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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Geocache Challenge organized by Pend Oreille County

GEOCACHING — The Pend Oreille County Geocaching Challenge will debut this month to show off some of the drive up and hike-in treasures in the northeast corner of Washington.

The challenge is being organized so experienced geocachers can jump into the game. With 25 geocaches to find, the challenge ought to take about two days to complete.

Newcomers also can get up to speed with primer events set for July 18:

9 a.m. — Event start
10 - 10:30 a.m. —  Intro to Geocaching Class
10:30 a.m. — Challenge Caches Announced
11 - noon — Intro to Geocaching Class

Get your passports for the challenge via the link on the event page (soon to be posted) or at the event.

There will be 50 Geocache Coins made for the event available for each correctly completed passport; one coin per household. (More coins may be ordered later.)

Camping available at the event location for $10 a night.

Booths from the county and local organizations will be on site.

Click here for  Pend Oreille County Park and Lodging

DNR updates public land quad maps

NAVIGATION — Three updated maps detailing roads, property boundaries, trails, recreation sites, and other information about public lands have been published by the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Names of the maps and the areas they cover are Chewelah, Mount Baker and Mount Adams.

Washington state public lands quadrangle maps are popular with hunters, backcountry hikers and others who use public lands for outdoor recreation. The maps also are used by emergency responders.

Each full-color printed map shows the landscape in a 1:100,000 scale (1 inch equals approximately 1.6 miles) and covers an area of about 1,600 square miles. Featuring shaded relief to indicate terrain, the 26” x 37” maps show highways, roads, trails, water features, wildlife areas, and other key features.

Outdoor recreation enthusiasts can use the maps to locate public lands managed by DNR, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the State Parks and Recreation Commission, as well as lands managed by federal and other public agencies.

The public lands quadrangle maps are part of a series of 50 maps that DNR publishes. The maps are available for $9 each, plus sales tax, for Washington state residents.

The maps can be purchased online

Orienteering event for public at Mirabeau Park

NAVIGATION —The Eastern Washington Orienteering Club will be celebrating National Orienteering Week on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Mirabeau Point in Spokane Valley. 

In addition to the outdoor event, there will be two classes on orienteering, an introductory class and an advanced skills class, offered through the City of Spokane Valley Parks & Recreation Department.

Introduction to Orienteering, 9:30 a.m.-noon: Discover the sport of orienteering, navigating over unfamiliar trails and terrain using a map and compass.  Classroom instruction from 9:30 am to 11 am followed by an opportunity to test your new skills on the outdoor course.

Orienteering Skills, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m: Classroom instruction and outdoor practice of map and compass skills for intermediate and advanced orienteering courses.  This class is intended for people who are already familiar with topographic maps and the use of the compass or who are also taking the Introduction to Orienteering Class.

The $14 fee for each class includes the outdoor courses.  Preregistration by Thursday, Sept. 25, is required for the classes but not for the outdoor event.

Both classes will meet in Center Place, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley.   Note that parking for the orienteering event is at the Center Place parking lot; the Mirabeau Meadows parking lot in the north part of the park will be full due to another event that day.

Orienteers invite newbies to Manito Park course

ORIENTEERING — The Eastern Washington Orienteering Club's first event of 2014 is set for Saturday, Feb. 22, at Manito Park (18th and Grand) in Spokane.

This is a great map, compass and exercise activity for the whole family. Using maps and compass, you must find your way to check points around the park.  Top orienteers will run the course.  Others can map it a group problem-solving trek.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. The event starts at noon. 

Cost: $5 for anyone on the beginner course and for members on any course and $7 for nonmembers on advanced courses; $3 for each additional map for a group or family.  

Info: John Harbuck, (208) 263-9894; John Beck, (509) 838-7078, or e-mail beck@gem.gonzaga.edu.

Orienteers invite families to navigate through Manito Park


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ORIENTEERING — The Eastern Washington Orienteering Club will celebrate haunting season in the sixth annual Vampire O event Saturday (Oct. 26) at Manito Park.

Participants will search for control points by headlamp or flashlight, but they must be constantly on the lookout for "vampires" who can rob them of points and cause them to turn to the dark side themselves.

  • Register starting at 6 p.m.  Mass start at 6:30 p.m.
  • Meet near the parking lot off Grand Avenue at 18th Street.

Bring the family and dress for Halloween fun. 

Orienteering classes, event offered in Spokane

NAVIGATION – A day of orienteering classes and activities geared to novices is set for Sept. 21 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.

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

The group is among 61 clubs across the country organizing activities to introduce people to this active sport that requires the mind to be fully engaged.

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

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. and-or the  Orienteering Skills class that starts after the public activity at 1 p.m.

Preregister for the formal classes by Wednesday, Sept. 18.

  • The orienteering classes are listed under “adults: outdoor – hiking.” Preregistration is required for those classes but not for the outdoor event.

Contact: John Beck – (509) 838-7078 or beck@jepson.gonzaga.edu

Author revives art of naturally finding your way

NAVIGATION — Long before GPS, Google Earth, and global transit, humans traveled vast distances using only environmental clues and simple instruments.

John Huth, Harvard physics professor and author of The Lost Art of Finding Our Way, says we can still do it.

Anyone who ventures outdoors should at least check out this book and ponder the consequences of allowing modern technology to substitute for our innate capacity to find our way. 

  • The Vikings navigated using the sunstone to detect polarization of sunlight.
  • Arab traders learned to read the wind for direction.
  • Pacific Islanders used underwater lightning and “read” waves to guide their explorations. 

 Even today, careful observation of the sun and moon, tides and ocean currents, moss on trees, weather and atmospheric effects can be all we need to find our way.

Orienteers invite families to navigate through Manito Park


View Larger Map

ORIENTEERING — The Eastern Washington Orienteering Club will celebrate haunting season in the fifth annual Vampire O event Saturday (Oct. 20) at Manito Park.

Participants will search for control points by headlamp or flashlight, but they must be constantly on the lookout for "vampires" who can rob them of points and cause them to turn to the dark side themselves.

  • Register starting at 6 p.m.  Mass start at 6:30 p.m.
  • Meet near the parking lot off Grand Avenue at 18th Street.

Bring the family and dress for Halloween fun. 

Sign up: test drive an outdoor sport at Sekani Adventure Day

OUTDOOR SPORTS — Maybe you'd like to try a traditional sport, such as canoeing or kayaking, or maybe you're curious about more modern sports such as geocaching, slacklining or stand-up paddling.

Sekani Adventure Day — Saturday (July 21) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — at Camp Sekani Conservaton Area off Upriver Drive is the perfect opportunity. Try out a new sport while getting instruction and the chance to try a huge variety of outdoor equipment.

The event is sponsored by Spokane Parks and Recreation and boosted by volunteers from a variety of outdoor groups. Other sports covered include mountain biking, letterboxing, paddle rafting, archery, map and compass navigation, scrambling and maybe rock climbing this year

Nothing is sold at this event. It's strictly try it and see if you like it.

Where: Camp Sekani Conservation Area, 6707 E. Upriver Dr. See map.

Cost: $9 pre-registration or $15 at the gate.

Get more info and pre-register online, or call 625-6200.

Sekani Adventure Day offers chance to try 11 outdoor sports

OUTDOOR SPORTS — Maybe you'd like to try a traditional sport, such as canoeing or kayaking, or maybe you're curious about more modern sports such as geocaching, slacklining or stand-up paddling.

Sekani Adventure Day — July 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — at Camp Sekani Conservaton Area off Upriver Drive is the perfect opportunity. Try out a new sport while getting instruction and the chance to try a huge variety of outdoor equipment.

The event is sponsored by Spokane Parks and Recreation and boosted by volunteers from a variety of outdoor groups.  Other sports covered include mountain biking, letterboxing, paddle rafting, archery, map and compass navigation, scrambling and maybe rock climbing this year

Nothing is sold at this event. It's strictly try it and see if you like it.

Where: Camp Sekani Conservation Area, 6707 E. Upriver Dr. See map.

Cost: $9 pre-registration or $15 at the gate.

Get more info and pre-register online or call 625-6200.

Fly fishing, map and compass and wetlands on outdoor event schedule

OUTDOOR PROGRAMS — Here's a few outdoor programs to consider catching this week:

Fly fishing – “Match the Hatch Simplified,” free program by Oregon fly-fishing author Dave Hughes, 7 p.m., Wednesday (Feb. 8) at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, hosted by the Spokane Fly Fishers.

Map and compass – Free seminar on basics of reading a map and applying a compass for navigation, 7 p.m., Thursday (Feb. 9), at REI. Pre-register here to assure a spot.

Wetlands – The Pullman chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual fund-raising banquet for wetlands conservation on Feb. 12 at the Paradise Creek Brewery in Pullman. Tickets: Joe Ford (509) 872-3030.