All In A Day's Drive

'Just because Labor Day calls for the end of summer doesn't mean it's the end of summer'

'Just because Labor Day calls for the end of summer doesn't mean it's the end of summer'
The McKenzie River offers a great rafting adventure for families

RAINBOW, Ore. - Many families consider Labor Day to be the last big weekend on the water.

But with around three weeks of summer left, there's still time spend an afternoon outdoors.

“Just because Labor Day calls for the end of summer doesn't mean it's the end of summer. The sun's still out,” Tonya Moomey said.

And why waste a sunny day when you could be white water rafting down the not-so-river wild.

“When you get on the river, it's amazing how crystal clear the McKenzie River is,” Moomey said. “You can see the bottom of some of the 25 foot holes.”

About an hour east of Eugene, Tonya and Tim Moomey navigate novice rafters down the class 2 rapids of the McKenzie.

“There's a lot less people on the river, which we usually like,” Tim said. “A lot more serene and less crowded. And so it is a really good time to go rafting.”

Or if you're looking for a less intense workout, you can tee off a few miles away.

“It's hidden in the foothills of the Cascades, but it's a gem once you pull in,” Wendy King from Tokatee Golf Course said.

“You could, but at 81, I'm not a gem,” Eugene golfer Gaynor Huck joked.

Wendy King was referring to the course itself more-so than Huck, though he's certainly no slouch. And this 18-hole golf course near Rainbow includes spectacular scenery, such as a par-5 on hole 16. 

“You have a little bit of water to get over, but once you get up on the two-tiered green, it's fun to look back down on the fairway,” King said. “You can usually score a birdee on this hole if you're accurate.”

“You're going to get your money's worth putting,” Huck said. 

Finally, after day of paddling and golfing, if you've successfully worked up an appetite, you can park yourself in the shade at Takoda's; a roadside eatery right off the McKenzie River Highway.

“I never met a soup here I didn't like,” Kent Roberts said.

This restaurant includes a sprawling outdoor patio and a koi pond.

“A lot of times, I’ll just come in and do the one salad bar deal. I've learned how to build it piled high,” Roberts said.

And you can find these late-summer escapes are waiting for you all in a day's drive.