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Bus Tours

May 12, 2018 – 9 am to 5 pm
Grand Coulee Tour
$45, $40 members

The Grand Coulee Ice Age Floods tour loop begins in Soap Lake and continues north to Lake Lenore Caves, Dry Falls Interpretive Center, Sims Corner, Electric City, Banks Lake, Northrup Canyon, Coulee City, Summer Falls, and Ephrata.

An overview of the catastrophic Ice Age Floods story and Soap Lake’s unique waters will be given.  From Soap Lake two stops in the lower Grand Coulee will include Lenore Caves and Dry Falls.  At Lenore Caves the unique nature of the Columbia Basalt lava flows and its erosion will be discussed.  Ample time will be allowed at Dry Falls (WA State Parks) to walk through the interpretive center.

Next a brief stop to overview Dry Falls and the mouth of upper Grand Coulee will be done before driving up onto the Waterville Plateau to observe glacial features/deposits left by the Okanogan Lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet.  Eskers, kames, moraines, kettles and erratics will be some of the glacial landforms observed.

Crown Point just north of Grand Coulee Dam will be the last stop before lunch.  The interaction between Ice Age flooding and the Okanogan Ice Lobe will be discussed.

In the afternoon the tour will have a stop near Northrup Canyon and travel south through Coulee City to Summer Falls.  The last stop will be at “Monster Rock” on the Ephrata “Expansion” Fan.  This area was visited by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the 1990’s prior to sending rovers to study Martian landscapes.

 

June 9, 2018 – 9 am to 5 pm
Native Heritage Tour – Journey to the Methow with Randy Lewis
$55, $50 members

This new tour features the homeland of the Methow Tribe with stops at culturally significant locations in the Methow River Valley including the new Pateros Park, the blue stone quarries at Alta Lake, traditional fishing and root vegetable gathering sites, the Methow Valley Interpretive Center and the Washington pass overlook of Liberty Bell or Broken Tooth.

Tribal elder Randy Lewis is the guide for this tour.

Those lucky enough to grab a seat on Lewis’ tour will be treated to a glimpse of what it was like to grow up with a strong understanding and sense of place within Native American Columbia Plateau indigenous society. Lewis traces his roots to the Wenatchi band. His life experience includes fishing at Celilo Falls before waters from the construction of The Dalles Dam inundated the Columbia River site, putting an end to an 11,000-year-old 9-mile-long indigenous fishery. Besides Wenatchee Heights and Celilo Falls, Lewis lived with extended family in Okanagan County and Ellensburg. All of those different experiences contribute to the wealth of knowledge he is eager to share.

Lewis’ enthusiasm for the history of his people, the stories of his ancestors and their relation to the surrounding landscape comes from a hope for deeper understanding and respect of ancient cultures.

He hopes that deeper appreciation will transcend to how people approach the discovery of Native American artifacts.

“It was not uncommon to stumble across artifacts in the orchards when I was a kid,” Lewis said. “Columbia River lithography is just incredible and prolific. We were always uncovering points, arrowheads, beautiful jasper pieces. We learned from the elders to put them back where we found them, apologize for the disturbance and cover them back up.”

 

July 14, 2018 – 9 am to 5 pm
Lake Wenatchee Geology Tour
$45, $40 members

This is geologic tour in the Leavenworth area, up the Wenatchee River valley to Lake Wenatchee. We’ll look at everything from the local bedrock to the fluvial (stream) processes at work on the Icicle and Wenatchee Rivers, to the glacial features from both the Icicle Creek and Lake Wenatchee Glaciers. We’ll see the Leavenworth fault, identify glacial moraines, discuss how streams change with time, and examine 90 million old igneous rocks and even older metamorphic rocks!

 

Aug. 11, 2018 – 9 am to 5 pm
Wenatchee to Roslyn Geology Tour
$45, $40 members

The Wenatchee/Roslyn tour begins in Wenatchee and continues west on US-2/97 to look at the geology of the Wenatchee Valley.  Then the route will turn south on US-97 where the local geology (Ingalls Complex-green serpentine) and old town site of Blewett mine history will be discussed.  An additional stop further south along US-97 will be to look at the Swauk Formation conglomerate/sandstone and Teanaway Basalts (dikes).

From the Blewett Pass area the trip will head south and west to Cle Elum and Roslyn where the coal mine history of the area will be discussed.  Lunch time will be provided in Roslyn to explore the local museum and eat.  A trip to the local cemetery where many factions of ethnic groups are buried.

In the afternoon the tour will include a stop at the Wild Horse Wind Farm (Renewable Energy Center) located east of Ellensburg, Washington before returning to Wenatchee.

 

Sept. 8, 2018 – 9 am to 5 pm
Railroad History Tour
$45, $40 members

On March 1, 1910, the deadliest avalanche in North American history swept down the snowy Cascades, burying two trains and killing 96 people. The Wenatchee Valley Museum is offering a guided tour of the Wellington site from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. The tour also will visit several other sites between Leavenworth and Stevens Pass that played important roles in the history of the Great Northern Railway Company.

Historian and museum curator Melanie Wachholder of Wenatchee will lead the tour. Tour goers will meet at the Wenatchee Valley Museum at 9 a.m. to board a tour bus. The bus will then will travel west on U.S. Highway 2, stopping for discussion at different points of interest. The final stop will be the interpretive site at Wellington, where participants will have lunch and take a half-mile walk around the area of the disaster.

 

Sept. 15, 2018 – 9 am to 5 pm
Ice Age Floods Geological Trails Tour
$45, $40 members

The bus tour will follow the large loop described in the Wenatchee Valley Ice Age Floods Geological Trails map, available at the museum and the Wenatchee Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and will explore the tremendous legacy of the ice age floods, a major player in the geologic landscape of North Central Washington.

Guests on the tour will see the evidence of a series of raging floods so powerful that towering waves studded with glacial icebergs tossed giant boulders downstream like pebbles, irreversibly altering the terrain, carrying eroded soil more than 500 miles to the ocean.

Star attractions on the tour include Three Devils Cataracts, Moses Coulee, Haystack Rocks, Brewster’s Grand Terrace, the Withrow Morraine and the Dry Falls Interpretive Center. If time allows, the bus will stop at the Waterville Museum.

 

Oct. 13, 2018 – 9 am to 5 pm
Yakima River Canyon Geology
$45, $40

The Umptanum Ridge Water Gap, also known as the Yakima River Canyon is the main feature of this geology tour. Guests will explore some spectacularly beautiful and rugged terrain while learning the unique and powerful natural forces at work in the landscape. Learn how the rule of geologic precedence sets the stage for a flat-land meandering river to become a frozen-in-place meander at the bottom of a deep canyon surrounded by the Manastash, Umtanum, Yakima and Ahtanum ridge tops. Besides visiting locations in the canyon, the tour will stop at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center at Vantage. Talking points include glacial moraines, ancient volcanoes, Yakima fold belt, anticlines, synclines, Columbia River and Ellensburg formation basalt flows.