Within a few hundred miles of Hood River, Oregon, are some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the United States, from cascading waterfalls and river rapids to sheer cliffs and even volcanoes. The guides at Creation Encounter tours haven’t missed the opportunity God gave them in the Pacific Northwest. From their headquarters in Hood River they offer inexpensive, Creator-honoring tours throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
Situated in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, Hood River is in an ideal place for studying geology from a creation viewpoint. The gorge is a testament to the power of catastrophic flooding that carved and shaped it, including the massive Lake Missoula Flood that deepened the gorge when a glacial ice dam broke near the end of the post-Flood Ice Age.
Creation Encounter’s mission is to strengthen Christians’ faith. Veteran guides John Hergenrather and Dennis Bokovoy are passionate about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created—and therefore rightly owns—the world and each one of us. For 15 years, John and Dennis have been showing groups how the catastrophic geology of the Pacific Northwest supports the Bible’s account of recent creation and the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day.
John and Dennis have been members of the Design Science Association (DSA), a creation study group in nearby Portland, for nearly 25 years. John’s background in geography and Dennis’ years as an educator in geology and paleontology naturally led them to the idea of conducting field trips to explore the geologic formations in the Western states. Seven years ago, they formed Creation Encounter to expand field trips for DSA. “We want to expose people onsite to evidence for creation and a young earth as opposed to millions of years. Christians are encouraged that good science supports the Bible. We do not speak against evolutionary uniformitarian views—they literally fall apart in view of good science.”
Tours are not limited to the gorge. Creation Encounter guides also lead hikes on nearby Mount St. Helens, another natural showcase of how canyons and sedimentary layers are formed quickly and catastrophically, rather than by slow and gradual processes over millions of years (see “Lasting Lessons from Mount St. Helens,” in this issue).
Dennis and John are both in their seventies now, so they are mentoring several young friends to assist in leading trips and to carry on the ministry after them. They offer new tours each year, including multiday trips to more distant locations, such as Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, and they arrange custom tours as well. And for those who can’t make it to a Creation Encounter tour, they offer beautiful guidebooks that accurately present in layman language a creation worldview of five major national parks.
Dennis says, “We want to open people’s eyes by being out in the field and seeing that you can understand it well from a creation perspective. It strengthens their faith in Christ, or it may move unbelievers to believe God’s Word and walk with the Lord. That’s our real motivation.”
Visit creationencounter.com for more details.