Examine everything carefully, hold fast to that which is good.
1 Thess. 5:21

Creation Encounter
2011 Tour Schedule

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Columbia Gorge - Half Day Family Trip – October 1st & 7th, 2011

This half day trip is a great opportunity for families to experience some of the amazing creation evidence right here in the Gorge. Both of the 5½ hour trips are identical and were very popular with homeschool families last June. With 5 or 6 stops we will take short hikes and find petrified wood and collect quartzite rocks transported 300-400 miles by Noah's Flood. We will ponder and discuss the implications of the Flood. We'll also look at some of unique Gorge biology that reveals the hand of our Creator. We will identify the two species of butterfly milkweed in the Gorge and discuss the miraculous migration of the Monarchs.

We will meet at Starbucks by the Hood River Bridge at 9:30 am and return by 3:00 pm. Bring a lunch and water, etc. More details will be sent upon registration. The cost is $25 per vehicle. To register, please call John at (541) 490-3396.

Deschutes Wildlife Hike – April 23, 2011

This is a very popular day trip to study the abundant wildlife and interesting geology of this (usually) sunny area. Led by Steve Hayley and John Hergenrather, this 4-5 mile hike passes through beautiful streamside and sagebrush habitats amidst exposures of the Columbia River basalt. We will identify wildflowers, discover some petrified wood and see portions of the old Oregon Trail, but the emphasis will be on the abundant bird life. So bring binoculars and a bird guide if possible (Steve and John will have a few extras). Instruction will be from a biblical view of origins and earth history.

Cost of this trip is $25 for families or $15 for individuals (includes several great handouts). At 8:00 am we will meet at the south end of the Deschutes River Campground which is 16 miles east of The Dalles. John will send a list of participants to help you make car pooling arrangements if desired. To register please print and fill out the registration form below.

Seven Wonders of the Columbia Gorge Tour – May 7, 2011

Sylvia bird watching while sitting on petrified log
The beautiful Columbia Gorge has a fascinating history we will explore on this exciting tour. Your guide, Dennis Bokovoy, retired college geology professor and member of the Design Science Association, will take you to his favorite gorge places to examine intriguing geology, spectacular views, and spring wildflowers. Travel by comfortable 24 passenger sightseeing bus. Tour will include (1) petrified trees in basalt rock layers, (2) Celilo Falls overlook, (3) Fairbanks Gap Missoula Flood spillway, (4) giant current ripples on a huge "stranded" delta, (5) collect polished quartzite cobbles from the Rocky Mountains, (6) "Mystery Mima Mounds", (7) Mosier Archeological Site and more. Our discussions will compare two different models of earth history, the evolution theory and the creation theory. We will consider how the evidence we are observing in the field fits with these theories.

If you have questions, please call Dennis Bokovoy directly at (541) 386-2223. Register early, the bus will fill quickly. The tour cost is $40 per person. To register also please print, fill out, and send the registration form below with payment to Dennis. An itinerary and a list of what to bring will be provided on registration.

More Wonders of the Gorge Tour – April 30, 2011

In the comfort of a small tour bus, we will explore several wonders of the eastern Mid-Columbia. We will begin by considering the three catastrophic floods that shaped the Gorge. Other highlights will include collecting quartzite cobbles stranded on plateaus (above the Missoula Flood level), and pondering the process that transported them from over 300 miles away. Speculate on the origin of the mysterious "dry falls," tributary to the Klickitat Canyon. Identify spring wildflowers including butterfly milkweed and discuss the miraculous monarch migration. Observe rare plants and migratory waterfowl in Conboy Lake National Refuge in the beautiful Glenwood Valley.

As we consider these mysteries, we will be comparing two different views of earth history: the evolution theory and the creation/Flood theory. We will discuss how the evidence we see in the field fits with both of these theories. Cost of this tour is $35 per person. We will meet at Starbucks by the Hood River Bridge at 9:00 am and return by 5:00 pm. More details will be sent upon registration. To register, please fill out the form below. Your completed registration form and payment will hold your place on the tour.

John Day Fossil Hunting Camping Trip – July 7-10, 2011

On this four-day camping adventure we will find new fossil hunting areas and have plenty of time for fun and fellowship. Beautiful scenery, rich fossil deposits and fascinating geology make the John Day area an excellent outdoor classroom. We will discuss the story that the fossils themselves tell about pre-flood life on earth and the catastrophic conditions that buried them.

Our base-camp will be at the pleasant Fish House Inn, tent and RV Park in Dayville, OR. Participants pay for their own lodging or camping fees. RV sites or Inn rooms must be reserved a month ahead by participants (www.fishhouseinn.com, (541) 987-2124). Tent campers need no reservations. The cost of $145 per family/vehicle includes four days of guiding and instruction, plus educational fieldbooks useful for kids, and a guidebook co-authored by your guides John Hergenrather and Dennis Bokovoy. To register, print and follow instructions on the registration form below. Upon registration, an itinerary and more details will be provided.

The Forgotten Corner - Southeastern Oregon
Sept 11-17, 2011

Remote SE Oregon has never been a popular tourism destination, yet it's certainly not lacking in natural and historical wonders. This family outing will be a joint venture with Foundations in Genesis of Idaho (FIGI) and Design Science Association (DSA). We will enjoy expert instruction in geology from Brent Carter of FIGI and biology from Steve Hayley of DSA and some history and archeology from John of DSA. Expect five full days of: exploring pluvial lake Indian sites and petroglyphs, the high Steens Mountains (heavily glaciated not long ago), the strange Southwest desert plants and animals of the Alvord desert and its many hot springs, interesting ranches and settlement history, the hardy Kiger wild mustangs (from Spanish descent), and incredible birds of all sorts that you have never seen before! Expect to make new friends, find a few obsidian arrowhead chips and some thundereggs or invertebrate fossils.

This excursion is a unique learning opportunity. Our dinners will NOT be served at the Malheur Field Station Dining Hall as originally planned. The cost of $35 for adults and $15 for children (ages 4-12) includes educational field books useful for kids, plus 6½ days of guiding and instruction. Meals, camping or lodging arrangements must be made by participants themselves. Many will tent at nearby The Narrows RV Park (800-403-3294, www.narrowsrvpark.com). There are also several lodging options available at the M.F.S. (www.malheurfieldstation.org) Call 541-493-2629 to make reservations. To register, print and follow instructions on the registration form below. Upon registration, you will receive an itinerary and more trip details. Your registration plus the fees will reserve your place on this tour.

Death Valley Natural History Tour – November 1-7, 2011

Our largest national Park, Death Valley is a treasure house of unique biology, geology and great star gazing. Brent Carter and Van Wingerden, an ICR graduate, will help us understand the Valley's exciting and bold geology. Velma Brunt will bring to life the Valley's fascinating and colorful history. John will host star gazing and point out some amazing biology found only in Death Valley. We will make Furnace Creek Ranch campground our "base camp" (with their swimming pools heated by hot springs). Some of us will opt for a room in the motel. Come and enjoy times of excellent creation teaching, inspiring devotions and "warm" Christian fellowship. Check Registration Form for more details.

Natural History of New Zealand Tour – February, 2012

Less than 1,000 years ago the Maoris discovered NZ and found virtually no mammals on the islands. The late arrival of humans plus many other biological oddities are very difficult to explain with an evolutionary mind set. However, many possibilities open up when you accept the Genesis record as accurate history. John and Rhea's good New Zealand friends, the Garratts will be our guides on this Natural History Tour of the North and South Islands.

Plans are progressing nicely for touring New Zealand February 3-17, 2012. The plan is to fly together, but participants must book their own airline tickets. So participants will pay their air fare and all but two of their own meals. All other expenses will be covered in the land costs for the tour which will be $4,000 for the two weeks. This fee includes all tour guiding, organization and arrangements, entry fees, land transportation costs, land accommodations, a Maori Hangi feast, and a farewell banquet.

Part of the group will be our friends from the Boise "FIGI" Creation Group. If you intend to join us on this tour, please register with us by this July 1, 2011. There are many arrangements and reservations still to be secured, which depends on our numbers. When we have your registration and deposit (see below), we will send you more details plus a tentative itinerary. Hope to hear from you soon.

John and Velma