Some say life is simpler on the river and today we enjoyed cruising up the Columbia and into the Snake River, but first we witnessed a beautiful sunrise.

Glassy waters provided safe passage for National Geographic Quest. Our first Lock of the day would be the McNary Lock and Dam structure. Opening in 1954, this Dam is 292 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia and resides at 344 feet above sea level. Locking through the dams are always a main attraction and guests enjoyed viewing the process from the bow and sundeck.

Once through the dam we continued cruising on Lake Wallula and bore witness to more of the amazing scenery this river has to offer. Gazing up at the towering columnar basalt formations was even more interesting after attending a talk on geology from Grace, our shipboard geologist and naturalist.

After sailing through the famous Wallula Gap we entered the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, turned right, and continued up the Snake River. Along the way, we were again treated to a talk from Kelly, our historian and naturalist. Learning about Lewis and Clarks Corps of Discovery only adds to the depth of adventure on this voyage.

We rounded out our day by passing through the Ice Bay Lock and Dam with impromptu cocktails and appetizers on the sundeck. Emerging onto Lake Sacajawea guests were filled with incredible sights and newfound knowledge from a day cruising in the Columbia River Basin.