Fourth of July weekend this year was not spent barbecuing, relaxing in the backyard, and talking with a mouthful of watermelon and juice dripping off my chin. Instead we traveled to Oregon, to a small town in the Siskiyou  Mountain range for a family Bar Mitzvah. Oh what fun we had. Besides the joy of seeing family members from all over the country we experienced the thrill of white water rafting on the Rogue River . More about the river in a bit. 
I traveled to Oregon like my family and grandparents have traveled for centuries, taking stuff for every contingency including two suitcases of frozen food on ice packs on the plane. Included in the food, Cheese and Potato Borekas, Boyuz or Bulemas, roasted Turkey breast, my Challah, yogurt cake, banana bread, Lahmaςun, Pescado Frito, and roasted Almonds. We augmented our little feasts with fruit, vegan salads, and hummus from the local co-op market. I guess it is official I have completed the metamorphosis into an old Sephardic Lady. 
On Thursday we went on a leisurely Rogue River cruise on a calm section of the river, observing Eagles in flight, Osprey, Canada Geese and Indian sights such as The Trail of Tears . Of course there were movie star and famous people’s homes on the banks of the river as well. We took a wonderful al fresco lunch to the river banks and sat and ate at a picnic table, a very Seattle Sephardic thing to do. We sat in the shade with a beautiful breeze blowing while in town it was blistering 94 degrees, recalling Noni telling us how she used to go with Nona and Papu and her many siblings to river bank picnics out of Seattle and how they put the watermelon or Carpoose in the river to keep it icy cold until serving time. The most famous story Noni told was about leaving the river park late evening and as darkness fell Papu took the wrong turn at a fork in the road to Black Diamond instead of back to the City. Nona was yelling at him, but being a chauvinist old world guy he paid her no head and soon they were lost deep in the woods. You know in those days there were lots of bear, dear, and cougars/mountain lions to deal with. Finally Papu turned around and everything worked out.
On Sunday everyone wanted to step it up a bit. We booked a rapids trip for the afternoon. I was scared! Due to excellent guides and good preparation the trip was really fun. It was more fun than the best ride in any theme park. We crashed, splashed, paddled with all of our might, got totally soaked with water and totally filthy. Fun Extreme Fun. 
If you are planning to visit Ashland Oregon any time soon, be sure to look up Indigo Outfitters  . We came home exhausted with lots of new family memories after embracing our past and securing our future.