At Science Getaways, our goal is to offer fun and relaxing vacations combined with science and learning – and maybe a little adventure thrown in as well. This June, we’ve got a Getaway that’s the best of all of these: Volcanoes! As always, we’re bringing a team of scientists along to teach us about this amazing place.
Everyone’s favorite explosive geologic phenomena are the inspiration for Science Ranch 2013. This vacation is ideal for singles, couples, and families. There’s something for everybody – whether you’re a science enthusiast, or just traveling with one. Our next Getaway will be June 25-30, 2013 at the gorgeous Brasada Ranch in Powell Butte, Oregon.
UPDATE – Science Ranch 2013 is now full and registration is closed. If you would like to be on our waiting list to fill any cancellations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Brasada Ranch
Brasada Ranch is a beautiful vacation resort northeast of Bend, Orgeon that offers panoramic views of the Cascades Mountains to the west and sagebrush prairies to the east. More to the point, look south for a clear view of the ancient volcanic calderas of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument! Brasada offers luxury resort amenities in a relaxed Pacific Northwest style. The location is ideal for experiencing all the science, outdoor adventure, and beer that the Bend area is known for. Visit Brasada’s website to learn more.
Fun Things We’ll Do
We’ll kick off our week of fun and learning by gathering around the fire pit on Tuesday evening, June 25, where we’ll make gourmet S’mores and meet our fellow Science Ranchurians (a term invented by past Science Getaways guest Kathleen from Australia). After we’ve had our fill of gooey, chocolaty treats, astronomer Phil Plait will break out his 8″ Celestron telescope to give us our first in-depth look at the stars. Or you can skip the telescope and just lie back on a blanket. The skies are dark at Brasada and the Milky Way can be seen overhead easily with the naked eye.
Our first full day at Brasada will begin with a group breakfast followed by a geology primer by our SG geologist, Holly Brunkal. Holly is an Oregon native who specializes in studying geologic hazards like volcanic eruptions, so she’s the perfect scientist to teach us about Oregon and its explosive geologic history. Throughout the week, Holly will lead us on discovery walks and show us evidence of the region’s volcanic past and present.
The rest of the week will be filled with activities on and off the ranch. There will be ecology walks where we’ll learn about the local wildlife and natural history from Jack Newkirk, Brasada’s resident naturalist. Jack will lead us around the ranch to discover how the native plants, wildlife, and people have learned to thrive in the high desert ecosystem. Of course, we’ll also take every opportunity to bring out Phil’s telescope and explore the night sky. The Sun will be at the peak of its sunspot cycle, so we’ll try for some daytime solar observing as well.
Two optional field trips, guided by Wanderlust Tours, will be offered for an additional fee. The first will be a canoeing trip to Sparks Lake, a breathtaking high Cascade lake formed by an ancient volcanic caldera. The second field trip, also led by Wanderlust Tours, will take us to the incredible Newberry National Volcanic Mounument. Newberry sits within the 17 square mile caldera of an enormous volcano. Here we’ll see cinder cones and fields of hardened obsidian flows. We’ll also go spelunking in a lava cave and experience a delicate ecosystem that few people ever see. We have a list and descriptions of all the optional activities on the Registration Info page.
Hungry for some local flavor? On Thursday evening, you’ll have time to head into Bend to explore this lovely, fun and funky city on the Deschutes River. Bend has a vibrant restaurant and beer scene as well as lots of fascinating shops and a beautiful riverfront park. For those who want an excellent meal in an historic Bend restaurant, we’ve arranged for group seating at the Pine Tavern Restaurant. The Pine Tavern has a phenomenal menu featuring local seafood and exceptional prime rib and steaks. If you’re more interested in great beer and pub fare, you can meet up with other Ranchurians at the Deschutes Brewery Public House. Deschutes is one of the most famous breweries in the Pacific Northwest and here you’ll get to try their diverse variety of brews. If you’re not a beer drinker, try some great local wines or their housemade root beer and ginger ale.
After a satisfying week of exploring, playing, and relaxing, we’ll end our adventure with a farewell group cookout dinner at Brasada on Saturday night. See the Science Ranch 2013 Schedule for everything we’ve got planned during for our amazing week of adventure and discovering.
If you don’t feel like canoeing or caving, there’s plenty to do right at Brasada Ranch, which offers dozens of ways to fill your day. You could spend an afternoon sipping a margarita by the pool, enjoying the waterfall, tube slide, and lazy river. If you want to be a little more active, rent a bike to explore the miles of trails around the ranch, take a ride at the Brasada Equestrian Center, or play a few holes on the gorgeous golf course. All guests will have access to Brasada’s amazing fitness center and daily fitness classes at no charge.
After an active day, you’ll really enjoy a soak in one of Brasada’s several hot tubs, or pamper yourself at the full service spa. Available on-ranch activities include helicopter tours (or you could take a helicopter flying lesson!), fly fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding and lessons, tennis, volleyball, lawn games, and archery. Many of these activities incur an extra charge, but Science Getaways guests will receive a 10% discount on all recreation and rental fees. Visit Brasada’s recreation page to see everything that’s available.
The Hideout is the designated refuge at Brasada Ranch for young adults and kids, offering arts and crafts, ping pong, air hockey, foosball, a climbing wall, snowboard simulator, video games, a younger kids’ playground, and more. For parents who want a day to themselves, Brasada offers Outlaw Camp, a supervised day camp for children age 5 and older. Brasada’s recreation staff are all trained naturalists in various fields, and they emphasize exploration and learning for the kids in Outlaw Camp.
Brasada Ranch offers two types of accommodations: Ranch House Suites, which are traditional hotel style rooms in the main lodge, and Sage Canyon Cabins. The cabins offer 2 or 3 bedrooms with full granite kitchen, dining area, deck with gas grill, living room with fireplace and television, master bedroom suite and separate second and third bedrooms. These cabins are modern and spacious and perfect for a family to stretch out for a week. Some even have their own hot tubs! You can bring your own supplies to stock the kitchen and enjoy meals in your home away from home. The second bedroom has its own own bathroom and kitchenette, and can be locked off from the main unit, so two singles or couples could share a cabin with complete privacy and save a bit of money.
Brasada has two restaurant options – The Ranch House and The Range. The Ranch House is a casual restaurant in the main lodge and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The Range is a fine dining restaurant with chef-prepared cuisine inspired by local ingredients. Or, if you’re staying in a cabin, feel free to bring your own food supplies and prepare meals in your full-sized modern kitchen. Each cabin also has a deck with a gas grill. Two meals – the welcome breakfast and the farewell cookout dinner – are included in your registration fee.
If this sounds like a vacation you would enjoy, visit the Registration Information page for all the details. We hope to see you at Science Ranch 2013 – Volcanoes!