Overnight, the doughty National Geographic Sea Bird made her way through the lock at Ice Harbor Dam and down the Snake River to its confluence with the Columbia, the Mighty River of the West. Here we anchored and took Zodiacs ashore to begin our overland journey to Walla Walla (Place of Many Waters), Washington.

Our goal in the Walla Walla area was to visit the Whitman Mission National Historic Site, where Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa established a mission. They met their tragic fate when the local Cayuse people became convinced that the couple’s presence would lead to the end of their own people. We also visited Fort Walla Walla, a US Army fort established in 1856, where we found much more than military history. The museum included a history of life on the frontier as well as farming history, including the large machines used in harvesting grain. We enjoyed a wine tasting and a delicious lunch at the Three Rivers Winery.