I forgot to mention that on our Monday arrival at the hotel we were invited to the daily 5 to 6pm wine and munchie get together in the lobby. After unpacking and getting dressed for our big dinner out we went to the lobby to partake of the social event. Along with our wine which just happened to be a Rascal pinot made in McMinnville. We were not familiar with the winery but will definitely check it out. Three different kinds of cheese were presented with tasty crackers and little bread points topped with smoked salmon along with grapes and other assorted fresh fruits. We met a couple from Vancouver BC and it seemed we jumped right into a conversation about their and our health care system. It is always interesting to get the infer direct from the horses mouth and not some article in the paper which may or may not be true. Fun hour together.
OK, we have finished with Costco on Tues afternoon and after a late lunch at a local corner pub (very good BLY + O for me and a paddy melt on rye with a bowl of chowder for Wayne) we headed back to the hotel to meet Captain Chris at 4:00 pm down at his slip at the wharf which was located right next to our hotel and within walking distance. I was pleasantly surprised to see his 40 foot boat in the slip we were looking for.
Since we would be missing happy hour at the hotel they sent a tray of food and a bottle of wine for us to enjoy on our three hour tour of the Columbia. We did chuckle about turning into an episode of Gilligan’s Island but Captain Chris assured us he hadn’t lost his way yet.
The weather was perfect with some wind on the way back in but nothing my scarf couldn’t handle. He took us to all the inlets and explained the history of the area, the nautical school and programs that they offer and what the buildings along the coast had been used for and what is happening with them now. There is a lot of restoration going on and it was so great to see the area prospering. We visited an area with hundreds of sea lions which are protected in this area even though it inhibits the owner from leasing out all the slips. They tried relocating them at one point but after releasing them some 50 miles away the sea lions got back to Astoria before the handlers. One very interesting side trek was to a little community up the John Day river which empties into the Columbia and we spotted a great little rental that would be so fun to have with our kayak. We will be checking it out for sure for future visits to the area. The three hours went very quickly and we really enjoyed our time with Captain Chris and highly recommend taking his tour. columbiariverecotours.com
The tour ended at 7:00 and since we had a late lunch and munchies and wine on the cruise we decided not to try and find a pub to watch the Blazer game. So glad we stayed in as I took a hot soak while the Blazers got whomped!! Oh so sad!!!
Wayne playing Captain
The next morning we also awoke to no rain but not quite as sunny as previous two days but that was all right as we would be just in the car. Well, that is what I thought. We said goodby to the sea gulls ad after breakfast were on our way leisurely home. Wayne said I get to choose how we got home and of course I picked the coast route. After turning up the Nestucca road which drops us right down onto Meadowlake Road, Wayne turn off at a sign that said Niagra falls. After a bit I asked him where we were going and he said a friend had told him about this great hike to beautiful falls and it was a surprise for me. With my new trekking poles, which now it made sense why he was so adamant for me to get them, I was ready to go. It wasn’t too far into the hike (all down hill) that I realized I would have to at some point go back up hill which is the hardest for me to do but I hate being a whip so I just kept going. A while later and several times during the hike, Wayne asked if I wanted to turn around but I said let’s keep going for a bit more as the trail was fabulously lush and all the bird sounds were delightful. It was a fairly good trail and since it hadn’t really rained in the last few days there were just a few muddy places but all in all very doable. We were about 30 minutes into the hike when we came around a corner and spotted the trail way down at the bottom of a canyon and that is when I knew I could probably make it down to the falls but not sure how I would make it back out. We both smiled and knew it was time to head back. I made the return climb in 40 minutes which I was quite proud of but knew I would be quite sore once I stopped. It did feel sooo good to get back to the van but the side trip was very worthy and I thanked Wayne for such a great surprise.
We stopped at Barrel 47 for a late lunch, early dinner and then it felt wonderful to get home. Ahh, home sweet home.
Thank you for stopping by.