Winding Waters River Expeditions is committed to taking care of the watersheds we float.
We are just a few of the many visitors to enjoy the beautiful Snake River in Hells Canyon, Salmon River in Idaho, and Grande Ronde River each year. Ensuring that both the water and campsites remain pristine is one of our top priorities. We practice low-impact, leave-no-trace techniques and prefer to leave a camp better than we found it, if possible. Additionally, we recycle all recyclables from each trip (including the leftover food…keep reading).
We support the sustainable practice of local food production. We are fortunate to have great local suppliers for our salad greens, vegetables, eggs, coffee (locally roasted), and most of our meats (grass-fed beef and pork). We even raise our own pigs to recycle the leftovers we bring home off of our river trips. We then serve that pork the following year on the river. Through purchasing food from local producers and raising our own food, we know the quality and care taken in production, and gain a closer connection with our watersheds. And darn it, local foods just taste good! Here are a few of the local and regional businesses we support:
- Grass-fed Beef: 6 Ranch Corriente and Carman Ranch
- Homegrown Pork: Winding Waters Farmyard & Joseph FFA
- Locally Roasted Coffee: Red Horse Coffee Traders, owned and operated by our friends Kathy & Mike Leo in Joseph, OR (we’re very partial to their Ethiopian/Sumatra Blend)
- Free Range Eggs: Winding Waters Farmyard and Happy Chicks in Lostine, OR
- Fresh Produce: From a variety of sources, including Backyard Gardens in Joseph and a consortium of local growers.
- Winding Waters Farmyard & Garden: Our Own “Local Food” Production
Winding Waters Farmyard and Garden is 12 acres located just outside of Joseph. We have 9 chickens, 2 pigs, 2 horses, 3 cats, and a loving black lab who takes to all the other farmyard animals. The idea behind the farmyard and garden is to produce some of our own eggs, greens, and pork for the river. And the chickens and pigs are great recyclers – they love all the leftovers we bring home off the river, as we pack out all of our food following leave-no-trace practices.
Watershed Festival – Birdhouse Building
Since 2005, Paul, Todd, Jon, and other WWRE guides have volunteered to build birdhouses or cut bird house templates for youth at our local Watershed Festival. Penny was helping, too, in a round-about way, as she used to coordinate the festival prior to having Linden. To date, they’ve assembled about 500 bluebird (Western and Mountain) and Tree Swallow houses with youth.
In 2009, we adopted a 2-mile segment of highway outside of Joseph which we drive en route to Hells Canyon. Twice a year our guide crew and friends gather to collect trash along this stretch of hometown roadway.