PORT ANGELES — Don Perry hopes people will cross the oceans so they can cross cultures as they cross the North Olympic Peninsula.
Perry will package five-day, four-night trips for American, European and Asian tourists who will visit the Jamestown S’Klallam, Lower Elwha Klallam, Quileute, and Makah reservations.
“We’ve got everything a tour company could ask for,” he said this week on a junket through the West End of Clallam County.
Perry cited watching birds and beasts, viewing woods and water, and sampling tribal cultures and customs.
“We have so much to do in this area,” he said. “We’ve just got to tap into it.”
His plan is to take 10 to 20 visitors to each reservation and let that tribe educate and entertain them for most of a day, then feed them a meal of Native cuisine.
“Each of them has its individual intricacies,” he said, “and that’s what I want to show.
“I want this to teach the heritage of our area. Have someone make a fishing basket or carve halibut hooks. That’s what I’d like to see them do.”
June start envisioned
Perry hopes to start the tours in June if he can assemble financing, hire bus drivers, get guaranteed lodging in towns from Sequim to Clallam Bay, secure insurance and hire guides.
Eventually he’d like to expand the tours into 10- to-12-day circuits of tribes around the entire Peninsula.
“Up to now I’ve been financing it out of my pocket,” he said, “and now the level of my pocket is where the lint is at.”
Soon Perry will establish the Heritage Foundation as a nonprofit organization to which people could make tax-deductible contributions.“If there’s anybody out there who has a grant or a few thousand dollars sitting around that they don’t know what to do with it, we could sure use it,” he said.