We enjoyed a grand final day on National Geographic Sea Bird’s Columbia River trip. We climbed aboard jet boats and headed up the Snake River into the Hells Canyon region for the day. Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America, and it is steeped in dramatic scenery and wildlife. Both golden and bald eagles were observed on the river, as well as bighorn sheep. Black bears were not seen, but their scat was visible in the pear orchard where they have been enjoying the fall harvest. We had a wonderful lunch at Garden Creek, a Nature Conservancy area with a wonderful view of the river. Back aboard National Geographic Sea Bird, we began the process of winding down after our wonderful week on the Columbia River.
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.