Sunday, August 29, 2010

Benternship sights & sounds Summary

Benternship July 12- DAY 13

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

Today I headed out of Bend. It was an exciting and worthwhile trip to Central Oregon and I certainly gained a lot of knowledge to sort through once I get home. I met with Dave this morning at the office and we had a de-briefing. I felt that there were lots of things that we both received from my working with his company over the past two weeks and I'm proud of that. I greatly look forward to using the momentum gained from this experience in the future to help start my own outdoor-oriented company.

After leaving Bend, I headed up the highway toward Portland. The next few hours (3 total) provided me with views of Oregon I didn't know existed! The drive was a highlight of the day for sure, and I took lots of videos to prove it.
video

Benternship July 11- DAY 12

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which. video

Anyone notice how horrible I look? I was absolutely exhausted!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Benternship July 10- DAY 11

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

With Claire being in town I knew that I had to get her out on a trip with the company. I needed to show her that the caliber of trips that Wanderlust Tours provides was exactly the quality that I wanted in my own trips someday. Witnessing first-hand what the guides do so well here in Bend was something that I simply couldn't explain...it needed to be experienced.

Claire & I signed up for the moonlight canoe tour departing Saturday evening. We met up with Jack @ Fred Meyer and hopped in the van. Off to Sunriver for another pickup and then lake time! We headed up to the Cascade lakes that flank South Sister, Mount Bachelor, and Broken Top and pulled into the Hosmer Lake parking lot. After a brief introduction on paddling by Jack, we set out on the water just as the sun was setting. The looks we got from the fisherman (who were all coming OFF the lake at this time) was priceless. Looks of shock and curiosity were prevalent on their faces as we paddled past them, eager to see what the night sky would bring us. Keep in mind that Claire and I have never been on this lake before in our lives. The trust that we placed with Jack was considerable but I knew we were in great hands.

Jack quickly assessed our groups' paddling ability
(there were 6 guests including Claire & I) and took time to help out those who were still learning the tricks of canoeing. Claire & I watched in wonder as the last of the day's light faded from the evening sky. Suddenly between our boat and the next, not two feet from one another, you could see bats flying between the canoes on their way to swallow all those pesky mosquitoes that were flying around us. The bats were hard to see directly but if you stared at the water about 10 feet away from you suddenly a shadow would pass that was undeniably a bat...a very cool experience and one of my favorite parts of the moonlight canoe trips.

Jack took our group to a beaver lodge that was nestled along the bank of Hosmer Lake and explained how they were constructed and used by the beavers that lived in it. While listening to his oration it was easy to look around this marvelous piece of Oregon and feel quite content to be away from the lights and sounds of a city. The dark was really beginning to take hold and as the last of the twilight slipped from our view we noticed fish swimming about below our boat, no doubt scanning above for insects just as the bats were doing.

Unlike the other lakes I'd seen at this point during my Benternship, Hosmer lake surprised me in being quite marshy. As we reached a channel in the lake I noticed that we'd be paddling through a snaking portion of marsh, which when combined with the beaver lodge area comprises only about half of the total lake surface. We stayed close together and with the moonlight beginning to take over the night sky easily saw our way through the reeds to the opening of the channel.

Once the four boats were all through the bottleneck, Jack asked us to look up and analyze the sky. It was still a bit too early to see many stars, but what we could see amazed us still. Jack pointed out Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter and we were all astounded by the sight! It was one of the most memorable night skies I've ever witnessed, simply because I finally had someone to tell me exactly what I was looking at!

We continued our paddle to another point toward the northern end of the lake, all the while being sung to by shorebirds looking for food or mates. The call of one in particular, the Common Nighthawk, was especially fitting for a nighttime paddle as it's peculiar sounds come through the trees sounding quite foreign to one's ears.

As we reached a stopping point in the middle of the lake, Jack corralled our boats together and began passing out hot cocoa and baked almond bars for the guests. The treats were well received by the group as we had been working up an appetite paddling around the lake. After the snacks were passed out, Jack continued to speak to us about the constellations, including Cassiopeia, Scorpio, and Orion. The detail and passion in which Jack shares these tales is quite enjoyable to witness, and you can tell he has a strong background in theater as he weaves his tales for his audience.

Content with all we had witnessed for the evening, the group paddled back toward the south end of the lake under Jack's guidance, all the while in a lights-out caravan of canoes. Several of the boats saw a deer just off to the side of the shore munching in the marshy grass, no doubt. The stars were vivid and as we paddled back south the view of Scorpio became more and more clear to us. Arriving at the boat ramp, canoes were loaded, PFDs were shed and the gear was stowed for our return trip to civilization.

The moonlight canoe trip with Wanderlust Tours was definitely a highlight of my Benternship and quite possibly my time here in Oregon. I have been thinking about all of the amazing sights I've seen in Oregon and I would contend that seeing the stars from a pristine Cascade Mountain lake rivals many if not all of them. If you have a chance to tour with Wanderlust, do it! I promise you'll not be disappointed.