Eagles, Estuaries, and Oysters

 In

Eagles, Estuaries, and Oysters

$140 | Sat. Aug 27th 2022 | Sept 17th 2022

Whatcom County, like many areas in the NW, is blessed with a rich diversity of lakes, rivers, farms, and forests. All are vital to our way of life and sense of place. From marine estuaries to raptor rescue centers, oil refineries to golf courses, and wetland conservation to habitat restoration, this special 25-mile adventure is a bike ride into the world of Land Trusts, Conservation Easements, and the surprising community partners who are working together to promote ecological restoration and economic opportunity. Come face-to-face with eagles, hawks, and owls at Sardis Raptor Center while learning how this understated non-profit is working to ensure their survival. Meet with the people, organizations, and partnerships that promote land stewardship and protect wildlife. Discover how we can preserve and protect wildlife habitat, scenic, agricultural, and open space lands to assure the health of these rich and vibrant resources for generations to come. Finish this exceptional day with a special happy hour and oyster tasting event hosted by Mark Seymour, co-owner of Drayton Harbor Oysters!

Trip Highlights

  • Bike along the picturesque Birch Bay and through rural agricultural landscapes.
  • Visit Sardis Raptor Center and meet bald eagles, hawks, and owls while enjoying a delicious, locally-sourced lunch from Holly’s Meat Pies (Vegetarian & Vegan options available)
  • Learn first-hand about conservation easements, land acquisition, and the protection and restoration of critical ecosystems and habitats.
  • Ride through the BP Cherry Point Reserve and gaze over the straight of Georgia while pondering upon our footprints with the oil refinery below and Mount Baker gazing over us in the background
  • Meet and exchange with Whatcom Land Trust staff and volunteers while visiting their projects on California Creek & Drayton Harbor to restore and protect coastal wetlands & this overburdened marine estuary.
  • Learn about the cultural history of the most NW corner of the United States.
  • End the day with a special happy hour event hosted by Drayton Harbor Oysters.

What’s Included in Price

  • An Experienced, fun loving guide for the duration of the tour
  • Oyster Happy hour with Drayton Harbor Oysters
  • Locally sourced Picnic Lunch from Holly’s Meat Pies, snacks, and water
  • Entrance to Sardis Raptor Center where we will meet rescued eagles, hawks, and owls who cannot be released into the wild due to injuries or disabilities
  • Guided experiential activities at the California Creek Estuary with local experts in land trusts and conservation easements

You will need a suitable bicycle, jacket in case of rain, water bottle, mask or face covering, an openness to learning, and a sense of adventure.

**One Happy Hour Cocktail Included.

Need a bike? Bicycle rentals can be arranged through a local provider for an additional fee. Email connor@expint.org or call 360-966-4059 for details.

Tour Details

  • Price: $140 per person (Groups of 3 or more receive a 15% discount and youth under 18 accompanied by an adult are 30% off)
  • Trip Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Mileage: 25 Miles
  • Total Ride Time: 2 hours
  • Age Range: Teens-Adults (minors must be accompanied by a supervising adult)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat with gentle hills
  • Total Elevation Gain: 500 ft.
  • Trip Length: Full Day Excursion: 8:30 am – 5:00 PM+
  • Group Size: 15 people max

Trip Summary

This 25-mile, full-day adventure will explore gorgeous shorelines, wetlands, and estuaries around Semiahmoo, Drayton Harbor, and Birch Bay, WA. In partnership with Sardis Raptor Center and the Whatcom Land Trust, we will explore the long-term protection and stewardship of these critical habitats for wildlife, biodiversity, water quality, recreation, and agriculture. The ride covers mostly flat terrain with gentle hills along secondary roads. It is suitable for beginner to intermediate-level cyclists who feel comfortable riding for 30-45 minutes at a time.

Our trip departs Blaine at 8:30 am and begins with a cruise to the mouth of the California Creek Estuary on Drayton Harbor. Here, the Whatcom Land Trust will share a behind-the-scenes view of a unique project that brings together people, communities, County, State, and Federal Agencies to restore and protect critical habitats for salmon, shellfish, recreation, quality of life, local employment, and more. We will walk and talk. Touch, see, smell and learn tidbits of the area’s cultural heritage.

From there, we will hope back on our bikes and continue our journey south along picturesque Birch Bay and into the BP Cherry Point Reserve. After traversing the reserve and gazing upon the oil refinery with both the straight of Georgia and Mount Baker in the background, we can ponder upon the footprints we want to leave while we begin heading back north.

At our next visit, we will enjoy a delicious locally sourced lunch from Holly’s Meat Pies (vegetarian and vegan options available) while surrounded by rescued bald eagles. After eating, we will explore Sardis Raptor Center with one of their volunteers and meet the local residents (note- only birds that cannot be released into the wild due to injury or disability are on display).

From Sardis, we will follow California Creek back downstream through agricultural lands and scenic back roads and stop for a visit at the Loomis Trail Golf Course. Now owned by the Lummi Nation, this once private course is now being used to model sustainable practices that are helping to restore the original wetland functions of this ecosystem and provide critical habitat for wildlife.

We then return to Blaine via a short ride along the eastern edge of Drayton Harbor.  At the end of the ride, we will discover how all those partnerships converge “within an oyster” as we enjoy a special happy hour event hosted by Drayton Harbor Oyster Company and co-owner Mark Seymour.

Meals

We are committed to supporting our local community – food for our programs is always sourced from local providers and sustainable producers.

Light snacks and refreshments are always on hand, just ask your friendly guide if you are hungry or run out of water.

Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions on your registration and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Lunch
Lunch for this program is provided by Holly’s Meat Pies, located in downtown Everson. The creator, Holly Bevan-Bumford, was inspired by the Cornish Pasty that is a staple in Michigan, her birthplace. Although she grew up in Everson and her roots are firmly planted in the Pacific Northwest, this Michigan tradition lives on in her delicious pies sourced almost exclusively from local farms including Hopewell Farm, Cloud Mountain Farm Center, and Fairhaven Organic Flour Mills, among others. Take your time enjoying Holly’s pies because this is a meal worth savoring.

Happy Hour Oysters and Appetizers
A Special Cocktail and Oyster appetizers event are provided for this program by Drayton Harbor Oysters, a local family-owned company that loves their work almost as much as they love sharing the superb results with their customers.

Reservations and Registration

To reserve your Bike Northwest tour, please take a moment to fill out the reservation form by clicking the button below.

We will confirm all reservations via e-mail or phone within 24 to 48 hours. No reservation is valid without our confirmation.

Relaxed Cancellation Policy

  • $50 (per person) trip deposit: due upon booking your reservation.
  • Full payment: due no later than 30 days before trip date.  (A reminder email will be sent to you 60 days before trip date.)
  • Cancellations made more than 30 days before your trip date are refunded in full, minus the deposit, or you can request a credit voucher for the full value of your trip toward a future EI trip.
  • Cancellations made fewer than 30 days before the trip date will receive a credit voucher for the full value of the trip toward a future EI trip.
  • If Experience International is forced to cancel the event for any reason (such as unsafe weather conditions) all participants will receive full credit toward a future trip (or a refund if you are unable to use the credit).

Any Questions? Email BikeNW@expint.org or call 360-966-4059, we’re standing by to help facilitate the experience of a lifetime!

  • “We were part of two international tours organized by Experience International to Latin America. Both experiences were stirring, eye-opening, heart-warming-fantastic!  The folks at Experience International are top-notch professionals! Trip itineraries were clearly constructed with knowledge and respect for the people and places we were visiting. Throughout our trips, we were in awe of the remarkable attention to detail, safety, and participant experience.”

    Maggie and Chris
  • "Working with Experience International was a treat. We began planning our tour a year in advance and EI was willing to work with the other coordinators and me to make sure our needs were met... I highly recommend Experience International for their study tour coordination and guide services."

    Erin
  • "Experience International worked hard to understand our trip objectives, met with our leadership cohort to get a better sense of the group, and leveraged their relationships to assure the trip was tailored to our needs. It is not an exaggeration to say that EI bent over backwards to assure our experience was educational, safe, and impactful. They frequently adjusted our itinerary (even on the fly) to respond to topics and places of interest from the group."

    Matt