A fall foliage legacy tour is planned this Saturday to help participants discover the Willamette River and preservation work of former Gov. Tom McCall.
At 10 a.m. on Oct. 5, the program will begin with costumed historical interpreters and a Native American drummer. Following a salmon-bake lunch, a covered cruise ship will leave at noon from Oregon City, head to Willamette Falls and then travel downstream to the Columbia River and back by 3 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Rivers of Life Center to support their at-risk youth training programs in environmental enhancement projects and youth tourism guiding and hosting.
"This will be the best event we do, and we've done many cruises in this area," said Jerry Herrmann, project planner and president of Rivers of Life, which has offered cruises from Oregon City's Jon Storm Park to Champoeg/Newberg, Astoria and Hood River.
This weekend's event will focus on fall foliage and the cultural history of important historical figures in shaping the American West.
"Participants can expect to see and hear about beautiful fall foliage, the dynamic of the autumn river as the wildlife return, and meet our young people hosting the salmon bake and assisting as reenactors in the cruise," Herrmann said.
The legacy of Oregon's governor from 1967-75 will be covered by youth playing McCall, his chief aides Stafford Hanzel and Glenn Jackson, and cleanup advocate and union boss L.B. Day. A capella singers will perform at various points during the journey after all participants have enjoyed a Native American-style salmon bake.
Rivers of Life Center administrator Matthew Riegg, 23, has researched the life of McCall, his contributions to the cleanup of the Willamette River and other major initiatives, especially the stewarding of Oregon's livability.
"I found it very interesting to learn about this man and his importance to our state. Though we differ in time and era, he was someone I would have been honored to have met," Riegg said.
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