By Mary Charlebois
OCCUPY NATURE IN THE OUTSTANDING NORTHWEST
Spend a day outside. Enjoy nature and engage the senses. Take the team whitewater rafting, snowmobiling, fly fishing or kayaking. Hike to a waterfall. Ski, snowboard, or snowshoe. Try wine tasting or whale watching.
Meetings held outside have many positive effects. They can restart the creative juices. Fresh air and sunshine recharge our batteries and bring a sense of health and wellness. A change of scenery facilitates new ways of thinking. Engaging in a ‘non-business’ activity with co-workers opens communication and reinforces connections.
First Nature Treks & Tours provides outdoor adventures and recreational excursions for groups of any size and ability. Popular destinations include Mount Hood, the Columbia Gorge, White Salmon River, Crater Lake National Park, Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast. Each location gives meeting participants the opportunity to exercise, unwind and brainstorm, while exploring the Pacific Northwest.
In 2018 First Nature is enlarging their catalog of winter adventures. In addition to downhill skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing; cross-country skiing and hut-to-hut backcountry trips have been added to the roster.
In the summer, paddle and brew outings combine rafting on the scenic Deschutes River, with a beer tasting at days end. The trip is appropriate for all skill levels. Tours of Willamette Valley’s organic wineries are available throughout the year.
A bike and hike tour of the Columbia Gorge takes in six waterfalls. Additional bicycle tours include escorted tours in Portland and along the Hood River. Bicycles and helmets are provided.
Fully equipped, guided and educational team-building events such as whitewater rafting, rope courses, hikes and adventure races are customized to meet the group’s specific goals and abilities.
In the ‘high adventure’ group of activities, First Nature leads bungee jumping, zip lining, sky diving, helicopter tours, backcountry skiing, heli-skiing, snowcat skiing and two-day Crater Lake snowmobile outings.
Water adventures involve SUP (stand up paddleboarding), windsurfing, kiteboarding, surfing, and two-days rafting on the Deschutes River. Group motorcycle tours and mountain biking jaunts may be scheduled year-round.
First Nature outings are all-inclusive. Tour participants are shuttled door-to- door in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter van. All equipment needed such as bikes and kayaks is included. Details like maps, guides, water and snacks are tucked into the van.
The details of an excursion are customized to match each group. The safety and enjoyment of guests are Job #1. Job #2 is maintaining the highest standards of social, ecological, economic, and cultural sustainability.
When asked what inspired his career as a nature and adventure guide, First Nature founder and Lead Guide, Kieron Weidner, says, “Guiding is more than a career, it’s my passion. Nothing makes me happier than providing people with new ideas, new adventure and new life experiences.”
All First Nature tour leaders are professional guides with an understanding of local landscape, flora, and fauna. Each has many years of experience in outdoor adventure activities from those rated soft to the extreme ones.
Kieron Weidner, adventure tour guide
and destination specialist