Hood River was our stepping off point for a full day in the Hood River valley. We started with a short jaunt to the Moiser Tunnels and reveled in the presence of trees, previously a scarce sight as we have been exploring on the eastern side or rain shadow side of the Cascade Mountains. A scrumptious lunch at the Crag Rat Hut followed by a surprise stop for huckleberry milkshakes and then down to the beach for a demonstration of windfoiling completed our day. A great day of sights and flavors of the Hood River valley.
National Geographic Sea Lion
Our final full day of excursions was based in Astoria. The oldest continuously occupied settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, it has been a key access point for maritime trade for goods and natural resources throughout the Columbia River Basin. We have reached the westernmost limit of our journey, as it was for the Corps of Discovery during the winter of 1805–6. We began with a visit to the Columbia River Maritime Museum, then had a fine day out, visiting the historic site of Fort Clatsop, Fort Stevens, and the beach at the wreck of the Peter Iredale, an iron bark driven ashore during a storm in 1906. With unusually clear skies and a stiff offshore breeze, how fitting to conclude the day and our week of exploration with a sunset cruise out towards the mouth of the "Great River of the West." We safely returned, of course, avoiding any difficulties in an area known for its swirling currents and shifting sands, then started the overnight transit, up river, to our last port-of-call in Portland, Oregon.