It was auspicious and particularly foul weather even by Bend standards. We had all taken to calling it a BLOWtilla, and wondered if anyone would dare to show up. The winds howled as community members began to show up at Tumalo Creek for the first annual Deschutes River FLOWtilla. One by one they arrived, with kayaks and paddleboards in tow, geared up in spite of the weather ready to paddle with beaming smiles on their wet faces.
We talked about the river while listening to the sweet tunes of Appaloosa. We learned more about each other, and everyone reminded us just how amazing Bend and the people who live here are. We were made aware why it’s more important than ever for us to come together to speak for the river.
In total there were close to eighty hearty souls who gathered together on October 15th, to rally in support of healthy winter flows for the Deschutes. Those same community members walked to the banks of the river in driving rain to pose for a group photo and as if that weren’t enough, one by one we put-in and set out to paddle up river.
This year has been a flurry of meetings, development, websites, logos, interviews, listening and learning. This first ever Deschutes River FLOWtilla will always be our best ever, because of YOU, we extend our deepest gratitude for your participation and support of the Deschutes. YOU showed up and paddled up river in the craziest weather ever, we are so grateful for YOU.