The Columbia River is a remarkable place to look for migratory birds; the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge can be a stopover point for American coots, ducks, and waterfowl of a stunning variety. Perhaps the most wonderful sight to see is the migration of the snow goose. These sturdy white geese with black wing tips array themselves in mass swirling lines and patterns that animate the blue sky above it. Hundreds, even thousands of geese can move across an area in a matter of a few hours. Guests aboard National Geographic Sea Bird enjoy these sights from the comfort of their kayaks below on the calm waters of the Columbia, finding peace in one of the state’s best-kept wildlife refuges.
National Geographic Sea Bird
O! the Joy! Hmm, we needed to rethink that one this morning, as we woke to a rainy and blustery Astoria. What this weather did give us was a taste of historic authenticity in relation to the Corps of Discovery and their experiences here in the winter of 1805-06. Our first activity this morning was amongst the magnificent exhibits of the Columbia River Maritime Museum. This world-class facility tells the story of the mighty Columbia and the treacherous results to mariners when the river shoves against the incoming tides of the Pacific Ocean. As our day progressed, we crossed the Astoria-Megler bridge to the state of Washington. At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center the winds continued but the rain subsided, and we enjoyed a sun-drenched afternoon with an option to walk a forest trail down to Waikiki Beach. The sun and sand were a siren to us and we made an additional stop at the North Jetty to get a water-level view of the waves crashing against the rocks of the Cape Disappointment lighthouse. The day turned out anything but disappointing.