Archive for September, 2020

McKenzie River Love

It’s been a devastating time for so many people, animals, birds, fish and forest. With wildfire taking over places we thought were safe, we embark into a new reality. What can we do?

We can continue to send good vibes and strong thoughts towards the people who have been displaced. If we can afford the time we can volunteer and if we can afford the money we can donate needed funds. We can keep our memories and experiences close as we remember the McKenzie River Corridor.

Being a student at the U of O was an incredible experience in the mid 90’s. The natural getaway was up Hwy. 126, winding along the pavement catching little glimpses of swiftwater or a deep pool. These excursions were a needed therapy during a challenging push to succeed at the university. I was inspired enough to take Kayaking 101 as a result. Soon after that I got involved with the U of O outdoor program and spent any free day up the McKenzie paddling with other lucky people. After finishing at the U of O, I took a job at the City of Eugene. I was lucky to learn the ropes of guiding on the Mckenzie River. Working for the River House, I learned how to navigate rapids and how to inspire countless other people to discover and appreciate wild places. The Mckenzie River is a fantastic place to accomplish this!

Some of those people who I shared the river with were my parents 🙂 They so fell in love with the place that they decided to move to Vida and retire on the river. Of course I was happy to come visit and spent lots of quality time in the presence of the river, among family and friends. During those years I was guiding here an there and would always come home to the McKenzie. It was a place to reflect, relax and become inspired for the next challenge in life. The river is continuously changing while offering a steady reminder of what is really important.

After the terrifying fires happened, the feelings came on strong. It’s hard to know how to react, but most importantly is the hope for the residents who lost everything so fast. We hope they can keep their heads up and persevere despite the unbelievable challenges. While the Goodpasture covered bridge still stands, I did learn that my parents old house burned down. Most importantly the new owner survived and is in a safe place. It was an amazing house, but the land and the river still live on as a source of inspiration!

Relaxing times with friends on the McKenzie River
Loving life on the McKenzie near Vida, 1998
Wedding reception on Goodpasture, 2010

Here are two videos of the McKenzie River. The first is a serene moment near Deerhorn. The second is a fun video of us goofing off on a surf wave near Vida.

September 18, 2020 | 1 Comment More

Canoe Canal Appreciation Week – CCAW 2020!

This week panned out to be a perfect one for getting some long awaited maintenance done. As you may know, the 2 1/2 mile waterway is a lot to cover, so we try to appreciate it a bit at a time.

Monday – Putting in at the D Street boat ramp in Springfield, I paddled upstream to the large eddy that is just above the Canoe Canal intake. It was full of garbage and driftwood. I spent an hour in the eddy breaking up the wood which freed up the trash to be able to pick it up. Additionally, I located a shopping cart in the middle of the river that will likely stay there until we can organize and get a group to remove it.

Eddy 50 yards above D. street ramp. Before

Tuesday – Paddling the Lower Waterway of the Canoe Canal to assess the needed attention. Now that we have moved our rental location above the Lower Waterway we have been focusing on the health and beauty of what’s above. It feels like our lack of attention to the lowest section of the waterway has come at a cost. I paddled the area for the first time this season and learned that it is in desperate need of help. There is a lot of trash, and a number of spots where unhealthy scum is collecting. The algae bloom is not helping because it collects these items and scum.

This photo is from a 2016 cleanup

Wednesday – Today was a hot one. So getting on the water early was the strategy. First off I filmed a video showing off some basic tools for cleaning up a waterway. Here’s the link

After 2 hours collecting small items I got back to shore and took inventory. It turns out that I collected 55 socks that were underwater! 15 tennis balls of various states of decay, broken glass, rusted tin, and other nasties.

55 socks and more on Sept. 2nd 2020

Thursday – One of the unique features of the canal is the dam. People portage boats around the dam quite often. I added the 7th, 8th and 9th bucket of gravel to the sink hole. This is to improve the footing while carrying boats. It’s right next to the water and now it is easier to launch a boat. Additionally, I spent time with the picky-uppy tool and collected a pellet bag worth of trash. Mostly styrofoam bait containers, broken glass, and a few lonely sandals.

The sinkhole with 9 buckets of gravel.

Friday – Focusing on the removal of Himalayan Blackberry plants on shore. At our new rental location there used to be an abundance of blackberry plants. Spending down time trimming and digging these out created this pretty large pile. It’s leather glove work that has some challenge involved. Now the native Ash and Willow trees and snowberry bushes are free of the invaders. We first noticed this spot as a potential rental location in 2016 when we cleaned up the trash pile left by a camper. Now the dream has become a reality. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Pile of blackberry trimmings today!
Photo from 2016 when we first thought of the idea of renting canoes from this location…
September 4, 2020 | 0 Comments More