Tuesday, October 9, 2012

5 canoes, 50 people, 2 days- Evergreen State College Natural History Canoe Trip

 Thank you to Dylan Fischer and his class from The Evergreen State College for a great trip last week on Banks Lake!   What a sight to see five big canoes out on the water, paddling together and packed with people and gear.  We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful morning to set off on, and we took our time getting to lunch, darting in and out of some islands, and rafting up for lunch. 

Our lunch beach offered an opportunity to explore the rugged landscape left behind after the torrents from the Great Missoula Floods receded from Grand Coulee.  As we paddled after lunch to our campsite, we paddled along cliffs at an elevation where the ravens would have been soaring if Banks Lake had not come into existence. 

Some rivalry sprang up between the Goat and River canoes, but the Goat-People couldn't overcome the spirit of 'Merican Dreamin' in a few impromptu drag races.  The air filled with various canoe songs, we paddled into camp, and unloaded the gear we would need for the night. 

Dinner of burgers and stir-fry was followed by a seminar Session on the Columbia River and a talk by Churchill Clark on his journeys traveling the trail of Lewis and Clark, and paddling dugout canoes.  Unfortunately we were unable to have campfires on the beach due to regulations, so everyone turned in pretty early in preparation for the day ahead.

After breakfast in the morning, the class went on a walk to investigate a cave in the riverside cliff-band, and check out the ecology of the sage brush steppe that appeared to have burned earlier this year. 

When the class returned the guides had the canoes loaded and everyone piled in for an all too soon return to the boat-ramp.  We had a great time with everyone, and it's always fun to have a whole class out on the water.  We're looking forward to seeing some familiar faces in the spring time, in our canoes, or at a guide training event somewhere!


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