Today we are anchored opposite the town of The Dalles, Oregon. This traditional shipping, ranching, and agricultural town carries on the tradition as perhaps the oldest (over 8000 years), continuously occupied area in the Americas. It was a center for salmon fishing and trade, and many tribes met without conflict. The forested Cascade Mountains in the west rapidly change into sagebrush steppe/grasslands due to an abrupt gradient of decreasing precipitation, so there is access to a wide variety of environments and resources. The modern economy now includes tech companies and data centers that take advantage of hydropower and the sunny climate to attract a diverse group of residents.
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.