Tuesday, May 27, 2008

John Day Wild and Scenic River

With the arrival of spring it's time to celebrate the melting snow that breathes life into our region's rivers. While many of the rivers that have defined the natural and cultural history of the region been dammed for hydropower, flood control, or water supply, a few still flow freely and the John Day in Central Oregon is one of those rivers. The John Day is a Wild and Scenic River, a federal designation that protects rivers from future water development projects and preserves the opportunity to journey down our nation's original highways of travel and commerce. This year celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and Aki and I set out to explore the canyons of the John Day with friends from Portland on a 4 day trip (river description).

At age 3 Aki is becoming quite the veteran river runner.

Beautiful canyon scenery on the John Day River.

Story time with river friends.

Traveling down the river.

Carefully scouting out the line downstream before committing.

The John Day River has some great geology that kids can appreciate. Aki's favorite was Hoot Owl Rock.

The John Day offers some great riverside hiking and Aki imagined himself as a tiger climbing to an overlook above the river.

Aki working his way through the rocks to an overlook above the river.

The view downstream.

Aki heading down the river.

All this boating and hiking sure is a lot of work. Time for a nap on the raft.

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