It is springtime in the Pacific Northwest. The Columbia River Gorge is wearing a verdant robe of greens with accents of yellow provided by arrowleaf balsamroot, pinks from red currant shrubs, and corsages of smooth desert parsley. This is a brief moment in the season, as the warmth of springtime will turn to the heat of summer and the greens will fade to shades of straw-colored yellows and browns. Until then, we bask in the flush of growth that the return of spring brings to the hillsides.
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.