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Kayaking the Lower Columbia River: Exploration and Discovery

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Program #2288RJ

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6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
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Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
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EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. 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.

Itinerary for Jun 16 — Jun 21, 2013

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Day One: Sunday, June 16 - Check-in, Dinner at Lucky Mud, Evening Program on...
Check-in, Dinner at Lucky Mud, Evening Program on the History of Skamokawa

Arrive To: Arrive as early as 3 p.m. at your B&B and relax or explore on-site before dinner. At 5:30 p.m., participants staying at Crippen Creek will be driven to The Inn at Lucky Mud for the Opening Dinner. Dinner will alternate between the two B&Bs.

Dinner: The dinner buffet at The Inn at Lucky Mud includes fresh salad from local ingredients, vegetables, a meat or vegetarian entree and homemade dessert.

Evening: Enjoy a slide presentation on the history of Skamokawa by Andrew Emlen, who teaches a course on the Lower Columbia River as an adjunct faculty member at Lewis & Clark College.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Dinner
Day Two: Monday, June 17 - Introduction to Kayaking on Protected Elochoman S...
Introduction to Kayaking on Protected Elochoman Slough. Paddle from Cathlamet to Skamokawa Trough the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast each morning at your B&B, including a variety of cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread and farm-fresh eggs. Breakfast is usually at 8 a.m. At about 8:45, you will be transported to the kayak put-in or to a field-trip destination.

Morning: We will drive to Cathlamet for a one-way kayak trip to Skamokawa with the outgoing tide. We will begin with an introduction to kayaking in protected Elochoman Slough. We will paddle along the exact route of Lewis & Clark, who were led through this slough by Wahkiakum Indians who brought them to the village of Elochoman to trade. The area near the former village site is part of the wildlife refuge that still resembles the forest Lewis & Clark saw in 1805, including individual trees that were standing at the time.

Lunch: Each day we will prepare pack lunches that may include a deli sandwich, chips, fruit or homemade cookie that will be eaten in the field. On Monday we will emerge from Elochoman Slough to a sand beach on the main channel of the Columbia.

Afternoon: After lunch we will have a short paddle on the main channel of the Columbia before entering historic Steamboat Slough, another protected section of the wildlife refuge dominated by Sitka spruce swamp. We will continue down river with the outgoing tide to Skamokawa. After returning to Skamokawa, the guides will present a demonstration of all the commonly used kayak rolls and rescues. There will then be an opportunity for any participants who want to try learning these skills to don a wetsuit and practice. There usually will be about an hour and a half of free time at the B&B's before dinner on this day.

Dinner: At The Inn at Crippen Creek, enjoy a buffet including fresh salad from locally grown ingredients, vegetables, a meat (often local, grass-fed beef) or vegetarian entree and homemade dessert.

Evening: Historian Irene Martin won the 2000 Governor's Heritage Award for her work documenting the cultures of the Lower Columbia. Author of six books on the history of the region, she is also a gillnetter and an Episcopal priest. Her wide-ranging interests and intellect make for a fascinating presentation.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Three: Tuesday, June 18 - Kayak Around Welch Island of the Lewis & Clark Na...
Kayak Around Welch Island of the Lewis & Clark National Wildlife Refuge

Note: To take advantage of better tides or weather, the Day 3 and Day 4 itineraries may be switched.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast at your B&B, including a variety of cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread and farm-fresh eggs.

Morning: We will start along the historic waterfront of Cathlamet, including the 1868 Warren cannery. We will then proceed along the cliffs, formed 16 million years ago as part of the world's second-largest basalt flows. Many interesting formations can be seen along these 90-foot cliffs, including the cast of a tree that was engulfed in lava and left an imprint of its bark before being consumed in flames. Multiple waterfalls cascade into the Columbia from the cliff top, and native wildflowers are abundant from April through June.

Lunch: Our pack lunch will be eaten on a tiny cobble beach tucked among the cliffs. The pebbles on the beach include rounded examples of quartzite and petrified wood carried from what is now Montana during the Missoula Floods of the Pleistocene, the world's largest freshwater floods.

Afternoon: Depending on time and weather, we may return to Cathlamet via Cathlamet Channel or cross the channel to Birnie Slough to paddle a longer loop through the homes and farms of Puget Island before crossing back to Cathlamet. After driving back to Skamokawa Center, we will walk across the road to the 1894 schoolhouse that has been lovingly restored as the River Life Interpretive Center. It serves as historical museum, bookstore and community center.

Dinner: At The Inn at Lucky Mud, enjoy a meal featuring fresh local ingredients.

Evening: The six-member folk band Willapa Hills will perform music by and about the people of the Lower Columbia River. Willapa Hills is known for creative arrangements using various combinations of voice, guitar, autoharp, cello, banjo, mandolin, mandocello, fiddle, piano and percussion. The band is currently collecting local stories from long-time residents and turning them into songs.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Four: Wednesday, June 19 - Field Trip to Cape Disappointment State Park
Breakfast: A hearty breakfast will be served each morning at your B&B, including a variety of the following: cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread, farm fresh eggs.

Morning: We will be taking a break from kayaking to drive out to Cape Disappointment State Park, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. Along the way we will stop at Dismal Nitch, named (as spelled) by Captain William Clark, the small cove where the Corps was forced by bad weather to camp for days on giant logs that floated and pitched about at every high tide. When we arrive at the park, we will hike a two-mile trail inside the cape where the Corps of Discovery also was proceeding on foot. Here we'll explore a section of ancient temperate rainforest with trees up to nine feet in diameter and see landmarks described in the expedition journals.

Lunch: We will eat our pack lunches in a picnic area of the park near our trailhead.

Afternoon: We will visit the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. Perched on top of Cape Disappointment with a spectacular view of the river bar and ocean, this particularly well-done center was rebuilt for the Lewis & Clark bicentennial. Afterward we may take the half-mile hike down to Little Waikiki Beach on the outside of the cape or visit the Columbia Pacific Heritage Center in Ilwaco before driving back to The Inn at Crippen Creek for dinner. We usually return by 5 p.m.

Dinner: Wednesday night is always pizza night at The Inn at Crippen Creek. The Speranzas know how to make real Italian pizza, of different varieties including meat and vegetarian options, along with salad, and, for dessert, a delicious panna cotta.

Evening: Guide Mark Whitaker will share his considerable expertise on salmon, the icon and lifeblood of the Columbia River region.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Five: Thursday, June 20 - Kayak around Welch Island of the Lewis & Clark Na...
Kayak around Welch Island of the Lewis & Clark National Wildlife Refuge

Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast at your B&B, including a variety of cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread and farm-fresh eggs. To take advantage of the tide this day, we will have breakfast at 7:30 a.m. rather than 8.

Morning: We will paddle across the main channel to Welch Island, the easternmost of a chain of tidal marsh islands that comprise the 35,000-acre Lewis & Clark National Wildlife Refuge. Some of the big old cottonwood trees there house active Bald Eagle nests. We will paddle around this 1,800-acre island in the center of the Columbia before landing on another island for lunch.

Lunch: We will have lunch on a small sand beach on Tenasillahe Island. This island has a dike trail that will give us a chance to take a walk and look for wildlife before crossing back to Skamokawa.

Afternoon: We will paddle back across the channel to Skamokawa.

Dinner: Our final dinner at The Inn at Lucky Mud showcases Columbia River salmon along with other fresh local foods.

Evening: Our final evening program features the musical duo of Emlen & Reynolds performing "Corelli to Cruzatte: Music of the Lewis & Clark Era," in period costume. The first half of the program features classical music from Thomas Jefferson's library, and the second half features fiddle tunes and folk songs likely to have been played on the Lewis & Clark trail. Emlen & Reynolds have performed for many state and national Lewis & Clark bicentennial events and historical society events, and have been videotaped for the National Park Service archives.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, June 21 - Departure Day
Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast at your B&B, including a variety of cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread and farm-fresh eggs.

Morning: Our program ends after the 8 a.m. breakfast at your lodging. No program is scheduled, but you are welcome to continue sharing remembrances of the week. Check-out time is 10 a.m.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities

Skamokawa, WA
Collupy GlassCollupy Glass is a small glass-blowing company in Skamokawa. Treasure and Michelle Collupy are a husband and wife living their American dream. They are partners in life as well as in business. Treasure's creative shapes and techniques combined with Michelle's brilliant colors make for a unique piece of glass. You may call ahead during the week to watch the glass-blowing process in action.
For additional information, visit: www.collupyglass.com/
Disc Golf CourseThe Inn at Lucky Mud proudly presents an 18-hole championship disc golf course designed by Adam Fletcher with assistance from nine-time Washington State champion Lowell Shields. Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc, or Frisbee®
For additional information, visit: www.luckymud.com/onsite/golf.htm
Julia Butler Hansen White-tailed Deer National Wildlife RefugeDeer and elk may be observed and photographed from the road which passes through the mainland portion of the refuge; evenings and mornings are the best times. The refuge is also a home or migratory stopover for 200 species of birds. You are welcome to walk, bicycle or drive along the serene country road. A wildlife observation site and interpretive exhibits are along State Highway 4 and at the refuge headquarters on Steamboat Slough Road.
For additional information, visit: .www.fws.gov/pacific/refuges/field/WA_julia.htm
Skyline Golf CourseEveryone is welcome at Skyline Golf! A great atmosphere for beginners, youth, women, senior citizens, high handicappers, non-players, tag-a-longs, and the just plain curious. Learn and participate in a fun, comfortable environment. Compared to other nine-hole golf facilities, there aren’t many with the full amenities offered here. It makes us unique!
For additional information, visit: www.skylinegolf.net/

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.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
2 Performances


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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