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Finn Rock CampFINN ROCK: “I always wondered why they called it a camp,” Billie Rose recalls. “Our folks lived there for almost 20 years. I guess ‘camp’ sort of gave the impression we were transients but we weren’t.”
Billie, her sister Nancy and brother Joe, were part of a gathering of old friends last Saturday who grew up in a community that many of today’s McKenzie Valley residents might never know existed. Their home, the Finn Rock Camp has long roots, stretching back to 1890, when Thomas “Whit” Whitaker Rosborough built a sawmill in Rosboro, Arkansas. After his honeymoon itinerary swung though the Pacific Northwest, Whit had a longing to return. He did that in 1939 when he moved to Springfield, Oregon, and built what a newspaper of that time called the region’s “most modern timber manufacturing plant.” Timber for the mill came from lands he’d purchased up the McKenzie Valley.

Through wallLEABURG: Firefighters from both of the area’s fire districts took part in last Wednesday night’s drill at McKenzie Fire & Rescue’s Leaburg station. The session, facilitated by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. Training included skills to manage getting out of basements through windows, breaching walls, following hoses out of buildings, and diminishing clearance obstacles.  McKenzie Fire was able to train 35 of its members and Upper McKenzie was able to get six of its responders trained in the joint exercise sponsored by the state DPSST.  Matt Barnhart was the local state training coordinator for the area. View a short video of the training at: alturl.com/fg6m7

Donkey ballThis Saturday should provide some good opportunities to break away from a bout of cabin fever. At 2 p.m. some hearty individuals plan to get their adrenalin rushing when they take part in the 3rd Annual McKenzie River Polar Bear Plunge  at the Silver Creek Boat Ramp. People interested in participating can sign up and register at the Finn Rock Grill before the Saturday, February 6th, event.
The cost is $5 per person, with proceeds benefiting the Walterville Preschool. The Finn Rock Grill will match the total of entry fees received. A post jump party will follow at the Grill.
That night, at 7 p.m. Donkey Basketball is returning to McKenzie High School.

Hoodoo bikeSANTIAM PASS: The Back-country Festival will return to the to Hoodoo Ski Area this Friday and Saturday with seminars, industry pros, brand demos and entertainment. Organizers say there will be interactive displays set up on the snow as well as opportunities to test the best of fat tire bikes, skies, boots, bindings and light weight goods suited for every form of human powered touring into the backcountry.
Other features of the two-day festival will include music, races, demos, clinics, snow camping and a Three Creeks Brewing Co. beer garden. Trophies and prizes will be awarded for top two male and female in each race. Kids can earn their Junior Ranger Snow Badge by participating in the four levels of winter science and wildlife.
Friday’s festivities will start at 1 p.m. with a snow camp set up next to the Hoodoo lodge. Followed at a 4 p.m. with a live DJ in the snow cave and a backcountry film festival with juried movies from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Jeff Dehne - Man of the Year

Jeff Dehne

Nearly a winner in the past, the top vote getter for 2015 was Jeff Dehne of Walterville for his continued leadership of the annual   Walterville    Community Fair and for volunteering at projects and events throughout the McKenzie Valley area.
Besides serving as an officer of the Walterville Grange and riding herd on the Fair’s parade, Jeff seems to have “elbow grease” to spare. “I’ve seen him working on those community signs, building trails and setting up canopies and tables,” was noted by one of his supporters, who also said, “he never complains.”
Other nominees for Man of the Year included Jim Baker of Finn Rock and Kent Roberts of Rainbow.

Rosboro bridgeThe McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has purchased 154 acres of riverfront land along the McKenzie River near the town of Blue River in a closed-bid auction. The property includes approximately two miles of riverfront, numerous side channels, ponds, wetlands, and an old floodplain forest in the scenic McKenzie River corridor.
“We are grateful to the folks at Rosboro for working with us on this legacy project,” said Joe Moll, Executive Director of the McKenzie River Trust. “When you think of the McKenzie River, you imagine clean blue water, incredible salmon spawning habitat, and healthy floodplain forests. This property has all of that.”

Santiam wreckOn December 25, at about 10 a.m., OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a crash involving two vehicles on Highway 20 near milepost 77 (just east of the Santiam Junction).
Preliminary information indicates a 2003 Chevy Tahoe was traveling eastbound on Highway 20 when it lost control on the icy roadway. The Chevy crossed the centerline and struck a westbound 2005 Dodge Pickup nearly head-on.
One of the passing motorists, a doctor, stopped and provided medical attention to the injured passengers before medical personnel arrived. In all, six people were transported by ground ambulance to Saint Charles Hospital in Bend for various ranges of injuries.

PiesMCKENZIE BRIDGE: Once again, there will be no reason for anyone to eat alone this December 25th. At the annual Christmas Day Dinner, they can sit down with up to 250 of their neighbors who will have a holiday meal sponsored by the Blue McKenzie Lions Club.
The event originated over two decades ago when  Peg and Dean Osterbuhr realized there were some people who either had lost family members or  were new to the area. Because of that, they often ate alone. The solution was a free community meal that has been held at different locations before settling at the St. Benedict’s Lodge in McKenzie Bridge.
Originally, donated turkeys were taken home to be cooked by Lions Club members. As time passed, some restaurants, like the Log Cabin Inn, would cook and slice the birds. That process was streamlined a few years ago when Bill Leve made arrangements for Food For Lane County to  do the lion’s share of food preparation.
Behind the scenes, event organizer Joe Wagner works with a volunteer crew of 57 volunteers to make sure that beside turkey, diner will also feast on ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, desserts, and beverages. In addition, a dozen or so people who are home bound will have meals delivered.

SkiingSANTIAM PASS: The Hoodoo Ski Area is making preparations to open for the season on December 18th, just in time to kickoff winter break. On Monday Hoodoo had from 35 to 40 inches at the base and was expecting more snow fall this week.
According to the resort’s vice president of marketing, Leif Williams, “Snow cats are working to compact the snow to create the best conditions possible.”
Since opening in 1938, Hoodoo has evolved into a full-service ski area with more than 800 skiable acres, 30 alpine trails, 15.8 km of Nordic trails, three quad lifts, one triple chair and one double chair. The resort also offers also offers air board, snowbike and snow scooter rentals.

Bridge crewThe U.S. Forest Service is gearing up for another round of temporary hiring. The agency is accepting applications for over 1,000 temporary spring and summer jobs in Oregon and Washington. 89 of the temporary jobs include positions in McKenzie Bridge, Oakridge, Sweet Home and Detroit. Openings are available in multiple fields, including fire, recreation, natural resources, timber, engineering, visitor services, and archaeology.
“Seasonal employment with the Forest Service is a great way to give back to communities, learn new skills, and perform meaningful work,” said Regional Forester Jim Peña. “If you are interested in working with a dedicated team of people who take pride in managing our national forests, we encourage you to consider joining the Forest Service.”

 

 

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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.