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Our Story


Chris and Renae started adventuring long before they met, and WAY before owning and operating the River's Edge was even an idea. Each grew up doing all the things - kayaking, fly fishing, musky hunting, hiking, camping, canoeing, cycling, and sky diving, until their paths met and the adventure together began. Their winding paths have taken them on adventures ranging from the jungles of Colombia, to the peaks of CA, OR and CO, to class III rivers and disappearing lakes in WA, to sketchy downhill MTB in BC, to days on the PCT, to Columbia, Colorado, Tieton, and Deschutes, to high desert hillsides in Eastern OR, to snowy forests in WI. Miles put in at the paddle. Miles ridden at pedal and wheel. Miles on foot in the backcountry.


A winding path leading to the River's Edge.


Originally from the wine country of OR, Renae has roots in the small town of Prairie City, OR, and has lived in California, Oregon and Washington, serving communities as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent. Her passion for doing what's right for kids has kept her busy building and improving systems for teaching and learning on the national landscape. She enjoys unplugging and getting away to the wilderness with her partners in adventure, Chris and Butters.


Chris is a WI boy from Madison, the son of two true Badgers. He got back to the Northwoods via South America, Hawaii, Connecticut, Texas, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Before coming to his senses and becoming an educator, he was an ad man, directed sales, marketing and R&D for technology companies, and moved movements in non-profits. Chris was a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent. He enjoys unplugging and getting away to the wilderness with his partners in adventure, Renae and Butters.

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Well, now, there's another story. In the mid 1930's, the McMurray brothers bought some land on a then remote lake in the Northwoods called Papoose, with the purpose of building a deer camp cabin. They milled timber from the Ink Pot at the far end of the lake, and built Mac's Shack by hand. Fast forward to 2020, and the standing log cabin is still there, having seen generations of McMurrays jumping off piers, rooting around the ruins on Henderson's Island, fishing the Ink Pot in the wee hours of summer mornings, skinning knees, stalking white tail, fighting musky, counting stars, calling owl and wolf, sidestepping skunks and paddling in the company of loons. The Northwoods is home for this family, and their story is written in the walls of Mac's Shack on the shores of Papoose Lake.



You know Butters. You've seen him greeting adventurers at the River's Edge. You've seen him worrying red squirrels around the lodge. You've admired his dashing look and keen wardrobe. You've watched him completely disregard Chris' command to stay in the van while dropping off kayaks at Rest Lake Dam and Murray's Landing.


Butters may not have started life as an adventure dog, but now having accompanied Chris and Renae on virtually all of their adventures, he is no longer the tenderfoot he once was. Up for anything the humans are doing, Butters is equally at home at the gunnels of a canoe as cutting trail on a snowy mountainside (albeit from behind someone else's snowshoe track). He's part of the crew.

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