The Reach Museum Tours, Richland

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Dramatic forces shaped the Columbia River Basin of Central Washington, from cataclysmic ice-age floods to vast public-works projects and agriculture on a grand scale. If it all seems too vast for the layperson to take in, let the experts at the Reach Museum help. The museum’s 2017 tour series features expert-led, all-day excursions into this remarkable landscape.

On May 6 and June 9, Ice Age Floods expert Gary Kleinknecht will take passengers on an excursion to learn how the Ice Age Floods shaped the landscape we see today, including the Grand Coulee, the Othello and Drumheller Channels, and Dry Falls and its original plunge pool at Soap Lake.

On June 3, Geologist-author Bruce Bjornstad will lead guests on a four- to five-mile hike at Wallula Gap to learn about ice-rafted erratics, spillover channels, 800-foot-tall cliffs of Columbia River basalt and other features of the Ice Age Floods.

On June 16, Kleinknecht leads guests to the Palouse, where the Ice Age Flood-sculpted landscape features many streamlined loess islands separated by scablands and coulees; guests will see flood deposits at least 780,000 years old, Rock Lake, Big Cove Coulee and much more.

On June 30, those curious about where food comes from can join a “Meet the Farmer” tour of four farms that grow wheat, potatoes, corn, asparagus and a variety of other crops; guests will learn about irrigation, planting, growing and harvesting, and Chef David Harris will prepare and serve lunch using locally grown produce.

The Reach Museum’s website, visitthereach.org, has the full schedule of tours throughout the summer. For lodging and other attractions in Tri-Cities, go to visittri-cities.com.