Outdoors

Calendar of Events

Cyclists' big weekend

Saturday and Sunday: More than 9,000 cyclists will pedal through South Sound during the Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. This is the most popular bicycle ride in the Northwest, and it sells out quickly. Cyclists will ride a 200-mile course during the 28th annual ride. Riders will stop for rest and snacks in Yelm, Tenino and Centralia on Saturday.

The 200-mile route, designed to be completed in one to two days, takes riders from the University of Washington in Seattle to Holladay Park across the street from Lloyd Center in Portland. Riders range from children to 85-year-old cyclists. Free food and photo opportunities are provided along the way, and return-trip transportation can be arranged.

Online registration is $75 for adults and $35 for cyclists ages 6 to 12; children ages 1 to 5 may participate at no cost. Registration can be done online at www.cascade.org through July 8.

In 2006, the Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic attracted participants from 44 states, Australia, Canada, Scotland, South Africa and Taiwan.

For more information, go to www.cascade.org or call 206-522-3222.

Volunteering

Saturday: Volunteers are needed to help Stream Team maintain native shrubs along the banks of the Deschutes River at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course. The work party is from 9 to 11 a.m.

The project uses large woody debris, rock, and native plants to reduce stream bank washout, limit sedimentation, and improve fish and wildlife habitat.

Volunteers are asked to meet outside the Tumwater Golf Course Pro Shop. Wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the weather. Tools, gloves and light refreshments are provided. For information, call Sara del Moral at 360-754-4140.

Saturday and Sunday: The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument needs volunteers Saturday to help repair trail treads and prune vegetation along trails. On Sunday, volunteers will pull seedlings of invasive weeds near the volcano. Meet at the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center parking lot at 9:30 a.m. for registration for the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. work party. Bring a sack lunch, water, work gloves, and come dressed for the season and "rain or shine" mountain weather. Sturdy hiking or work boots are recommended.

Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center is located 43 miles east of Castle Rock on state Route 504 (take Exit 49 off Interstate 5).

For more information, call 360-449-7887 or go to www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volunteering/BecomeaVolcanoVolunteer.shtml.

State Parks

Right now: Twanoh State Park is once again open to camping. A $1 million project to replace the park's wastewater collection and treatment system - and help improve water quality in Hood Canal - is now complete. Twanoh State Park is 8 miles west of Belfair on state Route 106. It is a 182-acre park with 3,167 feet of saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal.

Camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The park has 2.5 miles of hiking trails. The park also is open to swimming, and visitors may harvest oysters on the beach at the park. The state Department of Health advises shellfish enthusiasts to "Know Before You Dig," by checking harvest conditions online at www.doh.wa.gov/shellfishsafety.htm, or by calling the Shellfish Safety Hot line at 800-562-5632.

For more information, go to www.parks.wa.gov.

Right now: Washington State Parks wants your comments on plans to redesign Fort Casey, Twanoh and Saltwater state parks to lessen human impact on Puget Sound. State Parks has worked with the Puget Sound Action Team to study Puget Sound parks and suggest improvements.

To see - and comment - on the proposed changes, go to www.parks.wa.gov/pugetsoundparks.

July 20 and 21: Come to Cape Disappointment State Park near Ilwaco to get a glimpse of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. "Clark's Campsite" is a living-

history experience of the Lewis and Clark Expedition's camp at Waikiki Beach on Nov. 18, 1805. Costumed characters will portray life in the camp. Members of the Expedition will set up camp, make maps and study plants and animals. They will trade with visitors, repair clothing and live in the past.

For more information, go to www.parks.wa.gov.

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday: Don't miss the first installment of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge's 20th Annual Summer Lecture Series. Idie Ulch of the Washington Butterfly Association will start her talk - "Wings of Beauty" - at

7 p.m. in the visitor center. The lectures are free and are held every Wednesday evening through Aug. 29. The refuge's entrance fee is waived for those attending the lectures. For more information, call 360-753-9467 or go to www.fws.gov/nisqually.

Running

Saturday: The McCleary Bear Festival's "Run From the Bears" races, including the 10K, 2-Mile Run and 2-Mile Walk, start at 9 a.m. Registration at the VFW Hall next to the City Park will begin at 7:45 a.m. For more information, call 360-482-3497 or go to www.mcclearybearfestival.com.

Fishing

Friday through Sunday: Sign up for the Bellingham Salmon Derby, and you might win a 23-foot center console boat. Even anglers who don't catch a fish can get their names entered into a September drawing for the boat. All this is part of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series, which arrives in South Sound on Aug. 18 and 19 for the Hood Canal Salmon Derby. Kids can enter to win a 14-foot boat. For more information, go to www.discovernorthwestfishing.com.

July 17: Chester Allen, fishing and outdoors columnist for The Olympian, will talk about sea-run cutthroat trout fishing in South Sound during the South Sound Fly Fishers meeting. The meeting, which is open to the public, starts at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 3201 Boston Harbor Road N.E. For more information, call 360-754-4429.

If you know of an event that should be included in The Olympian's Outdoors Calendar, contact Olympian Outdoors, P.O. Box 407, The Olympian, Olympia, WA 98506, by fax at 360-357-0202, call 360-754-4226 or send e-mail to callen@theolympian.com. Include date, short description and contact telephone number.

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