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Out & About: Orienteers sponsor instruction, event

John Beck, in yellow, teaches a family how to read an orienteering map. (Rich Landers)
John Beck, in yellow, teaches a family how to read an orienteering map. (Rich Landers)

OUTREACH – A day of orienteering classes and activities geared to novices is set for Saturday to celebrate  National Orienteering Week at the Gonzaga  University campus.

Orienteering is a wild-land navigation race in which participants use a map and a compass to complete a course. The sport is especially popular in Europe.

“This is an easy sport to learn, a great team-building activity, and ideal for families who enjoy the outdoors,” John Beck of the Eastern Washington Orienteering Club said.

More than 60 groups across the country are organizing activities to introduce people to this activity.

The free portion of the event runs from 11 a.m.-noon outdoors on the Gonzaga campus near Jepson Hall.

To get the most out of the day, participants should register with Spokane Parks and Recreation for the Introduction to Orienteering class that begins at 9:30 a.m. or the Orienteering Skills class that starts after the public event at 1 p.m.

Preregister for the formal classes by Wednesday on the Spokane Parks website at

Preregistration is required for those classes but not for the outdoor event.

Contact Beck, 838-7078 or

Idaho lawmaker goes from hike to bike

UPDATE – Idaho state Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, hasn’t given up his plan to travel the length of Idaho this fall by muscle power to promote trails, experience rural areas and raise funds for the Redside Foundation that supports the health of Idaho guides.

But he said a leg injury has forced him to change his plan from hiking the 950-mile Idaho Centennial Trail to continuing on a bicycle. 

His Facebook posts show him biking down the old Lewiston Grade and advancing to Riggins.

On Wednesday, the outdoor educator and climbing guide said, “Left the bike up north, caught a ride to Boise, put on a suit and … headed to interim Energy, Technology and Environment Committee meeting.

“However,” he added, vowing to finish his Idaho end-to-ender, “I am not shaving my face until I get to Nevada!” 

Annual River Clean-up Sept. 28

OUTDO – Some 800-1,000 volunteers are expected for the 11th annual Spokane River Clean-Up on Sept. 28 organized by Friends of the Falls.

Groups and individuals should register online at

Friendly competitions for collecting the most – and the most interesting – junk spices the fun. Lewis and Clark High School won the 2012 high school category competition for the crew’s de-trashing prowess.