ROCKSTARS: A GEOLOGY & ASTRONOMY DESCHUTES RIVER TRIP

4 days/ 3 nights: From Warm Springs to Maupin 

2018 Dates : August 7th-10th

Group Size: Minimum: 7 Maximum: 9

 Photo by Amanda Close

Photo by Amanda Close

Overview

Join Orion Guides, Geologists, and an Astronomer for a River Trip exploring 44 miles of The Deschutes River Basin. Experience exceptional views, intriguing geologic formations, and star-filled desert skies.  On a Lower Deschutes Whitewater River Rafting trip you river raft by columnar basalt cliffs and float through canyons carved into the Mutton Mountain range. Campsites feature exceptional views, intriguing geologic formations, and star-filled desert skies.

The overnight whitewater river rafting trip includes numerous rapids with the most notable being Whitehorse, Buckskin Mary, Wapinitia, and Boxcar. On the Deschutes river rafting trip, you are introduced to the white water gradually until the exciting conclusion on the final day. The Class III whitewater is ideal for river rafting enthusiasts of every age bracket. An overnight river rafting trip with Orion Expeditions includes all meals from lunch on the very first day through lunch on the last day, 4 professional guides, 3 educators staff, a courtesy shuttle arranged at the river, and all necessary river gear.

 

geologyrocksphoto.jpg

A little background on the Geology of the Deschutes:

Quote from Geology and Geomorphology of the Lower Deschutes River Canyon, Oregon by Robin A. Beebee, Jim E. O'Connor, and Gordon E. Grant

“The basin is formed in sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks ranging from 250 million to 1.3 thousand years old, but rocks are Tertiary and Quaternary lavas or other eruptive materials emplaced during the past 65 million years. The present canyon and river course reflect a 20 million year struggle among volcanic, tectonic, and fluvial processes.”


Program Features

  • An all-inclusive river trip including delicious meals, all necessary river gear, professional river, geology, and astronomy guides, and a courtesy shuttle arranged at the river.

  • Float 44 miles of the Deschutes River.

  • Enjoy Class I - III Rapids, and riverside overnight camping.

  • Learn through outdoor explorative activities and hands-on experiential learning.

  • Visit unique geologic formations along the Deschutes, accompanied by Geologists.

  • End each day relaxing in camp while our guides prepare sumptuous and satisfying dinners.

  • Astronomy star party under the star-filled skies each night at camp.

  • Retire each night to your tent or lay out under a brilliant sky full of stars.

Photo Credit: Lizzie Bridges


Activity Level: Requires fitness adequate for day hiking up to 3 miles round-trip, over moderate terrain, willingness to camp, readiness to enjoy a group experience.

Cost per person: $899. Costs include all food from breakfast on Day 1 through Lunch Day 4, 3 expert staff, 4 river guides, group equipment, transportation from Maupin to Warm Springs, and supplies. Personal items, speciality snacks and beverages, and transportation to and from Maupin, OR are not included. Tents, and sleeping cots can be rented in advance upon request.


DAILY ITINERARY

Day 0: (evening before the trip). Meet and Greet. Your guides will meet you at Mecca Flats campground the evening of August 6th between 8-9pm. Here you will get to briefly meet your guides, and other participants. You will receive a river bag that will house your belongings for the duration of the trip.

Day 1: Early morning breakfast, before getting on the river. We will be doing a few introductory activities before getting on the river. Our lunch spot will be about 7 miles down the river just before Trout creek. After lunch we will go into an overview of geology and what to look for on the Deschutes River Basin Plateau before seeing some cool features in the afternoon. We will have another 11 miles on the river in the afternoon before ending up at Lone Pine camp for the evening. After guides have prepared a delicious we will wait for dark to transition into one of our nightly star parties. After the star party you are welcome to retreat to your tent.

Day 2: After breakfast we will get on the river, shortly after getting on the river we will be pulling over the scout White Horse Rapid. This rapid is full of great geologic features that make up the rapids. Our geologist will discuss the natural history of the river, discovering how some of the rapids were originally formed. The guides will discuss the way we will be navigating through the geologic features. It will only be about 3 miles down to lower whitehorse camp, where we will camp for the evening. Evening star party takes place again after sunset.

Day 3: Wake up and have breakfast at Lower Whitehorse Camp. After finishing breakfast we will hike to the cave above camp for another geology field trip. After lunch we will have another 11 miles down the Buckskin Mary camp. After the sun goes down we will our final star party to end another beautiful day on the river.

Day 4: After breakfast we will take a Geology field trip to observe Buckskin Mary Rapid. After getting into our river gear and getting all packed up we will raft down through Boxcar and Wapinitia rapids. Our final day will consist of 12 river miles before ending in Maupin Washington.

Activity Level: Requires fitness adequate for day hiking up to 3 miles round-trip, over moderate terrain, willingness to camp, readiness to enjoy a group/family experience.


ROCKSTARS 2018 EDUCATORS

Potholes.coulee.JPG

Bruce Bjornstad is a licensed geologist/hydrogeologist and recently retired as a Senior Research Scientist at Battelle's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He received a Bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s degree in geology from Eastern Washington University.  During his 35-year career he has written numerous documents and reports on the geology of the Northwest as well as two geologic guidebooks on Ice Age floods that transformed the region as recently as 13,000 years ago. Bruce is also the creator of an online YouTube Channel titled: “Ice Age Floodscapes”.  For recreation he enjoys skiing, windsurfing, hiking, and aerial photography. www.BruceBjornstad.com

 

2018-05-21_Brent-Yard.jpg

Geologist Brent Cunderla grew up in the Midwest (Rochester, Minnesota) before realizing that the winters were too cold, the summer’s too humid, and the bugs too numerous. He received a B.S. degree in Earth Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 1983 and an M.S. degree in Geology from Portland State University in 1986.

From 1988-2015 Brent worked as a geologist with the Department of the Interior (USDI) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Wenatchee, Washington.  Brent has worked with the National Park Service and Ice Age Floods Institute on the designation of the “Ice Age Floods-National Geologic Trail” which was authorized as an NPS unit in March 2009.  He has taught numerous courses and lead field trips emphasizing the Geology of the Columbia Basin, Ice Age Floods, Channeled Scabland, and glacial geology of the Waterville Plateau for a variety of groups such as the Elderhostel, North Cascades Institute , The Nature Conservancy, Ice Age Floods Institute, Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center and various other Federal and State agencies, schools and local organizations. On his time off Brent and his family enjoy many activities in the outdoors including fly fishing, X-country skiing, and hiking in the Washington Cascades.  

 

ASTRONOMER TO BE ANNOUNCEd soon


ROCKSTARS TRIP COORDINATOR - PERSON OF CONTACT 

 

Lizziedutchovencooking.jpg

Orion Guide Lizzie Bridges graduated with a degree in Recreation and Environmental Studies from Western Washington University. She is an avid recreational enthusiast, conservationalist, and long-time advocate for environmental stewardship through outdoor and environmental education. In 2015 she started developing this natural history multi-day trip with the mentorship support of owner James Moore. Initial educational outreach was done through Wenatchee River Institute, finally bringing the Rockstars trip to fruition in 2016 (Rockstars name credit goes to James Moore). Rockstars: A Geology and Astronomy Deschutes River Trip is the first of it's kind in the Pacific Northwest. 

 

Please feel free to shoot her an email with your contact information along with any questions you may have regarding the 2018 Rockstars trip!

 

Email: bridges.lizzie@gmail.com


ROCKSTARS 2016-2017 TRIP EDUCATORS

bruce bjornstad.jpg

Bruce Bjornstad is a licensed geologist/hydrogeologist and recently retired as a Senior Research Scientist at Battelle's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He received a Bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s degree in geology from Eastern Washington University.  During his 35-year career he has written numerous documents and reports on the geology of the Northwest as well as two geologic guidebooks on Ice Age floods that transformed the region as recently as 13,000 years ago. Bruce is also the creator of an online YouTube Channel titled: “Ice Age Floodscapes”.  For recreation he enjoys skiing, windsurfing, hiking, and aerial photography. www.BruceBjornstad.com

 

Kelsay Stanton is a licensed geologist who teaches Earth Science courses at Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee, WA as well as owns her own geologic hazard consulting company. She earned her Bachelor's degree at Oregon State University, and her Master's degree at Western Washington University, where she focused on paleoseismicity of central Oregon - that's ancient earthquakes! Kelsay loves to talk to the public about geology and she leads lots of hikes and talks in the Wenatchee area. She and her husband, Ben, live in Leavenworth, WA and spend as much time as they can outside.

 
Cassie Fallscheer.png

Cassie Fallscheer is an astronomer in the physics department at Central Washington University.  She has taught astronomy courses at CWU, Whitman College, and on the Semester At Sea ship while traveling around the world.  Though she has never owned her own telescope, she has used large telescopes in Arizona, Hawaii, Spain, France, and outer space.  She has been heavily involved in astronomy public outreach for most of her adult life.  She is also an avid outdoor enthusiast.


Nick Zentner

Nick has been with CWU Geology since 1992. He teaches a popular "Geology of Washington" course to CWU students every quarter - and his course is open to townspeople for free!

He also teaches "Pacific Northwest Geology", GEOL 351, and Nick is an academic advisor and teaching mentor to most of the students in our program.

Nick's outreach to the general public includes leading the Ellensburg Chapter of the Ice Age Flood Institute, and working on CWU video projects "Central Rocks" and HUGEfloods.com's "2 Minute Geology" and "I-90 Rocks".

Nick has received CWU's Most Inspirational Faculty Award and Presidential Faculty Award. In 2015, Nick received the James Shea Award, a National Association of Geoscience Teachers award that recognizes exceptional delivery of Earth Science content to the general public. Past Shaw Award recipients include Stephen Jay Gould, John McPhee, Jack Horner, and Robert Ballard. For Recreation Nick enjoys hiking, basketball, guitar, and singing in choirs.

 

Got questions? Feel free to email trip planner Lizzie Bridges at bridges.lizzie@gmail.com