Last evening the National Geographic Sea Bird left the Snake River behind and entered the mighty Columbia, as we continued our journey along Lewis and Clark’s path to the Pacific Ocean. Just after breakfast we transited through the seventh of eight major locks, at the Dalles Dam, continuing along our route from Clarkston, Washington to Portland, Oregon. It was a beautiful early morning, with Mount Hood in full view as we cruised out of the lock. Soon after leaving the lock we tied up at a dock in the city of The Dalles, and got ready for our morning adventure, visiting the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center, a wonderful museum situated on a bluff high above the mighty Columbia.

At the Discovery Center we had several options for the morning, spending the whole time enjoying this marvelous museum, returning to the ship by bicycle, or going on a city tour to learn more about the interesting history of this section of the Columbia River. During our visit to the museum we were also treated to a wonderful “live raptor” (or bird of prey) demonstration by the museum staff! A great way to spend a beautiful morning along the Columbia!

During lunch we repositioned to another dock just a short way back up river, and met our luxury coaches for transport to Stonehenge and Maryhill Museum. These both were the creation of Sam Hill, a very wealthy railroad lawyer who had a great impact in the area in the early 1900s. Stonehenge was a memorial to local men who fought and died in World War I, while the museum was originally going to be Sam’s house, but he never ended up living there after his wife left. Now it’s a very eclectic celebration of art, artifacts, and other collections.

During our time at Maryhill the National Geographic Sea Bird repositioned to Hood River, further down the river. One of the coaches returned to the ship from the museum, while the other had one last stop, the Maryhill Winery, and a tasting of some incredible locally produced wines. A great way to end our day on the Columbia River!