep rock faces lining the mighty Rogue River's Hellgate Canyon. Whitewater sends plumes skyward where boulders squeeze the flow and force spectacular fountain-like displays. It is perhaps the most well-known stretch of the Rogue, made famous by author Zane Gray, Hollywood filmmakers and decades of visitors.
You'll pass through the canyon on your way to Rogue Forest Bed & Breakfast and River Company, which is tucked quietly away, amidst towering pines and shiny, red madrones in the riverside hamlet of Galice. With natural landscaping, the inn's architecture blends cozily with woodland and wildlife to provide a welcome respite from the clatter of daily life.
As the name implies, the surroundings lend a scenic backdrop for this secluded haven nestled in the arms of nature.
"This is our sixth year, and we just love it here," says Beverly Moore, who owns the inn with husband, Marshall Dixon. Moore's varied background has prepared her for life as innkeeper along the Rogue.
"I grew up in L.A., moved to Gold Beach 32 years ago. After moving to the 'roadless' section of the Rogue, I managed Half Moon Bar Lodge and guided for Sundance Kayak Expeditions. I went to graduate school in Eugene, where Marshall and I met and got married. We both missed the river, so we bought this place."
Dixon is a critical-care nurse and skilled guitar maker. His shop is on the property.
"The majority of our clientele stay for anniversaries and romantic weekend getaways. We get lots of honeymooners; we call them mini-mooners since they usually stay just a few nights.
"We also get a lot of river rafters who stay before and after their trips," explains Moore.
Perhaps the most unique quality of the inn is that it offers only two overnight accommodations, making it perfect for a romantic interlude or a small family retreat. In the main house, the Stellar Suite offers a massive river-rock fireplace and a glassed-in sitting room, dining room and living area.
"It actually feels more like a vacation home," says Moore.
The Osprey Cabin Suite is a separate dwelling, offering privacy and comfort. Guests can enjoy a quiet moment in front of a crackling fire or share a bottle of their favorite beverage on the attached redwood deck. Luxury linens and a king-sized bed assure pleasant dreams at the end of the day.
"We are open year-round and, of course, in summer we are very full. It's very cozy in the winter with the huge, rock fireplace in the main house and the other rock fireplace in the Osprey room. Winter is a wonderful time to come; the surrounding trees make it feel very cozy, and I love the way the mist hangs in the canyon," says Moore.
"We are a more traditional bed and breakfast, where the owners live on the property, and we serve almost all organic food, fruits and vegetables."
Should guests choose activity over relaxation, the excitement of whitewater rafting is a mere stone's throw away. Other choices include hiking, biking, bird watching and, of course, casting a line into one of America's most famous fishing rivers.
For more information, call 541-472-1052.