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BEND, OREGON

Birding and Natural History of Central Oregon's High Lava Plains

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Road Scholar
Program #14709RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Program activities will take place in the 3,000 to 5,000 feet range. Bend elev. is 3625'.

Equipment Requirements
Binoculars required for full participation. 10 Power Hand Lens recommended for rock and flower identification. Spotting scope optional.

Itinerary for May 19 — May 24, 2013

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Type: Hotel

Description: Nestled along the banks of the sparkling Deschutes River in Bend, the motel is close to everything, but away from it all.

Contact info:
1565 NW Hill Street
Bend, OR 97702 USA
phone: 541-388-4000
web: www.bendriversidemotel.com

Room amenities: Balcony/porch area, full kitchen.

Facility amenities: Indoor/outdoor pool, spa, tennis courts.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $70.00
If you wish to stay overnight at Bend Riverside Motel before the trip make those reservations on your own. Check out of your room at the regular time and plan to check in to your program provided room at 5pm.

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day One: Sunday, May 19 - Travel to Bend on your own -- OR -- join the Port...
Travel to Bend on your own -- OR -- join the Portland Audubon van shuttle departing at 1pm from Portland. Cost of shuttle is $20/person one way. Contact Steve Engel at Portland Audubon to sign-up for shuttle.

Note: We travel across the Cascade Mountains on our way to Bend with a couple of rest stops to take in the scenery, see a few birds, learn a bit about the plants and geology.

Arrive To: For those choosing to ride to Bend in the Portland Audubon van shuttle: Meet in lobby of Doubletree Hotel-Lloyd Center (1000 NE Multnomah St.) in Portland at 1 PM on first day. We will arrive in Bend at 5pm with rest stops along the way. Lunch is not provided.

Dinner: Our dinner tonight is at our hotel catered by an amazing local food caterer, Annie's Kitchen. Feel free to bring a bottle of wine to dinner with you.

Evening: We take time to meet everyone now that we are all together and we go over the basics of the week with details about Monday and answer questions you may have.

Lodging: Bend Riverside Motel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Nestled along the banks of the sparkling Deschutes River in Bend, the motel is close to everything, but away from it all.

Contact info:
1565 NW Hill Street
Bend, OR 97702 USA
phone: 541-388-4000
web: www.bendriversidemotel.com

Room amenities: Balcony/porch area, full kitchen.

Facility amenities: Indoor/outdoor pool, spa, tennis courts.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $70.00
If you wish to stay overnight at Bend Riverside Motel before the trip make those reservations on your own. Check out of your room at the regular time and plan to check in to your program provided room at 5pm.

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Two: Monday, May 20 - Birding Bend: Enjoy a 360 degree view of the are...
Birding Bend: Enjoy a 360 degree view of the area from top of Pilot Butte. Practice group birding etiquette. Visit two distinct wetlands - Hatfield Lakes and the Deschutes River at Tumalo Falls State Park.

Note: A short drive from our hotel to the top of Pilot Butte where we spend ~ 45 minutes. Another short drive to Hatfield Lakes where we walk ~ one mile round trip to the lake shore. Lunch at Tumalo Falls and exploring along the Deschutes River afterwards. We plan to see a variety of birds including Black-billed Magpie, Clark's Nutcracker, Hammond's Flycatcher, Wilson's Phalarope, a variety of waterfowl, Townsend's and Wilson's warblers, a variety of swallows and more.

Breakfast: Early risers make a pot of coffee in your room but then join us in our meeting room for more coffee and a catered breakfast.

Morning: Practically in the middle of town is Pilot Butte - a cinder cone now a city park. We drive to its summit for a 360 degree view of the landscape surrounding Bend. With clear weather we should be able to see no fewer than 8 volcanoes and countless cinder cones. This is also our first opportunity to bird together and practice the etiquette of group birding. There should be plenty of great birds for us to focus on with possibilities like Clark's Nutcracker, Rock Wren, and passing raptors such as Cooper's Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks. After Pilot Butte we visit a local wetland situated in the midst of sagebrush and pine trees that attracts waterfowl, shorebirds and song birds. We may see Wilson's Phalaropes, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Mountain Bluebird, Ring-necked Duck and Pied-billed Grebe.

Lunch: Depending on the weather, we may stop back at our hotel to make our picnic lunch or have our lunch along the Deschutes River.

Afternoon: Tumalo Falls State Park is right along the beautiful Deschutes River and offers several habitats in a small area. Rimrock, riparian, forest and bitterbrush & sagebrush are nestled together and offer a wide variety of birds. We should see Tree, Violet-green and Northern Rough-winged swallows, Vaux's and White-throated Swifts; Yellow-rumped, Wilson's and Townsend's Warblers; Western Wood Pewee and Pygmy Nuthatch to name a few.

Dinner: We enjoy another of Annie's catered dinners at the hotel.

Evening: Typically we have our evening meeting before heading out to a favorite local restaurant for dinner. We review bird sightings of the day, preview the coming day and present information on geology and natural history of the area. Tonight we will likely reverse that order and have our evening presentation after dinner.

Lodging: Bend Riverside Motel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Nestled along the banks of the sparkling Deschutes River in Bend, the motel is close to everything, but away from it all.

Contact info:
1565 NW Hill Street
Bend, OR 97702 USA
phone: 541-388-4000
web: www.bendriversidemotel.com

Room amenities: Balcony/porch area, full kitchen.

Facility amenities: Indoor/outdoor pool, spa, tennis courts.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $70.00
If you wish to stay overnight at Bend Riverside Motel before the trip make those reservations on your own. Check out of your room at the regular time and plan to check in to your program provided room at 5pm.

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, May 21 - High Desert Loop: We explore far and wide today ...
High Desert Loop: We explore far and wide today heading east from Bend and enter into the Great Basin region as we cross Horse Ridge. Ponderosa Pine forest birding and unique geological features with great birds are highlights.

Note: We prepare sack lunches after our catered breakfast and depart for Horse Ridge where we spend ~ half hour birding and learning about the ridge's geological history and significance. Then it's across sage brush flats and into the Ponderosa Pine forest surrounding the Cabin Lake bird blind. Lunch in the field and then on to Fort Rock, a fascinating geological formation rising out of the high desert. Walks at all our stops are short and on mostly flat ground.

Breakfast: We enjoy a catered breakfast at our hotel this morning.

Morning: After we make our sack lunches we drive east to Horse Ridge; the sage brush flats of the Millican area; the Ponderosa Pine forests around China Hat where we enjoy our lunch and view birds at a local blind. Lewis's Woodpeckers and Mountain Bluebirds are sure to make an appearance and we have good chances for Cassin's Finch, Red Crossbill, Gray Flycatcher, Green-tailed Towhee and more.

Lunch: Lunch in the field at a campground among giant Ponderosa Pine trees.

Afternoon: We continue on after lunch and drive out of the pines and back into the high desert sagebrush landscape. We visit Fort Rock National Natural Landmark rising out of the barren, immense flatness of Oregon's high desert. An enormous near-circle of towering jagged rock walls make it seem like a fort. It's an old tuff ring set in what was a shallow sea in prehistoric times. We should see Prairie Falcon, Canyon Wren, Sage Thrasher and more here. Nearby agricultural fields offer good chances for Ferruginous and Swainson's Hawks.

Dinner: Tonight we venture out on the town for a group dinner at one of Bend's excellent restaurants.

Evening: Before we depart for dinner we gather to review of days sightings and view a short slide show on Pacific Northwest Geology by Steve Engel.

Lodging: Bend Riverside Motel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Nestled along the banks of the sparkling Deschutes River in Bend, the motel is close to everything, but away from it all.

Contact info:
1565 NW Hill Street
Bend, OR 97702 USA
phone: 541-388-4000
web: www.bendriversidemotel.com

Room amenities: Balcony/porch area, full kitchen.

Facility amenities: Indoor/outdoor pool, spa, tennis courts.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $70.00
If you wish to stay overnight at Bend Riverside Motel before the trip make those reservations on your own. Check out of your room at the regular time and plan to check in to your program provided room at 5pm.

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, May 22 - Woodpecker Quest: We explore the eastern slopes ...
Woodpecker Quest: We explore the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain range today in search of several sought after birds. We visit where a fully-formed river emerges from between rock layers. We have time to spend in quaint Sisters, OR.

Note: We breakfast in Sisters, about a 20 minute drive from our hotel and then go in search of our target birds. We spend quite a bit of time out of the vans today as we make several stops to explore the forest habitats but our walks are short and mostly on flat ground. Bring your wallet as you'll have time to explore the unique shops in Sisters in the afternoon.

Breakfast: Prepare your first cup of coffee in your room this morning as we drive ~ 20 minutes to Sisters Oregon for breakfast at the Gallery Restaurant.

Morning: There are several sites around the town of Sisters where we will search for Pinyon Jay, White-headed Woodpecker, Williamson's Sapsucker and other forest birds, ending up at a campground featuring a grove of quaking aspen where we enjoy our picnic lunch.

Lunch: While birding the surrounding forest a picnic lunch spread is being set up for you to return to and make your own sandwiches, etc.

Afternoon: We continue our field trip moving further west and slightly higher in elevation. Exact locations visited will depend on what birds we have encountered so far. Our final stop is time on the ground in the quaint western town of Sisters where you can window shop or more, have a latte or ice cream cone, before we head back to Bend.

Dinner: The evening is free for you to explore downtown Bend and enjoy a restaurant of your own choosing. Shuttle service from the hotel to downtown will be available but you may also choose to walk - it is only four blocks away!

Evening: You have the evening free to explore the delightful town of Bend after dinner tonight. It is a 15-20 minute walk from the downtown area to our hotel. You may choose to walk after dinner or ride in the vans.

Lodging: Bend Riverside Motel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Nestled along the banks of the sparkling Deschutes River in Bend, the motel is close to everything, but away from it all.

Contact info:
1565 NW Hill Street
Bend, OR 97702 USA
phone: 541-388-4000
web: www.bendriversidemotel.com

Room amenities: Balcony/porch area, full kitchen.

Facility amenities: Indoor/outdoor pool, spa, tennis courts.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $70.00
If you wish to stay overnight at Bend Riverside Motel before the trip make those reservations on your own. Check out of your room at the regular time and plan to check in to your program provided room at 5pm.

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Five: Thursday, May 23 - High Desert Geology and Geography: We visit two ...
High Desert Geology and Geography: We visit two excellent interpretive centers today: Lava Lands and nationally acclaimed High Desert Museum - dedicated to broadening the understanding of the High Desert's wildlife, culture, art and natural resources.

Note: We take time both inside and outside the Lava Lands visitor center to learn about the volcanic features of the area. Two short walks on paved surfaces. Depending on the weather we may enjoy a two mile round trip walk on an old railroad grade along the Deschutes River after lunch and before we visit the High Desert Museum.

Breakfast: We take a short drive to a delightful local restaurant for breakfast this morning.

Morning: The Lava Lands visitor center offers a chance to learn about the volcanic origins of our surroundings from interpretive displays, movies and short walks through a young (7000 years old) lava flow and views from a fire lookout perched on top of a cinder cone.

Lunch: Lunch in the field.

Afternoon: Not far from the Lava Lands visitor center is the site of one of the first lumber mills in the area, right on the shores of the Deschutes River. Now a historically interpreted park with very nice walking trails we may enjoy our lunch here if weather allows and then walk some of the trails. Birding can be very good with species such as Western Tanager, Townsend's Solitaire, Osprey, and several swallow species. When done we head to the High Desert Museum, a nationally acclaimed museum with beautiful grounds that feature exhibits on native wildlife, pioneer history and native vegetation. A gift shop and coffee shop are part of the museum.

Dinner: We dine out on the town again tonight, as a group.

Evening: Wrap-up evening program.

Lodging: Bend Riverside Motel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, May 24 - Portland Bound: Our program ends at 9 am for tho...
Portland Bound: Our program ends at 9 am for those with their own transportation. Shuttle riders will enjoy a trip across the Cascade Mountains to the Willamette Valley and a visit to the Audubon Society of Portland Sanctuary and Visitor Center.

Note: A 3.5 hour drive with rest stops from Bend to Portland for those riding the shuttle. Birding and rest stops along the way. We have excellent chances for Barrow's Golden-eye and Hermit Warbler today. Lunch at the Audubon Society of Portland Sanctuary and visitor center. Return to the Double Tree Lloyd Center Hotel by 1pm.

Depart From: Program ends after breakfast for those traveling on their own. For those taking the shuttle van back to Portland we will arrive at the Audubon Society of Portland center at ~ 11:30 am for a pizza lunch, tour of the center and a visit with some our education birds, before dropping participants at the Doubletree Hotel-Lloyd Center by 1 PM. IMPORTANT: Do Not make any travel plans/reservations for later in the day that you cannot make by departing from the Doubletree Hotel at 1pm. From the hotel, allow 25 minutes by taxi to the airport; 10 minutes by taxi to train/bus depots. Allow 45 minutes by Light Rail to the airport; 20 minutes by Light Rail to the train/bus depots. There is a Light Rail stop one block from the Hotel entrance.

Breakfast: Brew up some coffee in your room this morning! We'll have a slightly earlier breakfast, say our goodbyes to those traveling on their own and then load the vans and depart for Portland.

Morning: Depart for Portland. Our return route will take us over Santiam Pass and into the Willamette Valley south of Salem. Stops along the way will offer final opportunities for birding and learning about how the most recent geological story in the Pacific Northwest, the Bretz Floods (a.k.a. Ice Age floods), impacted the valley. Potential species include: Barrow's Golden-eye, American Dipper, Winter Wren, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Townsend's and Hermit Warblers. We arrive at the Audubon Society of Portland Sanctuary and Visitor Center in Forest Park just before noon. You will have an opportunity to tour the center, visit our complete Nature Store, view birds at the bird feeders and visit with some of our education birds. We have a catered lunch and then transport you to the Lloyd Center Double Tree Hotel by 1pm.

Lunch: Hot Lips Pizza is a local company that uses local and organic ingredients in making its delicious pizza. We will have a variety of pizzas to eat and beverages available in our Heron Hall.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Free Time Opportunities


Bend, OR
Bend Tourism InfoLinks for Where to Stay, What to Do, How to Get There, Event Calendar, Bend Buzz Blog, Request a free Visitors Guide
For additional information, visit: www.visitbend.com
Tin Pan TheaterWe are a 28 seat original programming movie theater, located downtown Bend next to Lone Pine Coffee. 869 NW Tin Pan Alley, Bend. General Admission $6.
For additional information, visit: http://www.tinpantheater.com/
Brew PubsBend is home to many fine brew pubs where you can sample famous Pacific Northwest beers, have a fine meal and listen to live music or see a movie.
For additional information, visit: http://www.bendbrewpubs.com/
Old St. Francis SchoolWe may dine here one night as a group, but if not, it is fun establishment to visit for food, movie, drink or just to explore the grounds and enjoy the artwork. The Mcmenamin Brothers are well-known in Oregon for acquiring historically significant/interesting properties and renovating them to be enjoyed today in many ways.
For additional information, visit: http://www.mcmenamins.com/421-old-st-francis-school-home

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
May 19 — May 24, 2013 waitlist only  

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
15 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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