Our Un-Cruise Columbia River Cruise Nears the Pacific Ocean

S.S. Legacy Activity Schedule for Last Day

There it is. Our last day.

A visit to Fort Clatsop, Dismal Nitch and Astoria, Oregon on our Columbia River cruise.

The S.S. Legacy steamed its way westward, towards mouth of the Pacific Ocean, as Lewis and Clark did in 1805.  As we drew closer to the coast, the weather quickly began to deteriorate.  Jackets came out from their suitcases.  The early autumn heatwave that we enjoyed all week segued into a chilly, mist-shrouded morning.  Not enough to dampen our spirits. Only our shoes.

Dressed for the weather, we headed ashore to our motor coach and a trip across the river.

SS Legacy docked in Astoria Oregon

Our ship docked in an industrial area of Astoria, in the middle of neatly stacked, stripped-bare trees waiting to be loaded onto cargo ships.  

Over the river and to the woods…

Completed in 1966, the Astoria Megler Bridge is located a mere 14 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River.  Spanning 4.1 miles in length, the bridge connects Astoria, Oregon and Ellice, Washington and is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America.

Astoria Megler Bridge from the Astoria side of the Columbia River

Crossing the Astoria Megler Bridge from Astoria, Oregon to Ellice, Washington and Dismal Nitch.

On the Un-Cruise Adventures motor coach from Astoria to Fort Clatsop

For someone who hasn’t been on a plane in 25 years, this was my white-knuckle ride.

It’s easy to understand why Captain William Clark named the dreary spot “that dismal little nitch.”

Dismal Nitch, on the north side of the Columbia River, in Washington.

Dismal Nitch, on the north side of the Columbia River, in Washington.

Lewis and Clark set up a temporary encampment that was later named Station Camp.  It was Clark’s primary survey station where he produced a detailed and accurate map of the mouth of the Columbia River and surrounding area.

Monument to Lewis and Clark shows the two explorers, Sacagawea and her baby, Lewis' Newfoundland dog named, "Seaman" and York, a slave of William Clark but was a full member of the Expedition.

This intricately cast bronze relief monument to Lewis and Clark shows the two explorers, Sacagawea and her baby, Lewis’ Newfoundland dog named, “Seaman” and York, a slave of William Clark but a full member of the Expedition.

Not far from Dismal Nitch and Station Camp is historic St. Mary's Catholic church, in McGowan, Washington.

Not far from Dismal Nitch and Station Camp is historic St. Mary’s Catholic church, in McGowan, Washington.

Entrance to Fort Clatsop National Historical Park.

Entrance to Fort Clatsop National Historical Park.

Fort Clatsop National Monument

The pioneer greeters at Fort Clatsop National Monument.

This Fort Clatsop is a replica of the last encampment of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their westward journey during the winter of 1805-1806.  It didn’t take long to walk through all of the buildings, which were rebuilt according to the original descriptions.

Fort Clatsop National Monument

Inside the Fort.

Fort Clatsop National Monument

The “deluxe” accommodations for Lewis and Clark.

A statue of Sacagawea and her baby greet visitors to the park's main building and museum.

A statue of Sacagawea and her baby greet visitors to the park’s main building and museum.

Sitka spruce can grow to 200' tall and some are 100 yrs old.

Sitka spruce can grow to 200′ tall and some are 100 yrs old.

Lunchtime on the ship drew near so we were back on the bus without losing anyone who happened to wander off into the woods.

A walk into the Victorian city of Astoria.

So much to see and do for our last day in this amazing part of the country.  I barely ate lunch so I’d have plenty of time to explore Astoria.  I’d been there once before so I was familiar with the downtown area a little bit.  Here are a few highlights:

Be sure to take a ride on the Astoria Riverwalk Trolley.  It runs from the dock / lumber yard all the way to the Columbia River Maritime Museum at the far end of the Riverwalk.  There are about a dozen stops along the way so you can use it as a hop-on hop-off ride.

Astoria Riverwalk Trolley

The old and refurbished Astoria Riverwalk Trolley.

Built in 1913, Old 300 as it is called is a 40-passenger trolley. The trolley travels along Astoria’s original train tracks and passes through Astoria’s historic working waterfront.  You’ll definitely see and hear the anxious seals and sea lions hoping to snag a quick meal as nearby fishermen unload their daily catch.

 

One more view of the Astoria Megler Bridge from ground level along the Riverwalk.

One more view of the Astoria Megler Bridge from ground level along the Riverwalk.

A farewell dinner preceded a guest talent show.

S.S. Legacy Farewell Dinner

A preview of our Farewell Dinner.

Kind of goofy but everyone enjoyed it…especially the performers.  Even our three cruise managers were in full Victorian garb.

Un-Cruise Adventures S.S. Legacy Cruise

That’s Julie, Jerry and Kenny. They did a great job all week long, dressing up in different period costumes every night.

Goodbyes were said, emails traded and a promise from Un-Cruise to send everyone the photo montage of our week’s journey up and back on the Columbia River. Tomorrow we’d be back in Portland and I’d be on an Amtrak train to Seattle.  I’d look back on that incredible week and remember the most diverse, unexpected scenery and geology that I’ve encountered any where else in the world.

For more information, visit: Un-Cruise.com and contact your travel agent.

Follow my entire week aboard the S.S. Legacy:
Day 1: Aboard the S.S. Legacy to cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers
Day 2: Bonneville Dam and towering Multnomah Falls
Day 3: A relaxing “sea” day on the river. 
Day 4: Jet Boating through Hell’s Canyon
Day 5: Walla Walla Wineries, the Whitmans and the Oregon Trail
Day 6: Maryhill Museum, The Dalles and a real Stonehenge
D
ay 7: Following Lewis and Clark to Fort Clatsop and a visit to Astoria.

Disclosure:  I was a guest of Un-Cruise Adventures aboard the S.S. Legacy.  In no way was I under any obligation to Un-Cruise and all views and comments are my own.

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