Make the McKenzie Connection!

Ridin' the Rapids

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Welcome sign in Walterville last week. While I was walking back to my car I happened to look across the highway at the intersection of Hwy. 126 and Millican Road. The view started another train of thought as I drove back east to my office.

That downriver intersection and several others I drove by were upgraded as a result of the efforts of Jack Crawford and several other people who were part of the McKenzie Highway Association in the mid 80’s. People who’ve been around a while can recall when those junctions used to meet at an acute angle, rather than today’s 90-degree configuration.

At Leaburg Lake, the Old McKenzie Fish Hatchery is now an incubator for the development of the McKenzie River Discov-ery Center. Efforts to save it from demolition were spearheaded by then county commissioner Bill Rogers, whose fellow board members gave him a “Christmas present” before his retirement by voting to preserve it.

And there were the other signs I passed in almost every local community. They reminded me of the Blue River Action Group and Tom Wolfe, who encouraged people to support Randy Smith’s original design for those markers.

Plus, all the roads I drove on - all the way up to my own driveway - were part of the designated routes that are now part of Oregon’s network of scenic roads. Who did that remind me of? Robert Aufderheide.

Thankfully, there’s a lot of accomplishments in our area and a lot of people to thank.


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