Today, guests boarded Zodiacs to transit the Lower Monumental Lock along the Snake River. After National Geographic Sea Bird entered the lock and got secured, four Zodiacs loaded with passengers rafted together to take in the incredible engineering marvel of the intricate gates and chambers. Being in such a large concrete box made us feel incredibly small, and we felt lucky to experience such a unique way to ride through a river lock. After lunch, we had two exciting activities. Some guests took a bus to Palouse Falls to observe the beauty and get some family Christmas card shots. Palouse Falls cascade over 200 feet into rugged canyon, and the site is truly unforgettable. Other guests took a Zodiac cruise up Palouse River, a hidden gem of the Pacific Northwest. Zodiac cruisers had opportunities to see a golden eagle and a red-tailed hawk along with gorgeous reflections along the flat, glassy water. With the memories of the Snake River’s intricate locks, the grandeur of Palouse Falls, and the tranquility of the Palouse River still fresh in our minds, we chatted over cocktails and recap before dinner. After dinner, we transited Little Goose Lock before turning in for bed.
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.