Columbia River Gorge and Cruising

Sep 18, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

We woke to rain on the Columbia River as we prepared for our day’s excursions. By the time for our operations, it began to clear. Not blue sky, and a few light sprinkles for sure, but none-the-less, the weather was cooperating! Most of our guests headed via coach to the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center to view the exhibits on the human and natural history of the region. A small but energized group rolled the dice and braved the weather to climb Beacon Rock, an 848-foot tall volcanic neck located along the edge of the Columbia River. With the rain holding back, we climbed the steep trail to the top and were rewarded with spectacular views of the gorge and the river below.

Returning to the ship we shared our experiences during lunch, watched the crew hoist the anchor and then enjoyed the sights along the river as we sailed west toward our destination of Vancouver, Washington. Along the way, we heard a talk on the region’s geologic history learning more about what we’ve seen and about what we will be seeing as we travel into the scablands of eastern Washington. One more opportunity arose for our guests to enjoy in the afternoon – beer tasting! Our naturalist Christine West led us through all the different styles of beer available for enjoyment on National Geographic Quest. It was a fine way to end the day.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Grover


Jeff's early introduction to the science of geology came from exposure to his grandfather’s extensive mineral collection and his vivid stories of work in the mines of Aspen Colorado.  From this informal beginning, Jeff earned degrees in geology from the University of Southern California (B.S.) and the University of Arizona (M.S.) where he focused on tectonics and structural geology.  Upon graduation, he worked as a petroleum geologist, and as an engineering geologist engaged in landslide and earthquake hazard mitigation.  He is licensed as a registered geologist in California.

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