Monday, June 27, 2011

Lower Columbia River- David Thompson Bicentennial Celebration Beacon Rock to Astoria!

our  25ft Birch Bark Canoe

Hello Columbia River Friends!  We would like to invite you, your friends, family co-workers and fellow river brother and sisters to come paddling with us on the Lower Columbia River.  To celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of  David Thompson's historic expedition down the Columbia River we will be paddling from the colossal Beacon Rock down through Portland, past St. Helens and Longview, all the way to Astoria and the Pacific Ocean!

Flying Eagle on the Lower Columbia River.
  First Squad's 27ft Cedar Dugout Canoe
We will be paddling in 2 Dugout canoes and 2 Birch Bark Canoes so some out and paddle on the Columbia River 200 years after David Thompson!  Join us for one hour, one day or the entire expedition!  Below are the dates and times we will be providing free canoe trips for the public.

Thursday, June 30th @ William Clark Park or Port of Camas Marina in Washougal, WA.  From 10:00am to 5:00pm we will be at the water front with 2 historic dugout canoes and 2 hand made birch bark canoes. Come and Experience history 200 years later!

Saturday July 2nd @ Portland Waterfront Blues Festival  We will be at the festival all day in canoes!  Come canoeing, listen to blues and learn about the Columbia River!

Monday July 4th @ St. Helen's, OR  Come Celebrate the Independence Day in Dugout and Birch Bark Canoes on the Columbia River!  200 years ago the canadian explorer David Thompson tried to claim the columbia river and the Oregon Territory for Britain, so come out and celebrate the fact we live in the USA!

All of the paddling opportunities will be free and we will be accepting donations to take more students out paddling on the Columbia River!

Share this link with your friends, family, and all river friends!

Take care and see you on the river!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stevenson Blues and Brews Festival

This weekend we went paddling with the First Squad of the Corps of Discovery and their two canoes, Mato Chante and the Flying Eagle.  What a thrill it was to paddle on the Lower Columbia with all it's wind, history, and grandeur.  It was the first time in a very long time dugout canoes and birch bark canoes paddled together on the Columbia River!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Listen on the Radio! Wed. June 1, 2011 KYRS 92.3

Listen up! Spokane Thin Air Community Radio 3:00-4:00pm Wednesday! tomorrow June 1, 2011! Listen up to learn more about Voyages of Rediscovery and what we do on the Columbia River!

92.3 FM or 89.9 FM or listen live online @

Paul Haeder will be hosting us on his show "Voices from the Edge."  Listen on the radio or internet.

Check out Paul's articles on the Down to Earth Northwest website @

Sunday, May 15, 2011

300+ people in our canoes in 1 week!

The past week has been a great week on the Columbia River!  We have taken over 300 people out in our canoes from Kettle Falls near the Canadian boarder to Longview, WA only 40 river miles from the pacific ocean.  It has just been a real honor and privilage to be able to provide on the river experiences in our canoes for people across Washington state!

-"A Day on the River" @ Kettle Falls, WA - 60+ community members 5/7/11
-St. Rose School @ Lake Sacajawea - 180 students and parents 5/9+10/11
-"A Day on the River" @ Willow Grove, Longview, WA - 70+ community members (mostly kids and families!) 5/14/11
-Foreign Exchange Students @ Kettle Falls, WA - 13 students 5/15/11

Thank you for everyone who came out paddling!  
We can't wait to do it again!
Contact us now to schedule "A Day on the River" with your town, school, group, club anything, anywhere, anyone!

An Awesome Day on the River in Longview!

Check out this great article about our trip today in Longview, WA! It was great had over 70 people come by to check out our canoes and had over 50 people in our canoes today! Thank you everyone for coming out and paddling with us today on the Columbia River!
Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!
Photo credit Tyler Tjomsland
Annie helping Sarah out of the canoe!
 Photo credit Tyler Tjomsland. 
Paddling on the Columbia River.
Photo credit Tyler Tjomsland.
An awesome day on the Columbia River! Photo credit Tyler Tjomsland

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A week on the Water! Kettle Falls, Longview, Shelton!

Hello River Friends!  Just writing hear to recap the past few days and invite everyone to some Columbia River and Puget Sound canoeing opportunities.

"A Day on the River at Kettle Falls" May 7th, 2011-  This was a great day for everyone involved.  The fundraiser was a total sucess in that many student's will be able to partake in a 3 day canoe journey on the Spokane River for
free!  It was amazing to paddle over the historic Kettle Falls with the lake a historic lows.  Thank you to the 75 people who showed up, went canoeing, ate chili, listened to music, and donated to support our cause and students of the Medicine Wheel Academy!

150 Students on Lake Sacajawea with the St. Rose Parish School- On Monday we had the 7th and 8th grade for two hours.  For each class, an hour was spent observing and documenting the natural world and an hour was spent paddling on Lake Sacajawea, a 3 mile long town center lake.  The focus of the day was to help students start to view the lake as a combination of a natural world and a place for humans to enjoy.  On Tuesday we took out the other 150 students from 1st to 6th grade!  Just providing students the opportunity to experience their community lake in a different way will enhance their appreciation for the natural world.

Northwest Chapter of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Spring Rendezvous  May 13-15 Shelton, WA- The Redezvous will be held at Camp Bishop in Shelton.  Check out the newsletter at: We will be bring 3 genuine birch bark canoes and 1 30ft voyageur replica fiberglass and wood canoe!  See you on the water!

"A Day on the River at Willow Grove, Longview, WA" May 14th, 2011- This Day on the River will provide community members from Longview and southwest Washington the opportunity to paddle on the lower Columbia River.  We will also shed light on the proposed Millennium Coal Plant which is to be located just 2 miles from Willow Grove.    FREE PADDLING  FREE SNACKS   FREE FUN  FREE ADVENTURE  FREE RIVER

Come out and enjoy the Columbia River!  Come canoeing bring your friends and family!  See you on the River!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kettle Falls Today and Yesterday

Right now Lake Roosevelt on the Columbia River is as low as I have ever seen it.  Lake level has been dropping for two reasons.  The first being construction/repairs on Grand Coulee dam and the other being the large snow pack that is getting ready to melt and rush into the River.
At the China Bend Boat Ramp.
The water is about 250 feet from the end of the ramp!
Luckily we can portage our canoes down to the water!

Kettle falls from the west bank under the bridge. Although the falls are not showing, there are whirl-pools, currents, and river monsters!

With such low lake levels, traveling along Lake Roosevelt provides us with glimpses of the past.  Old roads, foundations, tree stumps, and even the old Fort Colville Site are all visible with the lake being so low.  Most impressively, Kettle Falls and Hayes Island are beginning to show.  We have paddled over Kettle Falls, which once was the largest salmon fishery in the inland northwest, but now we can actually see some of the rocks and islands that made the series of falls and drops that provided sustanance and community gatherings for thousands of years.

Kettle Falls and Hayes Island
from the Kettle Falls bridge.
As John and I sat on the west bank of the Columbia River, over looking the historic Kettle Falls, we watched a beaver swim upstream, possibly looking for wood for his/her lodge.   But with the lake at its lowest level since 1996, there are no trees, sticks, or logs for the beaver to build with.  With the lake about 70 vertical feet lower than the riparian vegetation the beaver needs for its lodge, beavers and other animals are forced to deal with unnatural lake/river fluctuations.

Imagine this, if the beaver built a lodge on the lake/river bank this past fall and winter with the anticipation of having some beaver kits this spring, the kits must now walk in places over 500ft just to get down to the water.

It would be very interesting to study beaver or any animals mortality rates in conjunction with unnatural lake/river fluctuations.
Kettle falls in 1860.  Up until the completion of Grand Coulee Dam and the flooding of the up-river valley, Kettle Falls was the primary salmon fishery and gathering area for the native peoples throughout the inland northwest.
Although Lake Roosevelt is not the River it once was, having the opportunity to see Kettle Falls and the grandeur of the Columbia River valley provides me with a sense of awe and astonishment for the natural and cultural history of the Columbia River.  Next week we hope to paddle through the Kettle Falls in our 25ft Birch Bark Canoe and rejoice as voyageurs in the beauty and power of the Columbia River.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hanford Reach Canoe Trip 4/4/11

Hanford Reach Expedition 2011! Paddle on!

What great Paddlers!  With members from the
 Dept. of Ecology, 2 local farmers, and 3 river guides
 we learned from  interesting and different
 perspectives of the Columbia River 

Hanford Reach has some of the
clearest water on the Columbia River.
The Columbia River at Hanford Reach flows
at over 100,000cfs and pushed our canoe
 as we floated at 8mph, were paddling at 12 mph! 
What a beautiful lunch site!  With
views of the nuclear  reactors opposite
the colossal White Bluffs we feasted on elk meat loaf and liver!

Hanford Reach Expedition Members!  Paddle on!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paddling on the Sound- Olympia Free Canoe Trip! 3/30/11

On Wednesday afternoon we had a great paddle around the waters surrounding the Olympia Harbor.  Even with short notice, 15 people showed up so we had a full canoe with eager paddlers.  It was great to have Abby Ruskey, the director of EEAW and Rob Smur an international wilderness guide and Evergreen professor, come paddling with us.  We are excited to take more people and share with them what we do on the Columbia River and other important waterways in Washington State

Monday, March 28, 2011

Free Canoe Trips- In the Rain!

We had a great paddle yesterday on the tranquil yet rainy waters of Budd Bay.  We put our sign "Free Canoe Trips" and the paddlers showed up!  We went on 5 different canoe trips yesterday and took out 36 paddlers!

The whole idea of the day was to get the word our about Voyages and take community members out on the water for free!

Thank you for coming out and thanks to all who donated, including the gas money and food!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stevens County Library Presentations!

We are super excited to be presenting at 4 libraries in Stevens County.  Come to one or more of the following presentations and learn about the history of Canoes on the Columbia River and what Voyages of Rediscovery is all about.

Loon Lake Library- April 5, 7:00pm
Colville Library- April 14, 4:00pm
Northport Library- April 16, 2:00pm
Chewelah Library- April 18, 5:30pm

Come hear and learn about what the voyageur's life was really like.  Bring your own fur-trade and exploration stories.  We will also be commemorating the bicentennial of the historic David Thompson expedition down the Columbia River.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Upcoming Promotional Trips!

After a highly successful EEAW/WSTA conference we will be taking community members and people we connected with at the conference out on the water.  Come and join us for any of the following trips!

Skagit River- March 26-27.  We will be paddling from Marblemount down to Rockport.  Join us for one or both days.  We will be camping on a gravel beach on the side of the river.  Join us for s'mores and campfire stories!

Olympia Lower Puget Sound- March 30-  We will be putting in at Downtown Olympia.  Join us for an afternoon paddle followed by some food and drinks at Tug Boat Annies.

Hanford Reach, Columbia River- April 4- The stretch between the Vernita Bridge and White Bluffs boat ramp provides tons of educational opportunities with the nuclear cooling towers on one side and the dramatic white bluffs on the other.  We will be taking out Environmental Educators from the Tri-Cities and Wenatchee areas so join us on an "On the River Meeting" to brainstorm ways to get students out on the water!

We hope to see you on the WATER!  Contact us for trip locations and times and tell your friends and co-workers!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our New Website!

We are super excited to be launching our new website at

First of all we would like to thank Skip in Rice, WA for putting it all together and dealing with our 100's of emails with content, layouts, corrections, etc...  The site is awesome!

We are proud about the site because we believe it truly represents Voyages of Rediscovery.  On the site you can find information about the construction of our canoes, bios of our guides, trip information, and what exactly is an Educational Expedition!

We hope you like the site.  Check back periodically for updates, new pages, and more features!
Let us know what you think! Leave a comment with suggestions, likes and dislikes about the site.  Your thoughts and advice are much appreciated!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Our New Brochure w/ Maps and Trip Descriptions!

After much work, we have completed our newest brochure.  They will be printed, double sided on 11''x25.5' paper.  We are proud to be offering trips through the entire Columbia River in Washington and Oregon.

This side has general information about Voyages of Rediscovery and details the three sections of the Columbia River that we operate on.  Click on the image for a larger more readable view. 

This side details the three sections of the Columbia River in Washington State.  It also describes some of the trips we run and what a teacher can expect their students to learn on one of our educational expeditions!  Click on the image for a larger more readable view.

If you would like us to mail you a copy of the brochure send us an email!  To save paper, you can also click on the image for a larger more readable view!

Thank you very much for your interest in Voyages of Rediscovery.

David Thompson Bicentennial Columbia Brigade

Come paddling with the Brigade!

This year is the 200th anniversary of David Thompson's expedition down the Columbia River.  In 1811, David Thompson and his crew of voyageurs paddled 1,200 miles from Invermere, British Columbia to Astoria, Washington.  The 2011 Brigade plans of commemorating the historic expedition by paddling the same route this summer!

Voyages of Rediscovery will be collaborating with the brigade once they reach Lake Roosevelt in Mid June.  We will be giving community members at Kettle Falls and the surrounding area the opportunity to paddle with the brigade and experience the Columbia River on the same days David Thompson did 200 years ago.

The Brigade plans on being in Kettle Falls on Friday, June 17th and we encourage you to be there to greet them and cheer them on!  On Saturday and Sunday there will be FREE community event at Locus Grove Campground near the Kettle Falls Marina.  Come meet the Brigade, see history in the making, and paddle our voyageur canoes...200 years later!

The 2011 David Thompson Brigade-

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Exhibiting at the EEAW/WSTA Annual Conference

From march 18-20th we will be attending the Environmental Education Association of Washington's annual conference.  This year's conference is a join't conference with the Washington Science Teachers Association (WSTA) and will be held in Paulsbo, WA.  We are extremely excited to showcase our program to all of the science teachers and environmental educators.  At the conference we will have our own table in the exhibit hall.  We will also be offering a post conference canoe trip on Puget Sound.

Environmental Education Association of
Washington Science Teachers

If you are interested in attending the conference, register on the EEAW or WSTA website.
See you on the Water!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Two New Canoes!

John and PT just finished building two new 28ft. fiberglass voyageur canoes.  They are just beautiful!  More pictures to come.  They both have wooden gunwales and thwarts, one of the canoes has real wood ribs.

We now have four 30ft fiberglass voyageur canoes and one 25ft. genuine birch bark canoe!
This allows us to facilitate up to 60 people on the river at one time! Woohoo!

Welcome to Our Blog!

This blog is designed to keep everyone updated on what Voyages of Rediscovery does on a daily to weekly basis.

Voyages of Rediscovery is more than an educational canoeing company.  It is a lifestyle.  We are all committed to the Columbia River.  We dream about it, talk about it non stop, and more than anything we fantasize about the possibilities that the Columbia River can provide for us and the entire Columbia River community.

We at Voyages of Rediscovery are honored to be the only program in Washington State offering educational expeditions in canoe throughout the entire length of the Columbia River.  Although we are not currently operating in Canada, where the river begins and travels for over 400 miles, we do plan on eventually offering expeditions from Source to Sea.

Rivers should be free for anyone to explore, experience, and travel on.  With this in mind we strive to make every effort to offer free to low cost Educational Expeditions throughout the Columbia River.  We are routinely holding "On the River" fundraisers, writing grants, and accepting donations.

If you would like to sponsor a class or even just one student to partake on one of our canoeing expeditions please contact us.  We are proud to offer tax-deductable donations.  In the near future we will be rolling out a donation tier program, which will include benefits like free canoe trips, hand made paddles, canoes, and many other interesting items.

Thank you for visiting our blog and please check out the website:

See you on the River!

On the Upper Columbia river near Kettle Falls, WA (June, 2010) .
With the Havermale Medicine Wheel School, an alternative Native American high school in Spokane, WA.