This post is sponsored by REI but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
REI invited Larry and I to participate in a guided outdoor experience in Seattle, Washington. I received a list of adventures to choose from and honestly wanted to do them all. We ultimately chose the Fall colors kayaking adventure. I am really glad we did because seeing the Pacific Northwest (PNW) leaves turn from emerald green to a gradient of red, yellow, and orange is one of my favorite things about living here.
I grew up in Houston, Texas where Fall foliage is not as prevalent and it is flat in every direction you look. I didn’t grow up in an outdoorsy or active family, so I missed out on a lot of adventures. Now that I live in the PNW, there’s so much opportunity to get out and indulge in the landscape that surrounds Seattle. And what’s great is that it’s all very close and accessible from downtown Seattle. If you’re a novice or intermediate outdoor explorer, the REI Outdoor School has plenty of programs and workshops to prepare you for any adventure. Even if you’ve never kayaked in your adult life, REI’s programs offer a great opportunity and time to start.
Prior to our experience, we stopped by Billiard Hoang in Columbia City to grab some Vietnamese (bánh mì) sandwiches. These were the perfect snack for our kayaking adventure. I placed them in my waterproof bag and we were ready to go! We drove 36 minutes over to Tolt MacDonald boat launch where the kayaking trip began.
Fall Colors Kayak Tour with REI Outdoor School
A total of 10 attendees plus our two instructors completed our kayaking adventure pod. Our Instructor lead us through kayaking nomenclature and safety instructions before getting into the water. Within half an hour we were loading our kayaks and floating along the Snoqualmie River.
We saw falling leaves and trees with spots of Fall hues on them. We could see that Fall was just beginning. We also saw a Bald Eagle. This was such a great opportunity to get outside and breathe in the fresh air.
I had a great time with our instructors. They were knowledgeable, thoughtful, and hilarious. We felt we were in great hands with the REI team. I can’t wait to come back and see what the trees will look like in a few weeks. It will be more red, yellow and orange by then.
The Fall kayaking tour is going on for another three weeks. The tours are 4 hours long and are very affordable. This tour cost $69 for REI members and $89 for non-members. You can become a LIFETIME REI member for only $20. You’ll have to find transportation to the meeting spot, but REI has all equipment covered.
Below is a list of things you’ll need to make the best of your time during REI’s Outdoor School session.
Things To Bring to an REI Outdoor School Kayaking Session
Bring to class (Required):
- At least 2 Liters of Water – Water bottles or hydration bladder.
- Energy Snacks
- Hat/Sun Protection for your neck and face.
- Synthetic/Wool Layers – Clothing that retains warmth when wet.
- Water Shoes/Sandals – Foot attire that will protect your feet and is OK to get wet (e.g. Teva, Chaco, Keen (not flip flops)
- Eyewear Retainer – Strap to keep your sunglasses around your neck if they fall off.
- Paddle jacket
- Personal Camera/Waterproof Case
- Dry Bag
Provided by REI:
- Group First Aid Kit
- Touring/Recreation Kayak
- Awesome instructors!
If you’re thinking of what to do on your next visit to Seattle, REI’s outdoor experiences are a great way to take in both the nature and city-scapes Seattle has to offer. Seattle is rich in outdoor activities and sights. And I would LOVE to invite you to experience why I LOVE living here.
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If you're a brand and want to work with us, please visit this page to get in touch.