From the National Geographic Sea Lion in the Pacific Northwest
Sep 29, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Lion
The Dalles – Hood River – Maryhill
Another lovely sunrise found us nearing The Dalles, Oregon for our morning excursions. After breakfast, we boarded the coaches for a visit to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. The Center houses wonderful displays on the varied natural and human history of the area.
Then some of our intrepid explorers went with our hotel manager Anna Marie into the Hood River Valley to select fresh pears from Rasmussen’s Fruit Orchard. The rest of us went on an exploratory venture toward the snow-covered Mt. Hood. We located the Tamanawas Falls Trail and broke into smaller groups of special interests – a fast, leg-stretcher group, those particularly interested in natural history, and the more serious photographers.
After lunch, we coached to the quirky Maryhill Museum, another of Sam Hill’s ventures, on the Washington side of the Columbia. Here we enjoyed displays of Rodin sculptures and sketches, a large collection of Native American artifacts, an outstanding collection of chess sets, and many other works of art. Views up and down the Columbia River from the museum grounds were stunning, with the hulky mass of Mt. Hood in the distance. We then made the short ride to Sam Hill’s Stonehenge, which is his version of a World War I Memorial. Then we descended back to the banks of the Columbia, where eventually we saw our little ship making its way upstream to our appointed rendezvous place.
A short Zodiac ride brought us back to our ship, where we enjoyed well-deserved refreshments consisting of local cheeses and wines and the pears collected by Anna Marie. Just before Recap, we entered the John Day Dam Lock, which has the unusual guillotine–style gate. As we emerged from the locks, a big harvest moon came into view ahead and a glowing sunset behind us outlined Mt. Hood. Indeed, another lovely day in the Pacific Northwest.