Cold water splashes up and over everyone as the river raft dives through the Nugget Falls rapids along the Rogue River. The brief chill chases away any anxiety as the raft clears the whitewater and continues down river.
The same could be said about the ziplines earlier in the day. Nervous concerns didn’t last long there either.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but once I started, I loved it,” says Cheryl Talbott of Medford, a first-time zipliner. “Having never done this before, I had some apprehension. But now that I know, I’m definitely into this. It’s something I’ve got to do again.”
This is the Zip, Dip & Sip tour, an all-day outdoor adrenalin rush in Southern Oregon.
The morning starts with a three-hour zipline tour with Rogue Valley ZipLine Adventure (rvzipline.com/zipdipsip). After lunch, the heart rate once again quickens with another three-hour tour, this time with Rogue Rafting Company (rogueraftingcompany.com). The day culminates with a relaxing, reflective visit to Del Rio Vineyard Estate (delriovineyards.com) where everyone can exhale and look back on the day.
The morning tour features five ziplines in the trees. Each line is progressively longer, maxing out at more than a quarter mile, 300 feet off the ground. In the distance, the landmark Table Rock formation is visible. On a clear day, the Crater Lake rim is in sight.
“It moves below the forest canopy, then through the canopy and across the canyon. It builds as you go,” says zipline owner Lindsey Rice. “Some people want to go back through it again once they have their confidence so they can enjoy it from a different perspective.”
No time for that today. Rafting is on the afternoon agenda, and once in the water, the river guides take paddlers through a series of rapids.
“We explain the layout,” says Ben Bansen of Rogue Rafting. “It starts out real mellow and then the rapids progress.” Those innocent Class 1 ripples escalate to the soaking Class 4 Nugget Falls and the bottom-drops-out Class 4 Ti’lomikh Falls (formerly called Powerhouse)
“That’s a fun little dip through there for sure,” Bansen says.
Courtney Thomas, hospitality manager at Del Rio Vineyard Estate, hears all about it at the end of the day as she pours tastings for Zip-Dip-Sippers gathered around the winery’s outdoor table.
“People are really just like ‘ahh,’ relaxing, hanging out and remembering their day together,” she says. “They ask each other ‘what did you like better, the zipline or the rafting’ and no one can choose. They are so different.”
The most popular wine selection after a day on the ziplines and rapids? “It’s definitely the rosés,” Thomas says. “They are crisp, clean and refreshing.”
Zip, Dip and Sip starts and ends at Del Rio Winery in Gold Hill, 15 miles north of Medford on Interstate 5. The tour can accommodate as many as 12 people each day during the summer. For more information and to book your adventure, visit rvzipline.com/zipdipsip. Go to southernoregon.org to plan your Southern Oregon travels.