When we awoke this morning, we were anchored outside of Hood River. There was a mist rising off the Columbia and the surrounding environment was green! During the night, we had crossed out of the rain shadow and into the temperate rain forest. We disembarked by Zodiac and started off on the days many adventures, some of us spent the morning walking at the Mosier Tunnels, part of the old Columbia River Scenic Highway that sits several hundred feet above the river and is now a hiking and biking path. The fall colors were wonderful. Another group made a trip to an extensive antique car and airplane museum all models of which are in pristine and functioning condition. It was very possible to find the car you learned to drive on!
For lunch, we met at the Mountain View Orchards, a pear and apple orchard located on the flanks of Mount Hood. We had a beautiful meal under a pavilion gazing at the view of the magnificent mountain.
For the afternoon, we went in several directions. Some on an excursion to the Columbia River Interpretive Center to learn more about the native peoples and pioneers, natural history and even see a reconstructed fish wheel. Others went a trip to see Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in the Columbia Gorge. A third group of intrepid hikers ascended Beacon Rock, a basaltic plug volcanic remnant that sits sentinel on the north side of the river.
We all gathered back to board National Geographic Quest for a tasting of specialty local beers. Afterward, we enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by our devoted galley team as we transited the Bonneville Lock and headed down river to Astoria.