About Powerhouse Rapid/Ti’lomikh Falls Rapid
Ti’lomikh Falls is a sacred place for the the Takelma people, which means “People of the River,” who had a village here. Ti’lomikh Falls is location of a Takelma tradition known as the Salmon Ceremony. According to the Historical Marker Database, “During the Salmon Ceremony, an elder of the Takelma sat in a stone seat called the “Story Chair” to net the first salmon of the spring run. To allow salmon to pass upstream to spawn, that first salmon was carefully prepared and divided, as a sacrament, among the people. To ensure that the salmon would always return, divers returned the bones and skin of the first fish to the pool below the falls. Only then did the fishing season begin.” These Salmon Ceremonies were run for thousands of years until gold was discovered in the area, and the Rogue Valley was ceded to the U.S. and the natives were sadly driven out. There are historical markers on river left here, with information about the Takelma people and some of their traditions.
The name Powerhouse comes from the now defunct Powerhouse on river right just downstream of the rapid. In 2008, the Gold Hill dam was removed, but a few relics of the past remained. Above Powerhouse Rapid there are remnants of this dam that can be seen.
How to Run Powerhouse Rapid/Ti’lomikh Falls Rapid
Powerhouse Rapid/Ti’lomikh Falls Rapid caps off the Nugget section with a counterintuitive entrance, and a large drop at the end (5-8 feet depending on flows).
The entrance to Ti’lomikh Falls is in the right channel, around a big rock island. At the bottom of this rock island, ferry hard across the river to reach the final channel on river left. Enter this channel through a small chute, which has the most room on the right side. Do your best to hit the final drop with a slight left angle. There’s a small lateral wave just above the drop that can mess with your angle. At higher flows, this can be a much bigger problem. Below this drop is a very deep pool, known by boaters as the “Green Room”. In the late summer months, there is a blackberry bush with DELICIOUS berries.
If you are unable to make the ferry into the main, you’ll be heading down a channel on the right, which is known as Mugger’s Alley (due to a combination of getting smacked by rocks as well as branches. This line is definitely not recommended, as you’ll just be bouncing along some shallow rocks, and you’ll miss the big drop!