Wanderlust Tours is offering a canoe trip and a meteor shower, all in one… (Christian Heeb / Wanderlust…)
Here’s a romantic way to view next weekend’s Perseid meteor showers and get some exercise too: Take a canoe trip at night. Wanderlust Tours, a company in Bend, Ore., is offering such outings on the Cascades lakes. A spectacular display of "shooting stars," the periodic Perseids this month will peak Aug. 11-12, according to the website of the American Meteor Society, a nonprofit scientific organization of amateur and professional astronomers.
The deal: "Starlight Canoe Tours" run from 8 p.m. to midnight. For $65 per person, you get a short course in canoeing, the services of a naturalist guide, all the needed equipment, hot beverages and desserts. Also included: van transportation from Bend and Sunriver Resort to any of several lakes used for the outings; the choice varies by night. Each group, with its own guide, is limited to about 14 people, who paddle two-person canoes. The company recommends the tour for people ages 8 and up.
When: Starlight tours are available nightly June through October, including Aug. 10, 11 and 12. Although the best views of the Perseids are usually between midnight and dawn, the display can be seen in the late evening, the American Meteor Society says. A late moonrise (just before 2 a.m. Aug. 12 in the Bend area) means that skies should be dark during the tours, said Dave Nissen, who co-owns Wanderlust Tours with his wife, Aleta. Although there’s no guarantee that clouds won’t obscure the view, Nissen said cloudless skies have been the norm lately.
Cloudy or not, canoeing at night can be appealing. "It is such a magical experience," Aleta Nissen said. "The lake water is just black. There’s the sense of all the different night sounds. The tree frogs really croak. The bats are skimming the water for insects. It’s very calm and serene."
Contact: Wanderlust Tours, (800) 962-2862. You can use an online form to request trip dates, after which a representative will call to confirm the dates, process payment and complete the reservation.