In October 2011 I attended an OASL Conference in Seaside, Oregon. A friend and I were walking along the beach when I noticed an odd look about the shoreline. On closer inspection it appeared that a freighter had spilled some oil and I freaked out. We proceeded to find other evidence of humanity's often blase attitude toward, nature, aesthetics...and personal responsibility. When I returned to the hotel room I googled the Seaside coast line and discovered to my surprise that the ugly tide was in fact a bloom of diatoms...a naturally occurring phenomenon. My annoyance at humanity in general was abated some, but I was still left disturbed by THE UGLIEST beach walk I've ever had along the Oregon Coast.
In the slide show below I fancied myself a photojournalist composing an essay out of human...and nature's detritus.
Always a work in progress, here's a potential outline for use in classrooms and campgrounds on the formation of the Columbia River Gorge. Blank slides are intended for additional meaningful pictures, which I have not inserted at this time, although the Sabertooth pictures are complete...
As a student at The University of Oregon I attended this event every year when it came to town. I would like to take a group of tudents eventually to view the film festival when it comes to the PDX area. This event is always wildly popular, so we'll need to purchase tickets as soon as they come out the last week of March or first week of April. See the link below for a taste of what it's all about.
Only in Oregon do you snowshoe with an umbrella...or could if you aren't an Oregonian and don't harbor a slight disdain for umbrellas--as many Oregonians are apt to do. Five students braved the decidedly un-winter-like temperatures (mid 40s) and drizzle for a walk in the woods at Government Camp Monday, the day before Finals Week. The O'Leary Family graciously opened their cabin to the group, providing pizza and hot chocolate after students learned about the fickle nature of snowshoe bindings and worked up an appetite over what ended up being a two to three mile trek. The event was free and the Outdoor Club provided most of the snowshoes. The snow was dirty and crunchy, an icy slop compared to the ideal--fresh, dry powder. Alas, the students enjoyed themselves despite the conditions and a bit of sledding was squeezed in as well.
Four VCS freshman ventured forth to Smith Rock State Park this past weekend to brave November temps and test their novice rock climbing knowledge against 'Rope de Dope,' Smith's 40 ft. boulder block. "It's intense!" agree the foursome. Guided by Matt Spohn, a professional guide and climber from Stoneworks Climbing Gym in Beaverton, the students were joined by VCS Staff Ms. Gapp (Librarian) and Ms. Fellows (Library Assistant).
Arriving in late afternoon the group tackled a couple of routes and then headed for Skull Hollow Campground for ghost stories, burnt marshmallows, and pizza--after their Coleman stove refused to boil water for pasta. Swapping anecdotes around the campfire, students enjoyed the comraderie of a small group while alternately dodging the smoke monster and doing battle with the cold by squeezing HotHands warmers.
The following morning brought a light skiff of snow...or chunky rain, depending on your perspective. Spohn led a hike over Misery Ridge for a view of the distant Marsupial Group, a basalt canyon, irrigation canal, and the much photographed Monkey Face, a free-standing 350 foot pillar with some of the most challenging climbing routes in the world. The afternoon provided another opportunity to tackle Rope de Dope and 'Shamu,' a 5.9 1 pitch sport route.
Students had prepared for the trip by attending free climbing lessons (subsidized by Outdoor Club funds) conducted in the Eagle's Gym on campus (home to a modest climbing wall), and trips to the Stoneworks Climbing Gym. Safety precautions learned at the gym were implemented in the field, enhanced by the use of helmets. Students also practiced their knowledge of belaying, knot-tying, and wilderness ethics.
The four student participants look forward to future outdoor club outings and encourage others to join them. Be sure to check out the VCS Outdoor Club's Flickr photostream, which includes photos from the trip.
We are learning basic Rock Climbing skills this month:
Download/Print the Stoneworks Climbing gym waiver below in order to participate. All our hard work will culminate in an overnight trip to Smith Rock next month, November 12th and 13th (Friday and Saturday).
Tue. Oct. 12 Rock Climbing Lesson 3:30pm Eagle’s Gym @ VCS Free!
Class until 4:30pm
Thu. Oct. 14 Bus to Stoneworks Climbing Gym. Meet in Library 3:30pm $6/$8 Return to VCS at aprox. 5:15pm
Tue. Oct. 19th Rock Climbing Lesson 3:30pm Eagle’s Gym @ VCS
Class until 4:30pm
Thu. Oct. 21st to Stoneworks Climbing Gym. Meet in Library 3:30pm
$6/$8 Return to VCS aprox. 5:15pm
Tue. Oct. 26th 2:30pm Rock Climbing Eagle’s Gym @ VCS(different time due to Conferences) Class until 3:30pm
Thu. Oct. 28th Bus to Stoneworks Climbing Gym. Meet in Library 3:30pm $6/$8 Return to VCS aprox. 5:15pm
Black, Teresa. (2010). One Pan Wonders: Backcountry cooking at its finest. http://www.onepanwonders.com/backpackingmenus.htm
Conners, Christine. (2000). Lip Smackin’ Backpackin’: Lightweight, trail-tested recipes for backcountry trips.
KirkconnellSarah, Svien. (2007). Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple. http://www.trailcooking.com/
March, Laurie Ann. (2007). Fork in the trail: mouthwatering meals and tempting treats for the backcountry.
Pearson, Claudia. NOLS Backcountry Cooking: Creative menu planning for short trips.
Yaffe, Linda Frederick. (2002). Backpack Gourmet: Good hot grub you can make at home, dehydrate, and pack for quick, easy, and healthy eating on the trail.
Gear lists are personal; however, there are basic elements--like the 10 essentials--that should be universal across all lists. The other key component of trip planning and listmaking include personal circumstance (example: I wear contact lenses), seasonal consideration, and activity. The following gear lists are meant to serve as a guide. As you gain experience you will develop systems that work for you and accumulate lists of your own...
3 Season Backpack Gear List
First Aid Checklist
Caving Gear List
Day Hike Gear List
Desert Backpack Gear List
Mountain Bike Gear List
Mountaineering Gear List
Paddling Gear List (canoeing, rafting, sea kayaking)
Rock Climbing Gear List (beginner's guide)
Climbing Gear List: Smith Rock (from the Mazamas)
Smith Rock Overnight Climbing Trip (November 2010)
Snow Tour & Camp Gear List (Nordic & alpine skiing, snowboarding)
Ultralight Backpack Gear List
Banff Mountain Festivals & Culture
Promoting understanding and appreciation of the world’s mountain places by creating opportunities for people to share and find inspiration in mountain experiences, ideas and challenges.
GORP: Great Outdoor Recreation Pages
Pro: A well established adventure and outdoor related site. Lots of in-depth features and globe-trekking travel ideas. Con: excessive advertising.
National Geographic Society
Their mission: to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources.
Nature of the Northwest
An information center for nature and recreation in Oregon and Washington.
The Student Conservation Association
SCA members help to protect vital habitats, threatened wildlife, and other at-risk resources in our nation’s parks, forests and urban green spaces.
Serving in the PC will earn you federal job points, giving you a leg up when applying for a federal job
Apply for BLM, NPS, USFWS, USFS, USGS, EPA, etc...
Outdoor Ed & Interpretation Blog
"Now I see the making of the best persons, it is to grow in the open air and eat and sleep with the earth."