From the National Geographic Sea Bird in the Pacific Northwest
Oct 11, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Bird
Hood River, Oregon
Early morning fog shrouds the high cliffs rising above the Columbia, the Great River of the West, as we sail upstream in the Columbia River Gorge. Fog caps Beacon Rock, then lifts to reveal spectacular Multnomah Falls, plunging wraithlike in the dim morning light over high basalt cliffs on the south side of the river. As the sun begins to break through in bright patches on forested slopes, we are transiting the Bonneville Dam in a lock—the first of eight locks on our way upstream.
At the community of Cascade Locks we board motor coaches for a drive along the scenic and historic Gorge Highway for a close-up look at Multnomah Falls. The weather has cleared now and we marvel at this second highest waterfall in North America. Some of the most energetic of us tackle the trail rising 600 feet up to the top of the falls.
At our next stop, Mt Hood Winery, we enjoy the view of Mt Hood, wine tasting, and a bounteous al fresco buffet luncheon in the warm autumn sun. Next we amble through vineyards and orchards to the beautifully quaint Gorge White House where we sample fresh pears and pear wine. A visit to the Cathedral Ridge Winery and then on to the vibrant river town, Hood River, wind-surfing capital of the West, completed our afternoon.
Early evening saw us gathered on the lido deck for hors d’ oeuvres and cocktails and enjoying the sunset on the river. This interesting and eventful day was topped off by a stimulating after dinner presentation on the history of Lewis & Clark by Professor Harry Fritz.