McKenzie River

Vets with boatBy Ada Weeks
Perched on a large rock at the Silver Creek Landing, I sat photographing drift boats that came close enough to capture on camera, waiting for my mystery ride to the other side of the river. My assignment was to interview a group of US military veterans during their first McKenzie River fishing trip. Having grown up as a Navy braåç, I knew this would be special.

When a drift boat skillfully came close enough for me to see the fishermen wearing US Army tee shirts, I knew “my ship had come in.” Indeed, with military precision, my boat transport was right on time. Marine veteran, and elite river guide, Greg White, invited me to hop in for the short ride across the McKenzie to the chosen lunch spot.

River guide Buzz Kleven, also a US Army and Marine veteran, was busy setting up the site, complete with table, chairs, cookware, and the largest cast iron frying pan I had ever seen. The military vet fishermen, who had tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany, piled out of the drift boats, and settled in to watch the guides prepare lunch.

Bruce ThorFINN ROCK: The fifteen artists at this year’s 3rd Annual Chainsaw Art Festival once again enthraled onlookers who watched them transform logs into works of art. For some running the saws, the end result may come from within the wood itself. Others, like Bruce Thor of Kent, Washington, approach each piece with an image already in their minds.
“Because I’m a cartoonist, I get ideas and have to have a piece of paper around at all times,” he explains. “I’m compulsively doodling over the winter.”
For Thor, a “third generation Icelandic American,” the attraction for refashioning logs goes back to 1996 when his mother cut down a tree in their front yard. In the process of making, “the worst bear I’ve ever done,”  he burned out her electric saw. But it was a step in a process that nudged him to attend his first gathering of carvers in the coastal town of Westport in 2000.

Navigation Obstruction - McKenzie River below Bellinger Boat Ramp

Campfires in Developed Sites Now Prohibited

A campfire ban will go into effect across the Willamette National Forest on Saturday, August 1. Extremely dry conditions in conjunction with current and expected weather forecasts have elevated the potential risk of wildfire throughout the area.

This temporary ban prohibits all campfires, even in developed sites and in campfire rings. Smoking is also prohibited, except in vehicles, trailers, and buildings.

Campfires in Developed Sites Now Prohibited

A campfire ban will go into effect across the Willamette National Forest on Saturday, August 1. Extremely dry conditions in conjunction with current and expected weather forecasts have elevated the potential risk of wildfire throughout the area.

This temporary ban prohibits all campfires, even in developed sites and in campfire rings. Smoking is also prohibited, except in vehicles, trailers, and buildings.

Cascade winnersFlorenz Knauer, Francisco Mancebo and Dion Smith at the finish line awards ceremony. Mancebo (Canyon Bicycles) and Kristin Armstrong (Twenty 16-ShoAir) won the men’s and women’s opening stage respectively of the five-day Cascade Cycling Classic on Wednesday.

At counterRAINBOW: Ways of getting out and about - from riding bikes to paddle boarding or from rafting to shuttles - now have a new central point to start from, thanks to a new business that will host a grand opening this weekend. The Horse Creek Lodge and the Blazin Saddles Bike Shop partnered for the new enterprise, housed in the former Rustic Skillet Restaurant’s storefront.

Leaburg power plantLEABURG: The Leaburg Hydroelectric Project Historic District in Lane County is among Oregon’s latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Leaburg Hydroelectric Project was put into service in January 1930 and continues to generate electric power as part of the Eugene Water & Electric Board system, a municipally owned utility located in Lane County. It is located along approximately five miles of the McKenzie River in the vicinity of Leaburg, and consists of the dam and powerhouse; the reservoir, canal and tailrace; and Leaburg Village, built to house dam workers.

 

 

Saddle DamLast Friday, the U.S. Forest Service closed the gate at Saddle Dam due to low water levels in the Blue River Reservoir to protect the reservoir basin from off road vehicles.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.