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The Spectacular Columbia River Gorge: Geology and Wildflowers Amongst Nature’s Beauty

Program Number: 1826RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/27/2014 - 5/2/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Hood River, Oregon
Price starting at: $815.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic; Natural History
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Gain an enhanced understanding and appreciation of Columbia River Gorge and its spectacular wonders, from botanical diversity to the beauty and relentless forces of nature, and the heritage of human interaction with the environment.




Highlights

• Led by a naturalist, explore habitats from shady, wet forest to desert within 40 miles as you see and identify a variety of beautiful wildflowers.
• Learn how the dramatic landscapes of Columbia River Gorge has been shaped and reshaped through millennia of geological events as you observe basalt flows, terraced canyons, rock arches, and high water marks in this staircase to the past.
• Did you know the historic Columbia River Highway was the first scenic road in the U.S.? Examine its history during a day-long field trip with dramatic views and short walks to waterfalls.



Activity Particulars

Daily walking up to two miles on varied terrain; getting in and out of a motor coach.



Coordinated by Columbia Gorge Community College.




Hood River

Hood River is the western Gateway to the Mount Hood Scenic Byway. Situated in the Columbia Gorge and surrounded by fields and orchards, Hood River is one of the best recreational centers in the Pacific Northwest.



Accommodations
Comfortable motel near the Columbia River.
Meals and Lodgings
   Best Western Hood River Inn
  Hood River, Oregon 5 nights
 Best Western Hood River Inn
Type: Resort
  Description: The Hood River Inn’s unique Columbia River shoreline location is convenient to many nearby attractions and recreational opportunities in the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood area. Complete with waterfront access and a private beach, the Hood River Inn is an easy one-hour drive from Portland along scenic Interstate-84.
  Contact info: 1108 East Marina Way
Hood River, OR 97031 USA
phone: 541-386-2200
web: www.hoodriverinn.com/
  Room amenities: All rooms include satellite television, pay-per-view movies, AM/FM alarm clock, 27” televisions, desk/work area, in-room refrigerator, free wireless connections & data ports, microwave, free local calls, iron & ironing board, coffee/tea maker, hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: The Hood River Inn's well-appointed resort features 149 guest rooms, many with scenic river views, private balconies or patios. A flavor of the great Northwest warms the decor. Just outside, our private swimming beach, heated pool and hot tub spa beckon. The Riverside Grill offers panoramic views of the mighty Columbia River from the dining room and from our immense outdoor deck. The stunning Cebu Bamboo Lounge offers sleek, comfortable elegance and the very best happy hour in town! Pop in for a drink or a bite to eat, relax in over-stuffed leather chairs and watch our widescreen plasma TV. Check our schedule for live entertainment. Our front desk staff is always on duty. If you have a request or need, they are ready to help.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $77 plus tax Participants must make their own before and after reservations by calling the Inn at 541.386.2200.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $77 plus tax Participants must make their own before and after reservations by calling the Inn at 541.386.2200.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check in is at 4:00, then the group meets at 6:00 for dinner and orientation. You will be staying at Best Western Hood River Inn that night.
  End of Program:
End time is noon. Hotel check out is before we leave on our field trip (8:30 am) You will be staying at Best Western Hood River Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking on site.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Hood River, Oregon
  Nearest highway: Interstate 84
  Nearest airport:  Portland, Oregon
  From End of Program
  Location: Hood River, Oregon
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Portland, Oregon

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Explore the Gorge
phone: 800-899-5676

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current prices
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

One 

 

Distance:

 

65 miles

 
Driving Directions
  Portland airport Follow signs to I 205 South, then to I 84 East. The Best Western Hood River Inn's spectacular setting is also easy to find. We are located just off I-84 at exit 64 making us 64 miles from downtown Portland and just 55 miles from Portland International Airport. This section of I-84 may be one of the most beautiful sections of highway in the world, made all the more pleasant by the light to non-existent traffic. After exiting at Exit 64 take a left at the bottom of the ramp and take the first right (after the westbound off ramp) into the Inn's entry drive.
Elevation Note: Field trip to Columbia Hills Nature Preserve on day four will be at 3,200 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-in and Orientation
(Sunday, April 27)
   
 Arrive To: Motel check in at 4pm.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Orientation and introductions.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Hood River Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Geology Field Trip
(Monday, April 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Our instructor's brief geology lecture comes to life on an all day geology field trip. After breakfast, the group reconvenes for a 30 minute lecture, then boards group transportation for Panorama Point (weather dependent) to study the geology of the Hood River Valley. We will slowly make our way to the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge studying nature's 40 million year old tale of erupting volcanoes, rivers of lava, violent earthquakes, landslides, and enormous floods. Lunch and 2 hour self-guided tour at the Discovery Center in The Dalles, Oregon. Additional geology stops on the return to the motel.
 Lunch: Lunch at Discovery Center and Museum in The Dalles.
 Afternoon: Continue geology field trip.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Hood River Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wildflower Field Trip
(Tuesday, April 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast, the group gathers for a wildflower lecture covering aspects of geological activity that have created the many unique environments found in the Columbia River Gorge. The instructor will show via slide show many of the plants that will be found on our all-day wildflower identification field trip. Walking tours of Catherine Creek in Washington and Rowena Crest area of Oregon.
 Lunch: Lunch at historic Baldwin Saloon in The Dalles..
 Afternoon: Continue wildflower field trip after lunch.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Free time after dinner
   
Accommodations: Best Western Hood River Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Columbia Hills Nature Preserve Field Trip and Maryhill Museum
(Wednesday, April 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Columbia Hills Nature Preserve. Transportation in a small commercial bus. We will ascend to the top of Stacker Butte, which is 3,200 feet in elevation. Dress warmly! It can be very windy and chilly on the summit. For more information view the brochure www.dnr.wa.gov/nap/publications/colhillsbro.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch at Maryhill Museum.
 Afternoon: Self guided tour of Maryhill Museum (www.maryhillmuseum.org/). Return to motel for free time.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Best Western Hood River Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Historic Columbia River Highway field trip
(Thursday, May 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: All day field trip via Historic Columbia River Highway in commercial bus. Stops at waterfalls along the way and two mile round trip wildflower walk through historic twin tunnels. www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/HCRH/history.shtml
 Lunch: Lunch at Multnomah Falls Lodge.
 Afternoon: Continue field trip. Return to hotel 4-5 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Farewell evening program.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Hood River Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Field trip to Columbia Hills State Park
(Friday, May 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Check out of hotel (may leave bags at front desk) before field trip to Columbia Hills State Park pictographs and petroglyphs. Transportation in commercial bus. Return to hotel target is 12:00, but expect delays. www.parks.wa.gov/parkpage.asp?selectedpark=Columbia Hills
 Lunch: Box lunch for available for pick up upon return from field trip. Program ends.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Wildflowers of the Columbia Gorge


Author: Russ Jolley


Description: This is considered the essential wildflower book for the Gorge, and is the one we use daily for the program.



Cataclysms on the Columbia


Author: John Logan Allen, Marjorie Burns, Sam Sargent


Bretz's Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World's Greatest Flood


Author: John Robert Soennichsen


In Search of Ancient Oregon


Author: Ellen Morris Bishop


On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods


Author: Bruce Bjornstad


Description: During the last great Ice Age that ended some 15,000 years ago, the Pacific Northwest was repeatedly decimated by cataclysmic floods unlike anything of modern times. Giant ancient lakes such as Glacial Lake Missoula were created as lobes of the massive ice sheets blocked river valleys. These "ice dams" broke time and again over the millennia, sending walls of ice-laden water, miles wide and hundreds feet deep, racing over the land at speeds up to 80 mph – scouring a fantastic landscape and leaving a fascinating geologic record. Now geologist Bruce Bjornstad has written the most comprehensive guide book yet to the incredible landforms scoured out by the Ice Age floods in the Mid-Columbia Basin. His new book, On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: A geological field guide to the Mid-Columbia Basin explores the origins, timing and frequency of the Ice Age floods and describes each of 19 geologic features they left behind. It is also an exciting field guide to features, trails and tours in the Mid-Columbia Basin where we may witness today the awesome power of the ancient floods. The guide includes: • Explanations of landforms created by the floods, from hanging coulees and giant gravel bars to ice-rafted "erratics" such as boulders carried on huge ice bergs and deposited hundreds of miles from their places of origin. • Detailed descriptions of 70 distinct flood-formed features scattered throughout the basin, with driving directions to observation points • 30 off-road hiking and biking trails where adventurers can walk and ride amid the flood geology. • 5 driving tours and 2 aerial tours for day trips to view the scope of the landscape carved by the great floods. Illustrated with more than 200 maps, schematics, photos and illustrations, including 16 pages of color plates, On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods provides a clear, concise and easily useable guide to the remarkable geologic record of the great Ice Age floods.





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