5542
Coos Bay
Oregon Coast Geology and Cultural History
Discover the story of Oregon’s coast through its archeological sites, Native American traditions and old-growth forests. Plus, enjoy a jet-boat excursion down the Rogue River!
Rating (5)
Program No. 5542RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
695
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7 days
6 nights
17 meals
6 B 5 L 6 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrival & Check-in, Welcome & Introductions, Orientation
Coos Bay, OR
D
Southwestern Oregon Community College Residence Halls

Dinner: Dinner is a buffet in the Empire Cafe (dining hall) with a variety of choices. The college food service is supervised by the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (OCCI) and offers opportunities for OCCI students to work under the direction of industry professionals.

Evening: WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS: Meet the program staff and begin getting to know your fellow participants. ORIENTATION: We will have an informative overview of the program including a review of the updated daily schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, your gear, and answer any questions you may have.

DAY
2
Intro to Geology, fossil presentation, stroll Horsfall Beach
Coos Bay, OR
B,L,D
Southwestern Oregon Community College Residence Halls

Breakfast: Empire Cafe, on campus

Morning: Lecture: Background discussion about geology. Tectonics, rock types and how they relate to the southern Oregon coast with Professor Ron Metzger. Includes hands–on observations of local and regional rock samples.

Lunch: Lunch on campus at the Empire Cafe.

Afternoon: We will begin with hands-on observations of a variety of local fossils. The highlight of the afternoon is a trip to Horsfall Beach for our first chance to walk along the Oregon Coast. This site of past shipwrecks provides a backdrop for discussing the coastal processes that will shape our week.

Dinner: Empire Cafe, on campus

Evening: The day concludes with an interesting presentation on past, present and future earthquake and tsunami potential. “Earthquake in Oregon” presented by Professor Ron Metzger.

DAY
3
Archaeological Site and Rogue River Jet Boat Trip.
Coos Bay, OR
B,L,D
Southwestern Oregon Community College Residence Halls

Breakfast: Empire Cafe, on campus

Morning: We start with a stop at the westernmost point in Oregon-Cape Blanco. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse for a spectacular view and be inches from a Fresnel lens. We will also begin discussions about archaeological sites and the coastal Native American tribes. We depart for Gold Beach/Rogue River travelling on Highway 101 with enchanting views of sea stacks along the Curry County coast.

Lunch: We will sit amongst the Myrtlewood trees and enjoy a picnic lunch at the beautiful Humbug Mountain State Park.

Afternoon: Jump on board! Our group will ride on the World Famous Jerry's Jet Boats as we go 32 miles up the Rogue River. The ride will be narrated by the fabulous navigators, as we hope to spot ospreys, bald eagles, black bears, and other wild animals! Be sure to wear many layers, stockings, caps, and gloves. Bring binoculars and cameras in protective containers so they do not get wet. Hang on tight and have a great experience.

Dinner: Dinner will be provided by Lucas Lodge up the Rogue River. Meals will be served "family style". Which means you all sit at long tables and pass the food around the table just like you do at home. The home is the original Lucas home still owned and operated by the original family.

Evening: Our group will hop back onto Jerry's Jet Boats and go back up the Rogue River, completing the other half of our 64-mile trip! We will hope to spot otters, blue herons, jumping fish, and more wildlife! Once back on the dock we will board the bus around 8:00 p.m. By then end of the day, you will be tired, sometimes cold, but very happy! We will get back to campus around 10:00 p.m.

DAY
4
Explore beautiful Oregon dunes while riding dune buggies.
Coos Bay, OR
B,L,D
Southwestern Oregon Community College Residence Halls

Breakfast: Empire Cafe, on campus

Morning: We travel north to spend time in the most extensive coastal sand dunes in North America. The group will ride a Giant Dune Buggy through 8 miles of dunes and 2 miles of coastal beaches. We will experience first-hand these several hundred foot high dunes and the flora and fauna that surround them.

Lunch: We go quickly from the flat coastal dunes to steep wave cut cliffs as we head to Heceta Head Beach with a quick stop for carnivorous Darlingtonia pitcher plants and a view of the most photographed lighthouse on the Oregon Coast. Following lunch we’ll get a near aerial view of the northern end of the dune sheet as we head back to Coos Bay.

Afternoon: Free afternoon or optional Oregon Dunes hike. This hike provides a chance to traverse through several ecosystems and also walk up a dune under our own power.

Dinner: Empire Cafe, on campus

Evening: Free Time

DAY
5
Explore Geological Sites presented by Professor Ron Metzger.
Coos Bay, OR
B,L,D
Southwestern Oregon Community College Residence Halls

Breakfast: Empire Cafe, on campus

Morning: We stay close to home with stops along Cape Arago. We will start with a walk to Fossil Point to see terraces being carved in the intertidal, and as the name would suggest, an abundance of fossils. We will see plenty of scallops, plus whales, petrified wood and more. Be prepared for a ½ mile hike in some mushy and marshy conditions. Sunset Bay is our next stop with plenty of tilted rock layers, faults, terraces and a 1200 year old submerged forest to observe. Plus, you might catch a glimpse of a tidepool or two. The drive out Cape Arago will also include: a view of the Arago Lighthouse; Simpson Reef overlook with seals, sea lions and maybe a gray whale or two; and a view of a Native American shell midden.

Lunch: Picnic Lunch will take place at Shore Acres on Cape Arago. This is one of the true gems of the State Park system. We will look at the geology and see a stunning angular unconformity and concretions in a variety of shapes. You will also have time to wander through the formal gardens with roses and dahlias exploding with sight and scent.

Afternoon: We will visit the Coquille Tribal Plank house. The plank house is one of the many hidden treasures of Oregon’s south coast. We will be guests of the Coquille (Ko-Kwel) Tribe and their Youth Corps. Tribal members will give us an overview of some of their cultural history and an opportunity to view a variety of artifacts and tools that would have been essential to life on the south coast.

Dinner: Empire Cafe, on campus

Evening: Lecture on “Using LiDAR to reveal Earth Secrets” by Professor Ron Metzger.

DAY
6
Learn about the South Jetty. Explore: South Slough, Bandon Marsh, Tupper Rock, Race Rock and Old Town Bandon.
Coos Bay, OR
B,L,D
Southwestern Oregon Community College Residence Halls

Breakfast: Empire Cafe, on campus

Morning: We will start the day with a walk on one of the Coos Bay locals’ favorite beaches at Bastendorff Beach. While there we will see and talk about the Coos Bay Jetty and the history of a sea cave carved into the cliff behind us.

Lunch: We will drive along the scenic Seven Devils Road past the first National Estuarine Research Reserve and discuss the heavy minerals that have been concentrated in the layers just below us. Picnic lunch will be along the Coquille River near Bandon at Bullard’s Beach State Park.

Afternoon: Our first stop is at Bandon Marsh where we see a submerged forest that perished at 9:00 pm on January 26, 1700, time of the last great Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Our next stop continues the blend of geology and culture at Bandon’s South Jetty, one of the globe's best blueschist localities, made of the remnants of Omashi (Tupper Rock) a former monolith standing over 100 feet above the coastal terrace. A stop at the Face Rock Wayside combines Native American oral tradition and science as we connect the local people to changes in our local landscape. One needs only to consider the 2011 events in Japan to see how a landscape may be altered in a moment. Our afternoon concludes with the opportunity to wander through shops in Old Town Bandon and visit the Nasomah Memorial site.

Dinner: Farewell dinner.

DAY
7
Journey Back Home.
Coos Bay, OR
B

Breakfast: Empire Cafe, on campus

Morning: The program concludes after breakfast. For your convenience, check-out from Lighthouse Depot will be 9:00am-11:00am. We hope you have enjoyed this exciting new program and will return for other rewarding Road Scholar learning adventures in the future. Please return your keys and lanyard for your end-of-the-week DVD at the Lighthouse Depot. Best wishes for all your journeys!