Archive For The “Columbia River” Category

At the river’s mouth

At the river’s mouth

On the final leg of our trip along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, we returned downriver from Portland via sheltered Multnomah Channel to anchor in the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. We spent the following three nights at the river mouth: two in Astoria, OR and the third in Illwaco, WA. In Astoria, we…

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The Scenic Route

The Scenic Route

From Hood River, we returned to Cascade Falls to bike the Historic Columbia River Highway and visit the Bonneville Dam Visitor Center. We then continued farther downstream, back through the last lock at Bonneville, through the navigable waters of the Willamette River and back to Portland for the night. The Bonneville Dam Visitor Center unfortunately…

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Three locks and two towns

Three locks and two towns

Over the next three days, we ran from the Tri-Cities at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers, to Hood River, passing through the McNary, John Day and The Dalles locks. At The Dalles, we visited the excellent Columbia Gorge Discovery Center,, and were lucky to arrive in time for their live raptor program….

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Up close at some major engineering projects

Up close at some major engineering projects

At our final anchorage along the Snake River, we biked to the Ice Harbor Dam visitor center, and also learned firsthand about goat head stickers. Passing through those locks the next day, we hit an all-time speed record for our boat of 15.1 knots. We spent the following two days in the Tri-Cities area, touring…

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A slower, and faster, run back downriver

A slower, and faster, run back downriver

We ran downriver at a more leisurely pace than the upriver run, stopping earlier in the day to explore by dinghy, on foot and on our bicycles. A highlight of this leg was a 10-mile return, 1,160-foot altitude gain bike ride to Palouse Falls. While the pace was slower, our speed wasn’t. We got a…

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738 feet to Idaho

738 feet to Idaho

On the next leg of our trip, we crossed the border into Idaho at 738 feet above sea level. We hadn’t been sure we were going to make it all the way, given how much the current was slowing us down at Bonneville earlier in the trip. To reach Idaho, we passed through McNary Locks…

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Beyond the Gorge

Beyond the Gorge

From Cascade Locks, in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, we next passed through locks at The Dalles and John Day dams. John Day lock, with a maximum lift of 113 feet, is one of the largest single-lift locks in the world.  Transiting those two locks put us well into desert country, at an…

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Upriver and locking through the Bonneville Dam

Upriver and locking through the Bonneville Dam

On the second leg of our Columbia River cruise, we left the larger cities of Longview, Portland and Vancouver behind and passed through Bonneville Lock, the first of eight upstream locks that we’d transit. Early on the first day of this leg, we got a taste of what we thought was strong current, but we…

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Crossing the Columbia River Bar

Crossing the Columbia River Bar

We left Seattle on Thursday evening and crossed the Columbia River Bar Saturday morning. Conditions were rough, as they always seem to be, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but otherwise we’ve had reasonable weather the whole run. Saturday morning prior to 9am, the Coast Guard has closed the bar to all pleasure craft….

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