With much anticipation and nail biting, the Bonneville Lock reopened in the past two days. A failure of some concrete on a sill necessitated a shutdown of the lock and some fast track repairs. None of this hullabaloo was apparent as we calmly and uneventfully transited the lock this morning. At Cascade Locks, we took off for our morning adventure to Stevenson, Washington and the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center. An eclectic mix of displays and a very enthusiastic docent kept our attention and assisted us in learning more about this pocket of the Pacific Northwest. A scrumptious lunch was served at Mountain View Orchards and the pear and apple bins were brimming full with this year’s crop. A walk at the Mosier Tunnels finished off the afternoon for some of us while others investigated the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum. Altogether a diverse and interesting day in the Columbia River Gorge.
National Geographic Quest
Today we had the opportunity to experience the brisk wind on our faces and pelting of cool, occasional raindrops as we visited Cape Disappointment in Washington and the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon. This was nowhere near the level of discomfort the Corps of Discovery endurred when they explored these same grounds in the fall of 1805. As the Corps came west, they were excited to get to the Pacific Ocean, but that excitement was literally and figuratively dampened with the white-capped waters of the Columbia and miserable weather that initially pinned them and their canoes to the Washington shoreline at a campsite to be later named Dismal Nitch. A most notable feature was the sound created by 30-knot winds as they swept through the needled branches of Sitka spruce and the leafy limbs of Red Alder. We ended our day taking refuge on National Geographic Quest , warm, dried off and with a glass of wine to enhance our internal warmth. Our journey has been diverse and that has been reflected in the weather as well as the landscape and the flora and fauna that call the Pacific Northwest home.