Watchable Fauna and Flora Too!
Ideal time for this tour is Spring or Fall when the migration of fowl is the heaviest.
This tour involves outside activities including walking trails and water passage. Knowledgeable guides will be accompanying the group at all times during the day. Passengers should have with them: camera with telephoto lens; binoculars, insect repellent, sun screen, waterproof jacket with hood, waterproof boots or closed toe shoes.
Day One – Discoveries on the Discovery Trail
The Discovery Trail is one of the most scenic in the Pacific Northwest with outstanding views of the ocean, grassy dunes and forest groves. Much of the trail is made up of a former railroad corridor that had not seen a train on its tracks since the era of the Great Depression. As it’s named for Lewis and Clark’s explorative trek here more than 200 years ago, there are several bronze sculptures along the tail that commemorate the expedition. Keep a sharp eye and camera ready for wildlife such as deer, bald eagles shorebirds. The Pacific Coast is known for its lighthouses, and today, one will be able to view 2 of them. A picnic lunch will be awaiting you at Red Lake Trailhead. The afternoon will find you continuing your journey with a trek to Beard’s Hollow, a place of history and beauty. Your motor coach will meet you and your guide at the Port of Ilwaco and return to the lodging facility. Dinner this evening will be in a restaurant known for its historical nautical displays.
Day Two – Day of the Condor
To set the tone and understand the history and culture of the ‘Beach’ Communities, a visit to the regional museum is a must. It is here that one fully begins to understand the culture of the Native Americans that thrived in this area….and were trading with the white man, long before Lewis and Clark arrived in 1805. One will hear phrases such as: Clamshell Railroad, coastal villages; cranberries and Canoe People just to mention a few of the displays that are on view all related by your personal docent. Next stop – the Port of Ilwaco with a view of the life size sculpture of the California Condor with a nine foot wing span of sitting on top of the ribs of a whale. This was the bird that was seen by the Expedition and recorded in their journals as “a vulture of the large kind” in 1805. Ready for another adventure? For the next 2.5 hours, you will see the sights and hear the sounds on the Columbia River Estuary – by water! This tour is narrated by one of the Pacific Northwest Living Historians. Upon returning to the docks lunch in any of the pier restaurants will tickle your taste buds! Your motor coach will be waiting for you, and the next stop is an interpretive center devoted entirely to the Expedition. But what set this attraction apart is the interactive and flora and fauna displays depicting their route from Missouri westward. Nothing is more relaxing than the scent of lavender; and for your afternoon repast, lavender tea and cookies served in beautifully landscaped gardens before your trip back to Long Beach and your hotel. Dinner this evening will be at another local favorite…famous for the seafood (usually fresh caught) and their sizeable portions!
Day Three – Straight to the Point!
Meet the King of Oysters ~ Mr. Dan Driscoll, CFO (Chief Food Officer) of the Willabay company. He raises oysters on 220 acres of tidelands around the bay. His story is incredible but when he shucks that oyster you stand there in amazement. A walk through this historic village is a step back in time. Your guide is a direct descendent of the pioneer that inhabited the area when oysters brought $1.00 each to the ‘rich and famous’ of San Francisco. Yes that was the ‘gold rush’ of Oysterville in the 1800’s. A delicious box lunch will be served to you in the historic school house. Cameras and binoculars ready for the treks ahead. A guided tour of Leadbetter Point is on the agenda for this afternoon. It is Washington’s wildest coastal lands outside of Olympic National Park. Undeveloped and untrammeled, over 3000 acres of dunes, salt marshes, and a maritime forest and more than 8 miles of vehicle-free ocean and bay beaches are protected in the national wildlife refuge. It is here that one might sight bear, deer or otter, but watch for the protected Western Snowy Plover! Dinner this evening will be at another of the local’s favorite restaurants.
Day Four – Art; Canoe and You
The Willapa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to protect migrating and wintering populations of brant, waterfowl, shorebirds and other migratory birds and their habitats. It is located in Willapa Bay, one of the most pristine estuaries in the U.S. and is the second largest estuary on the Pacific coast. Today, you will be discovering its many habitats. The day begins with a Ranger talk at the station, then a trek on an art discovery trail, followed by a picnic lunch at the Station and ending the day with a guided canoe trip to the island to view more wildlife. Your evening repast will be at a chef owned restaurant…and I know you won’t be disappointed!
In conclusion, one doesn’t think that a peninsula that is less 100 miles long and less than 50 miles wide could contain such a diverse terrain, cultures, flora and fauna….and yet, that is exactly what the Long Beach Peninsula does…and it is here for you to discover!