As guests awoke this morning, greeting a new day, we also greeted in a distinctly different scenery from our first few days on the Columbia. It has gone from rainforest to Ponderosa pines and scrub oaks, to the high desert habitat that we would be following for the remainder of our voyage! This is a much starker landscape, but with its own beauty. There are countless irrigated vineyards and orchards along this section of the Mighty Columbia. After lunch it was time to explore the Umatilla Refuge by Zodiac and kayak, before heading toward our transit through the next lock, McNary, in early evening. Another fabulous day on the Columbia River!
National Geographic Sea Bird
O! the Joy! Hmm, we needed to rethink that one this morning, as we woke to a rainy and blustery Astoria. What this weather did give us was a taste of historic authenticity in relation to the Corps of Discovery and their experiences here in the winter of 1805-06. Our first activity this morning was amongst the magnificent exhibits of the Columbia River Maritime Museum. This world-class facility tells the story of the mighty Columbia and the treacherous results to mariners when the river shoves against the incoming tides of the Pacific Ocean. As our day progressed, we crossed the Astoria-Megler bridge to the state of Washington. At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center the winds continued but the rain subsided, and we enjoyed a sun-drenched afternoon with an option to walk a forest trail down to Waikiki Beach. The sun and sand were a siren to us and we made an additional stop at the North Jetty to get a water-level view of the waves crashing against the rocks of the Cape Disappointment lighthouse. The day turned out anything but disappointing.