The day started with a beautiful sunrise followed by rolling up the Historic Columbia River Highway. We rode to Rowena Crest, an impressive overlook perched 700 feet above the river, highlighting the rapid shift from desert steppe arid climate to a temperate rain forest ecosystem. Guests proceeded to hike through the impressive Mosier Tunnels, blasted out of basalt in the 1920s by Sam Hill and Sam Lancaster as part of the Historic Columbia River Highway. With sun shining bright, guests spotted several species of birds, native plants, and basalt rocks. We enjoyed lunch at Crag Rat Hut; located in the heart of the Fruit Loop in the Hood River Valley, it is the headquarters of the oldest mountain rescue team in the United States.
In the afternoon we traveled to Draper Girls Farms where guests enjoyed cider, apples, and jams. This third-generation farm offers U-pick fruit and bizarre pygmy goats, a highlight for guests. We then visited WAAAM, the Western Antique Airplane and Automobile Museum; remarkably, all airplanes and vehicles in this three-acre complex are still operational.
Returning to National Geographic Sea Lion, guests enjoyed cocktails, recap, and dinner followed by an expert presentation by Alyssa Stoller, featuring “The Columbia River to the Sea.”