Man rafts 50 miles on the Rogue for his 50th birthday

Central Point, Ore. — A Grants Pass man celebrated his birthday with a special goal — 50 miles rafting on the Rogue River, one mile to mark each year he’s been alive. Dr. Jim Arcand is hoping to inspire people, not only with the journey he’s taking, but with the obstacles he’s overcome to get there.

“I love the Rogue River, I love rafting,” Dr. Arcand said. “Just being out there is really just a thrill, and setting a goal is really just icing on the cake.”

While that sentiment is metaphorical, Sunday was Dr. Arcand’s actual birthday, and the goal he set was rafting the Rogue, one mile for every year of his life.

“I’m going to paddle 50 miles in a one day epic Herculean journey.”

Putting in at the sports park in Gold Hill, he rafted to Alameda Campground in Merlin. While the 15-hour long trip would be difficult for anyone, Dr. Arcand says it puts a strain on an old injury that he’s lived with most of his life. When he was 19, he pushed the limits a little too far while power lifting.

“I managed to fracture one of my vertebrae in my low back,” Arcand said. “I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it doesn’t hurt, it hurts a lot.”

The injury sent him to a chiropractor, who in time, helped Arcand heal and regain his strength, while igniting a passion.

“It turned me on to a career in chiropractic care, it really lit my fire.”

While the doctor has had help along the way, on Sunday, he was on his own.

“This is a solo trip, start to finish,” Arcand said. “It’s about the mental overcoming the physical, and just knowing I can do it, committing to doing it, and not taking no for an answer.”

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