The morning started with a frost-covered dock here in Clarkston, Washington. The chill of the morning air warmed slowly as the sun rose and we bundled into jet boats for our navigation upstream into Hells Canyon. Highlights of the day included the aforementioned sunshine, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, and assorted birdlife, including bald eagles and one tundra swan on its migration. For the afternoon J.R. Spencer, a Nez Perce storyteller, came aboard and brought laughter and a connection with our inner child. The evening was topped off with a wine tasting featuring Coco Umiker and her wines from Clearwater Canyon Cellars.
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.