The second day of our voyage started with the National Geographic Sea Lion anchoring in a wide part of the Columbia River, just west of Multnomah Falls. So right after breakfast, and a quick briefing on the proper way to enter and exit the Zodiac landing craft, we headed ashore for the morning activities. First it was a bus ride to the falls for a short walk, and a lot of picture-taking of this magnificent natural feature in the state of Oregon. Our next stop was just ten minutes away at the Bonneville Fish Hatchery, where we saw massive sturgeon, rainbow trout, and some of the returning salmon to this large facility. After lunch it was time to go through the first of eight locks along our travels up the Columbia and Snake Rivers! The rest of the day was spent cruising upriver through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge toward Hood River, and tomorrow’s adventures!
National Geographic Sea Bird
Our morning began alongside the dock in our final port of Clarkston, Washington with a glowing sky and flocks of migrating waterfowl inscribing Vs through the air. After breakfast, guests boarded 34-foot-long jet boats for an excursion along the Snake River to its confluence with the Salmon River, fondly known as the River of No Return. Along our journey we saw bighorn sheep, great blue herons, common mergansers, belted kingfishers, Canada geese, petroglyphs, wild turkeys, columnar basalt, swimming mule deer, and a bald eagle flying with a large salmon. We also enjoyed fortuitous timing and witnessed a fisherman hook an eight-foot-long sturgeon. After a long battle, he finally pulled it to the shallows for his whole family (and us) to see. As evening approached, we settled into the lounge for our final series of educational talks, featuring Nez Perce storyteller James Spencer and winemaker Coco Umiker, both of whom illuminated important contexts of the beautiful basin. Following our wine tasting with Coco, guests set off for their final on-board dinner. After dinner, we bid farewell through photos. Our photo instructor showcased a mosaic of moments from the week, otherwise known as the Guest Slideshow. Included in the slideshow were praying mantises, birds of prey, sunsets, and staff members being goofy, as per usual. We couldn’t be more grateful for our time together, all of us, during this last week of October 2022.