|Biological mother||Jody MacRae|
For other persons named Duane, see Duane.
Duane MacRae (whose nickname was IcewaterINTA1) was the only son of Jason MacRae by Jason's first wife Jody (who had walked out on Jason and their son). Duane considered Christine, Jason's second wife, his mother as she had helped raise him. He owns and occasionally wears a full MacRae Scottish outfit, but he isn't as quick to wear it as his father. He grew up knowing Vicky Varney as his babysitter and with only an eight year age difference, doesn't think of her as his step-mother. He didn't meet his half-sister Melissa until Christmas 2001.PE22
Duane grew up in Bradford and attended Northern Michigan University. His father spent time with him in Boy Scouts, and later on in independent outdoor activities including canoeing, whitewater kayaking, hunting, fishing, backpacking, skiing, and snowboarding. On a camping trip to Isle Royale National Park, Duane got to talking with a National Park Service ranger and decided that he would like to get a job with the service; he was told that it was easier to get into the service with law enforcement skills, which led to his choice of Northern Michigan University with a major in environmental conservation and a minor in criminal justice.
At NMU he was active in the outdoor club (serving as vice president in his senior year and chairing the whitewater group); he was close to Gary who had been at NMU when Randy Clark and Crystal Chladek were upperclassmen. He was a freshmen when Randy was a senior and they remembered each other a little.PE3
Gary pointed him at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Wesser, North Carolina for a summer job as a whitewater rafter, where he presumably was working with Scooter for three summers. Sometime in those summers, he also picked up some surfboarding skills on the NC Outer Banks, and then became one of the few NMU students who surfed Lake Superior in winter. HS7
After graduation, he hiked the Appalachian Trail and in spring of 2000 was working at a nearby McDonalds until the NOC got busy enough to hire him again, when Scooter, Crystal and Michelle came through on their way back from the Bahamas and recruited him for Canyon Tours.RR34
In 2001, he became a boatman with Canyon Tours, after starting as a swamper the previous year and ending up with his own rafts for the last part of the summer. Duane hiked out with Barbie Tompkins, Andy Roney and Scooter at Bass Trail after the wedding of Karin and Al Buck.CF16
Duane talked with Tiffany and Josh Archer the first day of Al Buck's wedding trip and expressed an interest in dog sledding. He had heard from Crystal Chladek about her time spent as their dog handler.CF5 After a few days together, the Archers decided to make an offer to Duane to try being a dog handler in his off season with the possibility of running some races.CF14 His time at Spearfish Lake added many new friends as well as discovering a new relationship with Michelle Rawson.PE16
Duane married Michelle Rawson in a dawn ceremony on the edge of the Grand Canyon, officiated by Noah Whittaker.INTA22 Around the time Michelle and Duane had their first child, Hance MacRae, Duane became a National Park Service ranger.INTA27