Just off Redwood Highway, some of the world's most impressive predators?none of whom are native to the Northwest?prowl 10 acres of grassland. The Siskiyou Mountains may surround us, but clearly we're not in Oregon anymore.
Okay, technically Great Cats World Park is still part of Cave Junction, but its residents (affectionately called feline ambassadors) come from all over Planet Earth?the African savanna, the mountains of North America, and the deepest parts of the South American jungles. More than a dozen species of rare and endangered felines live on the park grounds, and these cats carry a responsibility as big as their paws: to educate the public on the importance of wildlife conservation. The spectacle of a 500-pound predator certainly makes a compelling case, even when it's not wearing its glasses.
Scooby, a white tiger, currently weighs in as the park's biggest resident. Tours take park visitors right up to the enclosures of these and other big cats, where keepers try to bring out the cats' natural and instinctive behaviors. Other species, such as the Ocelot and the clouded leopard, are smaller in size but no less majestic in stature?especially to any mice asking for permission to squeak freely. A new snow leopard now calls the park home, as well.
Whether they climb through trees or prowl the savannah, the cats here have all grown accustomed to life in the public eye. Professional photographers often document the animals at the park, and many of the cats have been featured on TV programs such as The Late Show with David Letterman.
Jerry's Rogue Jets does not take river tours lightly. The company employs a staff of Coast Guard-certified jet-boat pilots who navigate tours through the federally protected Rogue River Canyon. The route includes a turbulent, 12-mile stretch that the company has exclusive commercial access to. Each of the company's voyages takes place on a boat custom made by Wayne Adams, a direct descendant of the Adams family that homesteaded the canyon in the 19th century. Once they board the boats, passengers embark on one of three round-trip tours that aim to integrate adventure, nature, and comical, unscripted narration.
The calmer 64-mile Historic Mail Route follows a path that Jerry's mail boats still use to deliver mail each day. The 80-mile Whitewater Excursion and 104-mile Wilderness Whitewater adventures extend into more tumultuous waters. All of the tours—which throughout the years have attracted guests such as Jimmy Carter, Meryl Streep, and Clark Gable—include a 90-minute meal stop to keep passengers from filing their teeth until they are sharp enough to eat river rocks.
For nearly 40 years, Dick Troon tried his hand at winemaking. The early years were filled with a whole lot of trial and error, and not every bottle was particularly successful. But his innovation and stubbornness eventually payed off, resulting in immensely robust and successful varietals. It was because if his spirit and undiscouraged sense of optimism that the winemakers at Troon Vineyard have such vast insight into the viticulture of the Southern Oregon land where their grapes grow fat on the vine?and probably one of the reasons they've amassed so many awards and accolades.
In 2003, Troon handed over the the winery to a friend and fishing companion, Larry Martin, who to this day oversees operations and who reinvented the vineyard and tasting rooms that stand today. The wines produced there range from the ripe, clean Zinfandel?crafted from grapes originally planted by Troon back in 1972?to the robust, smoky notes of dark cherry and caramelized oak of the Estate Syrah. These wines can be sampled and purchased at both of the two tasting rooms, where the wine-savvy staff educates visitors on varietals, good pairings, and the best wine to drink before a first date.
Tucked just south of the Chetco River?s rushing waters, the championship course at Salmon Run boasts its own aquatic artery, which wends along ryegrass fairways, passing sandy bunkers and challenging doglegs. Players soak up views of forested slopes as they face off with the course?s signature island green, whose watery surroundings and treacherous sand bunker demand the precision of a veterinarian surgeon operating on the world?s last unicorn. To gear up for the course?s myriad challenges, swingers can warm up at one of the driving range?s 10 hitting stations.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,274 yards * Course rating of 72.1 * Slope rating of 132:m]]
Equipment: Precor, Rogue Fitness, Hampton Fitness
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Number of Staff: 5?10 people
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Enjoy your workout and a tasty Kill Cliff recovery drink.