I grew up on the banks of the John Day River and the Deschutes River. Sherman County is a high, dry desert where wheat and cattle are prominent. This is tough country, with an average of ten inches of rain each year. We would take our horses down the banks of the John Day and Deschutes and pull cattle out of the draws. It was a mile down and a mile back up through steep, rugged country. While this was a truly glorious, beautiful area, we never rafted or played on this land – we worked. The roughness and the desert beauty, and the animals both there and here in the Willamette Valley, will remain forever imprinted on my mind.