Happy Spring & Live Happy!

Today is March 20, 2015 and the first day of spring! Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Flowers are blooming, it’s getting warm, and the sense of happiness is in the air.

First Day of Spring

May 20th 2015 spring has arrived!

Happiness is one other reason why today is a great day.

It is the #International Day of Happiness!

Live Happy Day

International Day of Happiness 2015

The Day of Happiness website states: “Advertisers tell us that happiness comes from buying and consuming their products. Celebrities and the media pretend it comes with beauty & fame. And politicians claim that nothing matters more than growing the economy.”

These ideas don’t sound like a very positive outlook for our world and our lives. What is truly important is just being happy. For me Living Happy means taking my dogs on a hike, soaking in the sunshine, and floating down a river. It’s purchasing our first home after renting for the past 20 years. Yes, a house is a material object but it is something I am grateful for. My husband and I LOVE living in our new home! It makes us #happy!

floating down a river.

Kayaking with my best friends makes me #Happy!

Scenic Lower Klamath River

Rivers and Mountains make me #Happy!

Living Happy is a feeling. It’s an outlook on life. It is gratitude. It is being thankful for what you have and the people around you. It’s just enjoying where you are in your present moment no matter your circumstances. It’s about being healthy. It’s about sharing with others.

Think about what makes you #Happy. Comment here. Please only #Positive #Happy comments.

Remember this today, this year, and for the rest of your life… #Live #Happy!

#Happy #dogs

#Happy #dogs

Make 2015 Your Best and #Happiest Year Yet!

Cheers, Leslie


Hold On Tight for the Upper Klamath

upper klamath scenery 2013Written By: Caitlin Foster

Rafting is a one of a kind adventure all in its own. It is hard to describe the kind of adrenaline rush you get from an Upper Klamath Trip with Kokopelli River Guides. I have done so many different kinds of high adventure activities such as rock climbing, hiking, mt. biking, surfing and alpine skiing. Rafting, yet totally different than all the other sports I have done, is so thrilling. It’s almost addicting.

The adventure really starts when you step foot in the van and take off on an all day adventure. Driving up in the gorgeous mountains to the John C. Boyle Dam to the river access put in is an adventure all in its own. There is a great little spot about half way to the put in where there is a fresh water spring to fill up your water bottles for the all day rafting adventure. It is so great to be able to start in the foothills of beautiful Ashland and work your way up into the mountains to the river. You can see so many different landscapes from the ranch lands and vineyards of the Rogue Valley to the mystic forests of the Klamath River basin. The drivers and guides are very knowledgeable about the history of the area so you get a little geography lesson on the shuttle ride as well.


Even though I am a high adventure thrill seeking girl, I love the fact that while rafting with Kokopelli, I know I will be safe from the time I meet the staff to when I say goodbye to the staff. The best part about rafting with Kokopelli is that they know so much about the river and can show me all the cool features the river has. If you ask, they might even teach you a little bit about how to be a raft guide. Being on this river in the middle of what seems like nowhere is so great because you are able to escape from the busy life of the world and immerse yourself into the wilderness. The only people you may run into are other rafters and kayakers just out to enjoy the same thing you’re there to enjoy.

Upper Klamath whitewater rafting

Crashing through the monstrous waves on the Upper Klamath River in Oregon.

The rapids are honestly some of the wildest rapids you can find in this area in Southern Oregon. I love that this trip is just one crazy rapid after another crazy rapid. Hearing the commands from the back of the boat, “All forward, hard, hard, dig in! Hold on!” and there you go, flying through the huge rapid. It never gets boring and never gets dull till the end of the trip when it’s time to part with the guides and go home. Even the lunch on the trip is delicious! I honestly can’t say anything negative about the all day Upper Klamath Trip. It is fun, exciting and will give you the adventure anyone is looking for, only if you aren’t afraid of getting a little wet.


Lower Stress on the Lower Klamath


By: Caitlin Foster

When I first found out I was going on an over night rafting trip, I thought oh no, what am I doing? I have to pack everything in a dry bag and it might get wet. Then I remembered who I was going with and that these guides love what they do and do this kind of stuff every day for a living. So what the heck! I will be fine. I started my day early meeting the group at the shop in Ashland. The guides and driver were ready for us and ready to get rolling down the road to the river.

Of course I have gone camping before because I love the outdoors and spending as much time outside as I can. I actually don’t own a tv and only get internet on my phone and at work. So being outdoors for me is like being in my home. IMG_5292Camping on the river was something new for me but it was an awesome experience and not much different than camping anywhere else. None of my gear got wet and guess what? I didn’t have to hike with any of it. It is much easier to throw your gear in a boat and row it down the river, than it is to carry it wherever you want to go.

Oh and did I mention the food? Yeah it wasn’t just stew we warmed up on the fire. It was a full on chicken fajita fiesta and mmmm… It was good! We also had a delicious freshly baked desert, which I never get when I go camping, unless it is a pack of Oreos we happened to have room for in our pack. The camping was quite simple and if you have very little to no camping experience, no need to worry because the Kokopelli guides have so much experience they can share with you, it’s insane.

photo6Back to the actual river trip, this is a nice time to relax and have some time to escape from everything and enjoy life on the water. The Klamath River is very scenic and there is so much wildlife to see out there. Rafts are quiet and will not scare away the wildlife you might run into. After relaxing on the water, at just the right time, you will find yourself flying through a super fun rapid. No need to do much work because the guides have you covered. This is a great way to spend a few days with your family or friends. You’ll walk away from this trip with a few more friends than when you started because the guides are so friendly, funny and great to get along with!

IMG_5614On top of rafting, camping and eating great food, there are great places to swim in the calm water. If the raft is getting a little to hot and you think you need to cool off, jump in the river and go for a swim (preferably not in the middle of a rapid). It was a little to early in the season for me to go for a swim but I sure did see plenty of places I could have. I guess that means another multi-day Lower Klamath trip is in my sights. There are also some cool little creaks that if you have the skill and the guts, you can carry your play boat up and kayak down. It really takes skills and some die hard determination to make it down some of those creeks but it is sure fun to watch the ones who do take the plunge down.

Over all, the multi-day trips are a great way to have the ultimate experience in the outdoors. All the fun rapids, the hiking up creaks, swimming and camping, all put together in one trip is such an amazing one of a kind adventure to go on. No matter your skill or your age, I am sure you would love this experience.


Who Are Those Guides at Kokopelli?

We have some of the best guides in Southern Oregon. Take a peak at our staff here at Kokopelli River Center and see who might take you down the river next.

10403552_584350478349228_7028853115399850766_nWant to know about some the cool places to go in the area or the best restaurants in town? Take a trip with Yann and you will learn all kinds of things about Oregon. I bet he can even tell you where all the waterfalls and hot springs in the area are too. Even though he is a native to Colorado, Yann has grown to love the 365 days a year raft season that Oregon has. In addition to the rivers we run here in Southern Oregon, Yann has also commercially run the Middle Fork of the Salmon, the Grand Canyon, the Main Salmon, the Tuolumne outside of Yosemite, the Animas River, Piedra River and Clear Creek in Colorado. With 7+ years of commercial raft guiding experience under his belt, Yann will take you for a great trip down our Southern Oregon rivers!

10457525_10204382535668067_6127614572187540721_nSteve, our Southern Oregon Native, is very knowledgeable about rafting in the Rogue Valley. Learning from his father, Steve has acquired many lifelong rafting skills to add to his arsenal. He will always greet you with a smile and a positive attitude. You will see him around the clock on all the rivers in the area. He has traveled up and down the west coast running all kinds of rivers from the State of Washington to the Scott River in California. He has commercially guided on the rivers in Southern Oregon for 3+ years but has been in the business for countless years. He loves the river and would be on them every day if he could.

1959423_884519519286_6659957661580288101_nDid you know that chemists can be raft guides? Yale, our Colorado born with a degree in chemistry, learned how to guide in Colorado where he lived until recently. He is opening his eyes to the new rivers in Oregon as he guides you down the river. He has wild stories to tell and will never leave a dull moment behind on a trip. He can also tell you how your fancy water bottle kept the water ice cold all day. Chemists do come handy on the river. In the off season, watch out because Yale hits the ski slopes every day. He might even raft as much as he skis and he loves both of them endlessly. Yale is always ready for a full day on the river, any day of the week.

2012 NugYes, girls can be raft guides too and they are awesome at what they do! Jill is an exciting girl who will get you pumped up for any day on the river, no matter the weather or the time of day. Arguably, Jill has the best play list for some of the longer shuttle rides but with her, you won’t even notice it was a ‘longer’ drive. She loves taking the young ones down the river in inflatable kayaks because she loves seeing them light up with all the excitement of paddling their own boat. She is funny and can tell you all about the history of the Rogue River. Learning how to guide in California, Jill came up to Oregon for school and to guide on the beautiful rivers here. With 5+ years of experience commercially guiding, Jill has all the confidence in the world to take you down the river.

Learning the ropes of the raft guiding business, Caitlin is here to answer all your questions in the shop and drive you to the river. Growing up in Northern California, she has grown a love for many water sports, and will point you in the right direction for which water sport you should try today. Caitlin does all kinds of out door adventures like mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and alpine skiing. Her favorite though, has to be anything involving water. She has rafted many rivers all over Southern Oregon and Northern California along with kayaked many lakes throughout Northern California. She can definitely help you find the perfect water adventure for you while you are in Southern Oregon.

156769_1762217620813_2431160_nLeslie, our owner, grew up in Florida until the mountains of Colorado stole her heart for a short while until she met her husband Matt, who is from Oregon. Matt and Leslie raft guided in Colorado for many years until they decided to uproot and move to Ashland, OR where they have been ever since, running Kokopelli River Center. The company has evolved over time into the spectacular place it is now. Matt and Leslie have 25+ years combined of whitewater experience. If you want to learn a new skill, come meet Matt and Leslie because they are very knowledgeable in the paddle sports field and love what they do. Watch out, because you might see Matt and Leslie next time you hit the water.


Written by: Caitlin Foster

Gold Nuggets on the Rogue Nugget

Written by: Caitlin Foster

Have you ever been on a white water adventure? No? Well then the Rogue River Nugget Trip is seriously the perfect one for you. The half day trip gives me just enough trill if I need to get my blood pumping in the morning or in the afternoon. I was surprised that in the few hours we were on the river, that I still got a taste of some big rapids. There are just enough rapids that anyone can learn and get a feel for what rafting is all about. It is a great place to find out if this sport is something you would like to experience more of. This is also a trip to find out if you would like to learn how to run this river on your own. The great thing about the Nugget section of the Rogue, is that there are great places to learn the basics of rafting, like how to hold a paddle, how to use a paddle, how to sit in a raft through a big rapid and how to enjoy the white water experience.


The best part about the Rogue River, it that is is very easy to get to. It is located just north of the City of Medford, which is the largest city in Southern Oregon. It is so pretty and much greener than any other river you will go on in the area. The half day trip is a much shorter trip; however, it is perfect if you don’t have an entire day to dedicate to rafting. You will still get a perfect little taste of white water rafting. If you do have all day to dedicate to rafting, the full day on the Rogue River would be perfect. It is such a wonderful area and the best trip to learn about rafting.

DSC_0095Another great thing about the Rogue River is that you can do more than just rafting on it. If you find the right section or ask the Kokopelli River Guides, you can take stand up paddle boards or inflatable kayaks on it. It is a great river that is centrally located in the Rogue Valley.




Making New Friends in Ashland, Oregon

In April of 2014 I was in the parking lot outside the Shop N Kart grocery store, which is all natural, organic, and a little bit hippy. As I was packing my groceries into the back of my car I hear a woman’s voice exclaim “I can’t believe this!” I quickly turned around and saw the woman staring at a man and a woman with a child in a stroller with a sign panhandling.

I began talking with this woman who couldn’t believe her eyes. I said to her “Yeah, there out here all of the time. ” The woman was appalled. As we continued our conversation I learned that her name was Francesca and she had just moved to Ashland, OR the week before. She had recently purchased the Bayberry Inn Bed & Breakfast.

Bayberry Inn AshlandFrancesca was from Aspen, Colorado and since I had moved to Ashland in 2001 from Vail, Colorado we hit it off right away.  I told her my husband and I own a rafting company and her eyes lit up! She said she was going to promote us and I should bring some brochures over right away! I was excited to go over to the Bayberry Inn too since they had done some remodeling since they moved in.

Finally my scheduled matched up with Francesca’s and I was able to go over to the Inn one afternoon in late May. I was welcomed with an enormous hug! That meant to me we were already friends. I was immediately introduced to her business partner and partner in life, Josh, who used to be a chef and now is the one preparing all of the delicious breakfasts at the Bayberry Inn. She showed me around the Inn and told me about all of the changes and improvements they were making. All the work they were putting in certainly was paying off. The Inn looks amazing!

Ashland B & B

Delicious home cooking at the Bayberry Inn Bed & Breakfast Ashland Oregon with Chef Josh

Yummy deliciousness served at the Bayberry for breakfast.

Yummy deliciousness served at the Bayberry for breakfast.

Josh is a fun guy and pretty cute too! He and Francesca make a great pair and both of them are working hard to spruce up the Bayberry’s image and offerings. They have updated all of the rooms with new linens and comforters and want to make you feel right at home!

We invited Francesca and Josh to go rafting for a full day on the Upper Klamath River with Kokopelli River Guides. They had the time of their lives! Read the review of their trip that they posted on Trip Advisor here:

“AWESOME! Exceeded all expectations and more!” 

“Having just moved to Oregon from Colorado, we had high expectations for river rafting! It was our first trip on the Upper Klamath and with Kokopelli River Guides, but I must say it blew our expectations out of the water and we had the best trip of our lives. The team at Kokopelli were professional, knew their stuff and were amazing guides; we felt like old friends by the end of the day! Their staff are all wonderful. They had all the gear one would need to raft in cold waters, which was comforting and their food was amazing. We had fresh fruit and muffins with OJ served to us while we waited for the guides to put the boats into the water, which came as a total surprise to us! Then the lunch was delicious as well, healthy and nourishing. They even served fresh avocado to go with our sandwich, which made my day! The river was awesome, the best I’ve been on, so much fun and filled with excitement. I highly recommend Kokopelli River Guides and have already recommended them to our guests at our Inn! Thank you guys, you’re the best! We hope to take another trip with you before the summer ends for sure!” ~ Bayberry Inn Keeper

It has been great getting to know Francesca and Josh in the past couple of months. That’s how it is in Ashland, OR. You could be grocery shopping and in an instant make a new friend! That’s just how things roll here! Come stay for a while at the Bayberry Inn and take a river rafting trip with us on the Rogue or Klamath River. You will see why our little town is so welcoming and you will want to come back to see us again soon.



Who’s Ready to Hit the River?

We are so ready to get rafting and kayaking season started! Seriously! After a less than average snowpack for the region, what we are jonesing for now is some serious play time on the river!

rafting trips on the Rogue River.

Splash fights are the best part of a rafting trip!

Just because we had lower than average snow pack this winter the Rogue River drainage is holding strong. The forecasted flows on the Rogue are expected at normal flows throughout the summer! This is great news!

What’s even greater news is we just got word about flows on the Upper Klamath this summer! What the Bureau of Reclamation is saying is that we can expect normal summer releases on the Upper Klamath River. Sorry, there will not be any 2 gun days. Oh well. :-( But, the good news is that there will be a normal one turbine flow throughout the summer with the normal operational schedule. Wednesdays will still be an “off” day for the Upper Klamath, which is normal in the summer months.

Upper Klamath Rafting Trips

Challenge the class 4 whitewater on the Upper Klamath

What is even more exciting is that the Lower Klamath will have water too! Below Iron Gate dam will have normal summer flows and we are happy about that! That means the Tree of Heaven section of the Klamath River will be the same Class 2+ fun and exactly as it has been every year. The Lower Klamath down near Happy Camp will have late summer flows throughout the summer, but is still completely navigable and even more fun!

Lower Klamath river rafting

Dragonstooth rapid will still have the same bite on the Lower Klamath River.

We look forward to some awesome rafting again this summer! Our rivers are going to pack a punch and will provide a whole lot of adventure! Some dates are almost completely booked! Don’t miss your chance to raft on the date of your choice!

Book Your Trip Today!


Rave Rafting Reviews!

Yes, here we are tooting our own horn! Why not? Because we have had some amazing experiences on the river with some amazing people on some amazing rivers near Ashland, Oregon!

These are some of our favorites from the 2013 rafting season! All of these reviews were taken from the Trip Advisor website. We can’t wait to create some new memories with you!

“Mature Ladies Can Raft”

“My sister and I had a great time on the Klamath with Nick. It was so reassuring to us to have such a hunk as Nick protecting us! His sense of humor is terrific, he was safety conscience and he was very skillful at guiding the raft. He was very knowledgeable about the river and surrounding. We went late in the season. Leslie made accommodations for us. Nick had the van all loaded and ready to go when we got there. And the weather was perfect. It was a great trip. We recommend Kokopelli to everyone. I know we’d like to do it again!” ~ Joan, California

Rogue River rafting

Immerse yourself in a day of rafting on the Upper Klamath or Rogue River.

“Kokopelli Kicks”

“This is the second year we’ve paddled the Rogue with Kokopelli. Both times have been a terrific experience. Brian, our guide this year, delighted us with a new water experience called raft surfing.
We got plenty wet and excited as rapids gushed over the bow of our boat! At the end, we were treated to tasty, fresh snacks prepared by local food vendors. The owners, Matt and Leslie, were wonderful hosts to our Aussie who stayed at their shop while we rafted. Kokopelli really wants to please. See you next time we’re in Ashland!”
Jan, Bruce, & Allison

“Excellent 4 day rafting trip – amazing guides!”

“I can’t recommend Kokopelli enough. The entire trip was perfectly organised and they were super responsive, tailoring the trip to our moods and needs. Jill and Nick, our INCREDIBLE guides, were fantastic and really made the entire experience. I have to add that the food was unbelievably tasty and wholesome, with a great deal of variety and care in the preparation – not at all what I would have expected on a rafting and camping trip. The route we took was incredible with regards to scenery and nature – we saw an impressive plethora of birds of prey. Thanks for an amazing and memorable trip Jill, Nick and the Kokopelli crew!”  ~ Gaya, New York, NY


Rogue River rafting trips

Hitting the meat of Nugget rapid on the Rogue River.

“Overnight on Upper Klamath”

“A fantastic adventure from start to finish for our family of four–dad, 19-year old, and 15-year-old twins. Brian, Nick, and Greg prepared us well for class 3-4 whitewater, really the best I’ve ever experienced. Always fun, exciting, and challenging, but felt very safe too, because of the guides’ preparation, experience, and demeanor. Early August the water was warm–getting soaked on a humungous bump or jumping out between rapids to swim and practice pulling each other back into the raft was fun and refreshing. DO THE OVERNIGHT!!!! A little remote car camping on the river just below the first huge rapids. Delicious food, camaraderie, stories, and jokes. We were lucky enough to have a 30-minute storm sweep through. We all participated in jimmy-rigging a tarp strung between trees and supported by the raft oars so we could stay dry and watch the show. Slept under the stars after it passed and awoke to dry sleeping bags, hot coffee, and a delicious breakfast, including fresh trout caught by Nick while we lounged about. Then back on the river for more whitewater–yes, the same huge rapids, but who cares? We didn’t remember them and you go through them differently each time anyway.” ~ Stephen H, California

Join us in 2014 and create your own memories! We look forward to your review!

www.kokopelliriverguides.com     541-201-7694



Spent Too Much Time in the Sun? Looking Older?

None of us want to get older and of course none of us want to look older!

This topic is near and dear to my heart since I’ve spent many of my 42 years baking in the Florida sun and living at over 8000 feet in Vail, Colorado. I was and am still a river guide and of course am exposed to the sun more than most. Rafters and kayakers spend a lot of the time under the glare of the sun with not a care in the world, not a care especially about getting old and wrinkly.

Of course over the past couple of years after turning 40, I noticed that I was not looking younger by any means. Lots of brown spots started appearing on my cheeks and horrible wrinkles in between my eyebrows! Help! I was not happy with what I saw in the mirror.

nerium ad aging skin

Pre-Nerium picture taken in 2007 on a Grand Canyon River trip. Wrinkles and age spots have already taken over!

Just a few months ago a dear friend of mined posted on Facebook before and after pictures of wrinkles disappearing since using a product on her face that I had not heard of. The results were amazing! I quickly messaged her back wanting to know where I can get some of this stuff! This stuff is called Nerium AD. Nothing, I mean nothing has ever worked for me to remove dark spots and wrinkles on my face. Chemical peels- NOPE! Retin-A wrinkle creams- SORRY! Arbonne- NADA! (Sorry Arbonne, you have great products but still you did not work for me).

I got my first order of a bottle of Nerium and I was pretty skeptical. With some hesitation, I took a leap of faith and trusted one of my best friends and her awesome results from Nerium.

nerium anti aging cream

These two photos were taken in the same place in my kitchen under the same light. Notice how my skin looks brighter, healthier, and not so dull. The left is after 30 days and the right is after 90 days of using Nerium.

Week 2 after using Nerium at night I noticed my face was really soft and smooth! I was brighter and looked more awake. My 3rd month of using Nerium, fine lines disappeared, dark spots were fading, and I was getting compliments on how good my skin looks!

I love Nerium so much that now I am a Brand Partner and am helping people get beautiful skin!

This stuff really works on every skin type. I haven’t ever found a product that does what it says it does like Nerium! So if you are sun worshipper like me or if you just want to look younger check out Nerium. If you too want younger looking skin for an affordable price go to my website and sign up to be a Preferred Customer to get the lowest price!


Nerium age-defying treatment. Get your real results too!

Nerium age-defying treatment. Get your real results too!

Nerium delivers what it promises!

Nerium delivers what it promises!

Please Mother Nature Bring us Snow!

Hopes are high for an epic winter and precipitation is low here in Southern Oregon. It is the beginning of December and the sun is out and the temperatures are low. This would be great except that we are still waiting on some of the white stuff to start falling from the sky!

Today is December 4th and the local ski area, Mt. Ashland is showing on their website the mountain has 2 inches of snow on the ground. Time to pray for snow! Their average opening day is December 15th. This is cutting it close don’t you think?

In the meantime we have been enjoying gorgeous weather here in the Rogue Valley. Sunshine has been plentiful and we had a picture perfect Thanksgiving Day!

Mt. Shasta view

Looking out towards Mt. Shasta and Pilot Rock from the top of Grizzly Peak, Ashland Oregon on Thanksgiving Day 2014.

We hiked Grizzly Peak on Thanksgiving Day this year. This was a first for us this late in the season. The parking lot was packed because everyone knew that the trail was clear and snow free! The loop train was sunny and warm and it was t-shirt weather! This was something truly to be thankful for!

Mid November we hiked Roxy Ann peak just outside of Medford. What a pleasure it was to quickly hike up the steep trail to the top and enjoy the view of Medford, Phoenix, and the rest of the valley. The sunny day brought out families, bikers, hikers, runners, and everyone else with legs.

It has been an amazing and enjoyable fall so far. But, now it’s time to get down to business! Snow business that is. Just bring it on and we will be able to enjoy winter how it’s meant to be!