McKenzie River Love

| September 18, 2020 | 1 Comment More

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.

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  1. Dianne says:

    Thank you, Ryan, for documenting great moments that were had on the McKenzie. With love, kindness, and much effort, great moments can and will be experienced again. And time will allow all those people, animals, and plants, that have been devastated, a chance to feel safe to return.

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