Just as the sun rose in the eastern sky, the National Geographic Sea Lion started its approach to Ice Harbor Lock. Our transit through the lock was the first of a number of activities for the day. About mid-morning, we approached Lower Monumental Lock, with the option of going through in our Zodiacs, which was a unique experience, and enjoyed immensely by all that participated! Continuing our morning cruising the Snake, we approached the Palouse River, the site of our afternoon activities: Zodiac tours, kayaking, and the chance to go to Palouse Falls for a very scenic overlook. Finally, after all guests and staff were back on board, the Sea Lion continued on her way up the Snake, going through our last two locks of the journey, and ending the next morning at Clarkston, Washington.
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.