The Dalles

Oct 22, 2017 - National Geographic Sea Lion


We started early this morning on the National Geographic Sea Lion. As there was a full day ahead of us, the extra fifteen minutes this morning would help us to accomplish all the activities on the schedule. After the usual morning exercise with the wellness specialist, we disembarked for Rowena Point. At this is a beautiful overlook just off the old Columbia Highway, the first paved highway in the country, we were afforded incredible views of the Gorge, brilliant fall colors and a brisk breeze to jump start our morning. From the overlook, we traveled to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center where we first had the opportunity to learn about various raptors that cannot be released to the wild and serve as a wonderful means for educating visitors about these birds of prey, their life history and some of the challenges they face. Following this short presentation, we all had a chance to explore the diverse exhibits before either walking back to the ship, joining Grace on a nature walk, or sharing time with Bob and learning about the murals of The Dalles on a city tour.

After a nourishing lunch, we boarded the coaches for the Mary Hill Museum to wander about and marvel at the most eclectic collection of exhibits one could imagine. Try it: try to imagine another museum with beautiful Native American art work, displays and a video about the Mother of Modern Dance, Louï Fuller, antique Bavarian furniture, over 90 superbly detailed chess sets, AND just to top it off, at least 80 original Auguste Rodin sculptures! Can you? Very eclectic! Those that wanted a little more ‘eclecticism’ could top the day off with a visit to the Cascade Winery to sample the French varietals crafted on site before heading back to the ship for the evening activities. And those that were all ‘eclectic’d’ out chose to head directly back to the ship for a little time to themselves. Another wonderfully rich and full day on the Columbia!

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About the Author

David Jaffe

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For more than 20 years David Jaffe has guided and taught a variety of audiences about our natural world and our connection with it. His childhood interest in natural systems eventually brought him to Evergreen State College where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geology, followed by a M.S in Applied Ecology from the University of Vermont. Mingling an academic background with experience working around the world in exceptionally diverse environments, he is able to efficiently observe, understand, and interpret natural and cultural history.

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