Beauty from ashes on the McKenzie River

As Oregon’s premier audio tour company we are very familiar with the Mckenzie River area. We spend many happy days there. And nothing shows our affinity with the region more, then to highlight it as the focus of our first ever audio tour, the McKenzie River & Central Cascades tour.

Released way back in 2019, we celebrated the launch with a demonstration on a party bus down the scenic byway listening to the stories of the McKenzie River with 35 of our first supporters, stopping at Ike’s Pizza, the McKenzie General Store & Obsidian Grill, and Belknap Hot Springs. It was a magical day. We were dreaming of tours all around Oregon as we began this new adventure together.

And then, in the summer of 2020 the sky in the fertile and lush Willamette Valley turned an apocalyptic red. What on first sight could be taken for snow, turned out to be ash falling from the sky, adding to the feeling of dread. The Holiday Farm Fire, as it would be named after the fact, was one of the most destructive wildfires ravaging Oregon that year, consuming 175,000 acres of forest and several communities.

Click play to hear narration from the Together Anywhere McKenzie River Tour about the Holiday Farm Fire.

Soon after, the McKenzie River area, known for its many outdoor activities on and around the pristine river loaning its name to the region, started the process of recovery. So did we, trying to figure out how to repair the 35 miles of the McKenzie River & Central Cascades tour no longer reflecting the post-burn reality.

View from Finn Rock Landing one month after the Holiday Farm Fire was contained.

As is often the case, with adversity comes opportunity. We noticed how the McKenzie River area came together to not only rebuild, but also document past, present and future. We wanted to be part of that. And so we found willing partners in both the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce and Travel Lane County, two organizations actively involved in the development of the valley.

Over three months, our combined knowledge of the region, its history, sights, activities and future endeavours, resulted in the 2021 tour update being better than ever before. Our saying ‘By locals, for locals and visitors alike’ really shines through in the new content. There are stories about the past – How did the McKenzie Historic Highway came to be?, the present – How does it feel to travel down the river in a famous McKenzie Drift Boat?, and the future – What is the upcoming McKenzie Discovery Center near Leaburg Dam all about?

It was our pleasure to work with the many passionate and brilliant people involved, and now to present the result of that collaboration to you.

Enjoy the 2021 update of the McKenzie River & Central Cascades tour. #YourAdventureIsReady on Apple and Android devices.

Enjoy the 2021 update of the McKenzie River & Central Cascades tour.

Free till August 2022.

One reply on “Beauty from ashes on the McKenzie River”

The wildfires have taken such a toll! I’m sorry to hear of the hardship that you endured, but it sounds like everyone has pulled together to help each other out. That is so inspirational.

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