An overcast morning greeted National Geographic Sea Bird as it perched alongside Lyons Ferry State Park at the confluence of the Palouse River. Guests departed by Zodiac to Lyons Ferry to meet the coach for Palouse Falls State Park. As the first Zodiacs departed, the sun broke through the clouds to shine down on the ship. The sun continued to shine while guests visited the Palouse Falls overlook. The spring melt was evident as the falls frothed with water. A variety of animals were spotted at the park, including ravens, raptors, and even the yellow-bellied marmots that have taken a liking to the watered lawns. After returning to Lyons Park, guests split up to go birdwatching or kayaking around the park and the surrounding marsh. After lunch, Zodiacs departed for the headwaters of the Palouse River. To access the river delta, drivers needed to navigate through the areas of shallow sediment deposited by the ancient Missoula floods. Zodiacs passed the Marmes Rockshelter, an important finding in human history that demonstrates evidence of trading and cremation in early humans. As the Zodiacs moved up the river, a large flock of American white pelicans were discovered. We watched as the large birds glided above our heads. As the ship departed Lyons Ferry and moved toward the Snake River, the evening transitioned into presentations and supper.
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.