From the National Geographic Sea Bird in the Pacific Northwest
Oct 30, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Bird
The Dalles and Maryhill
Today after breakfast we pulled alongside the dock at The Dalles, OR. We were given a warm welcome by the locals who came down to meet the ship. Not yet Halloween, some of them were in costume none-the-less. They were portraying early residents of the town in its wilder day, and have been so happy to have us visiting that they have come to welcome us every week.
Our first stop of the morning, The Gorge Discovery Center, has a lovely setting on the banks of the Columbia. Inside we learned about the Corps of Discovery, the natural history of the region, and local history. Wasco County, Oregon was once the largest county in the United States and went all the way to the continental divide in Wyoming! We were also treated to visits with a great horned owl and a red-tailed hawk, two of the residents at their raptor center. After viewing the museum we took to the trails outside for photo, natural history, and aerobic walks as well as a visit to the Lewis and Clark site of Rock Fort.
After lunch we boarded our motor coaches for a short drive to the Maryhill Museum of Art. The Museum, originally built in 1914 by Sam Hill as a home for his family was never used for that purpose but was turned into a museum in 1926. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, we found an amazing and eclectic collection of Rodin sculptures, Native American Basketry, chess sets, gifts from Queen Marie of Romania, and more. Many of us ended our visit with a walk through their outdoor sculpture garden.
Our final stop for the day was the Maryhill Winery. We learned about their wine making process and why this region is able to grow so many varieties of grapes. And, of course, we tasted their wines. The sun was playing games with the clouds as we drove back to the ship into the setting sun. Mount Hood was being kept just out of view. But, the lighting on the river and basalt hillsides was beautiful just the same.