Trips

Join me for an upcoming exploration-


Hiking & Camping at Mount St. Helens


Group: Obsidians
Trip Type: Hiking & Camping
Timeframe: Summer, 2018
Duration: 3-days
Hiking Distance: 10 miles
Trip is FULL
> Find out more at Obsidians.org

This is a two-day camping trip to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

DAY 1:
Depart Eugene and drive to the visitor center at Silver Lake. At Silver Lake, we will break for lunch and visit the museum. In the afternoon we drive another half hour to the massive North Fork Toutle River Sediment Retention Structure that blocks almost 10-miles of ash and sediment. We’ll make camp at the nearby Eco Lodge Resort and explore some of its 12-miles of paths -or- visit some of the area’s trails. We’ll eat dinner at the Lodge’s “Backwoods Cafe.” The lodge has a communal fire pit.

DAY 2:
After breakfast, we will drive 40 minutes to the Johnston Ridge Observatory making a stop at Coldwater Lake to explore the boardwalk at the lake’s edge. At Johnston Ridge (4,300 feet) explore interpretive displays that tell the biological, geological, and human story of Mount St. Helens and watch the museum’s short movie. Afterward, we will hike an 8-mile section of the Boundary Trail (#1) & Harry’s Ridge. This is an exposed hike through the blast zone. In the late afternoon, we will return for dinner at the Backwoods Cafe.

DAY 3:
We will have breakfast, say thank you to our hosts, and pack up by 10 am to drive back to Eugene. Those who wish to explore more are welcome.


Oregon’s Exploding Whale

Group: Obsidians
Trip Type: Hiking
Timeframe: Summer, 2018
Duration: 1-day
Hiking Distance: 5 miles
> Find out more and register at Obsidians.org

In 1970 a whale carcass near Florence, Oregon, became so foul smelling that local residents wanted it gone. An idea was hatched to use dynamite to blow the putrid mass into tiny little bits so scavengers would take care of the problem. What could go wrong? The result was a massive explosion that blew chunks of blubber far into the sky and onto cars and observers up to a quarter of a mile away. A car suffered some significant damage. Fortunately, no one was injured, but many were covered in goo. A TV report of the incident is classic viewing on the web. The story has become a local legend and it is known internationally as just “the exploding whale.”

We’ll visit the site of the exploding whale near Florence. Our walk will also pass the location of a memorial noting the solemn and mysterious stranding of 41 Sperm Whales in 1979. Gray Whales will be migrating just off the coast so keep an eye open. Come prepared for sun, rain, wind, or cool temperatures. Bring lunch and snacks.


A Wicked Portland Walk

Group: Obsidians
Trip Type: Day-Hiking
Timeframe: Summer, 2018
Duration: 1-day
Hiking Distance: 4 miles
> Find out more and register at Obsidians.org

This is a historic walk of downtown Portland’s wicked past.

Portland is now home to swank eateries, posh coffee shops, and a lively urban scene, but at one time it was a wild seaport town with a wicked and lusty underworld. For decades, weathered sea captains bartered in blood money for shanghaied recruits and seedy saloon grifters preyed on freshly arrived tenderfoots from the east. Portland was a place where rotgut whiskey flowed freely, bordellos floated on the Willamette, votes could be bought for a pint of beer, saloons numbered 1 for every 40 people, murder was common, and corruption was a way of life.

Everyone on this trip will help with digging up old stories, finding locations of former saloons, and trying to peel back the facade to reveal Portland’s colorful history underneath. We’ll also be looking at the cities modern side and artwork.


Burning Bright in Portland With Your Grandchild

Group: Road Scholar
Trip Type: Tour, Intergenerational
Timeframe: Summer, 2018
Duration: 6-days
> Find out more and register at Roadscholar.org

Erupting volcanoes. Blacksmithing. Outdoor cooking. Glassblowing. Fire has countless uses and incarnations and has been paramount to our way of life since the beginning of our time. You and your grandchild will spark your desire to safely learn more about fire through interactive experiences with professional firefighters, survivalists, welders and fire dancers. Discover how fire can create a delicate piece of artwork, as well as destroy entire forests and cities. Learn how to survive in the remote wilderness, and discover the inner workings of a city’s fire engine. Together with your grandchild, finally have the chance to play with fire as you discover why nothing can hold a candle to this learning adventure. Note: I am the group leader for this event, not the program coordinator.


Exploring Central Oregon

Group: Obsidians
Trip Type: Hiking & Camping
Timeframe: Summer, 2018
Duration: 4-days
Hiking Distance: 14 miles
Trip is FULL
> Find out more at Obsidians.org

This is a 4-day exploration of central Oregon’s rich cultural heritage, dynamic geology, and the majestic night sky.

DAY 1:
We start the trip driving to the picturesque 80-foot side-by-side Paulina Creek Falls in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. At Newberry, we’ll hike for several hours then drive to the Hole-in-the-Ground, a mile wide and 500-feet deep maar (a volcanic explosion crater) to hike into the crater and walk the circumference if possible.

DAY 2:
The next morning we’ll rise early and drive a short distance to the Fort Rock State Park for a visit to its famous cave. Public visits to the cave are rarely offered and only with a park interpreter. This National Heritage cave is the site of an archaeological discovery of several sagebrush bark sandals dated to be 9,000 to 11,000-years old. About lunchtime, we’ll stop by the Fort Rock Homestead Museum, a collection of original homestead era (the early 1900s) buildings. Then we drive along the lava fields to Derrick Cave, a 30 feet high, 50 feet wide, and 1/4 mile long lava tube with several illuminating skylights. In the afternoon we drive to the BLM campground, and if the nearby fire tower is open, enjoy a birds-eye view of the high desert. That evening enjoy stargazing under a new moon.

DAY 3:
Explore Crack-in-the-Ground and hike this volcanic fissure which is about 2 miles long and up to 30-feet deep. That afternoon we drive several hours through Oregon’s Outback on hard-pack and paved roads to the University of Oregon’s Pine Mountain Observatory (PMO) for an evening of star watching. The evening star show starts at 9 pm; schedule allowing, visitors are provided with a tour of the large telescopes, which includes a refurbished 15-inch scope! Plan on staying up late.

DAY 4:
The final morning we’ll sleep in and hit the road at 10 am. Those who wish to head directly back are welcome to, the rest are welcome to visit several sites that are just off the highway: the High Desert Museum, Lava Lands Visitor Center & Lava Butte, and Lava River Cave. Coming over Willamette Pass we’ll stop for a stretch break at Salt Creek Falls before arriving home.


Walking Wicked San Francisco

Group: Obsidians
Trip Type: Urban Hiking
Timeframe: Fall, 2018
Duration: 5-days
Hiking Distance: 12 miles
> Find out more and register at Obsidians.org

This is a 5 day (4 nights) active walking exploration through the San Francisco’s wicked side, from its wild and lusty frontier days to the notorious prison, to the hangouts of angst-laden poets in free speech battles. We’ll also try to enjoy some big-hatted scandalous theater! There will be ample walking opportunities to enjoy beautiful vistas, historic neighborhoods, and exploring this world-class city. The trip starts and ends in San Francisco at the clean, affordable, and centrally located Fort Mason Hostel.

DAY 1:
Arrive in San Francisco on your own schedule.

DAY 2:
Start the day with a complimentary breakfast at the hostel, then enjoy a cable car ride across town to Market Street. At Union Square we’ll begin walking the Barbary Coast Trail, a four-mile journey through San Francisco’s gold rush where people were shanghaied, gambling was the currency, and two dogs were celebrities. We’ll explore Chinatown, see where the American Gold Rush started, and walk in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac, or at least see where he raised a glass. We’ll spend some time in the famous City Lights Bookstore where it and the book “Howl” was the center of a free-speech battle. Late afternoon is free time. That evening catch a show of the saucy musical review Beach Blanket Babylon.

DAY 3:
Enjoy a relaxed morning. In the late morning, we’ll walk garden-lined walkways and seek out hidden stairways. Our route will cross Nob, Telegraph, and Russian Hill. We will visit the Cable Car Museum. That evening we might visit the bizarrely campy, yet entertaining Polynesian-themed Tonga Room. Late afternoon is free time.

DAY 4:
The plan is to visit Alcatraz in the late morning, returning in the early afternoon. The rest of the day is open.

DAY 5:
Open, free time. Leave on own schedule.