From the National Geographic Sea Lion in the Pacific Northwest
Sep 16, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Columbia River Gorge / Hood River
“Good morning, good morning everyone… it’s 6:30 am, 53 degrees outside, and a beautiful sunrise on the western entrance to the Columbia River Gorge. I highly recommend you come out on deck and enjoy the stunning scenery…” Thus began our absolutely gorgeous first day in the Columbia River Gorge.
Right after breakfast we made our way through the first set of locks at the Bonneville Dam, and then disembarked shortly afterward to our morning destination, the celebrated Multnomah Falls, the second highest continuously falling waterfall in the United States. We had plenty of time to explore the trails up to and around the falls, and many couldn’t resist taking their own version of the classic photo shot (see Susan Seubert’s here). This corridor along the Columbia River is home to quite a few waterfalls, the product of steep cliff walls combined with 60-80 inches of annual rainfall.
In the afternoon we travelled inland to appreciate more fruits of the fertile landscape of the Hood River Valley. Out of the shady damp woods, and into the sunny fields, our first brief stop treated our mouths with tastes of pear and wine, and our eyes with rows and rows of blooming flowers at the Gorge White House. Then onto neighboring Mount Hood Winery for another tasting of wines, local cheeses, and a delicious lunch buffet. We rounded out our inland tour at the Cathedral Ridge Winery, complete with stroll through the vineyards and a private group tasting.
We returned to the National Geographic Sea Lion, which had repositioned to Hood River, where we will remain docked all night.