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May 2008: Steamboat Cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers

Presenting PixTraveler's riverboat ride on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Preparing this presentation brought back many memories of our 2008 cruise aboard the stern wheel steamboat, Columbia Queen. That beautiful boat has been idle since then, so our trip has extra significance. The trip started on Saturday, May 31, 2008 in Portland, Oregon, proceeded up the beautiful Columbia and Snake Rivers and returned to Portland on Saturday June 7 stopping at Sacagawea State Park, Washington, Mt. St. Helens, the Lewis and Clark exhibit at Ft. Clatsop, and numerous other points. The highlight to me was the excursion aboard a smaller boat on the upper Snake river where we saw unique petroglyphs and miles of spectacular scenery.

This presentation is the first one with a built-in slide show and the first with the ability to effectively display maps in full screen mode. The Google Earth maps use new higher resolution satellite imagery which gives the 3-D maps you see during the fly over a very realistic view of the rugged and beautiful terrain along the two rivers.

At the end of that year, the boat's owner, Majestic America Line discontinued their operational business and as of today the Columbia Queen is idle, waiting for a new owner to take her back into service, hopefully soon. Meanwhile, I hope this presentation will help you to share our experience on this amazing journey.

Our Itinerary

Day 1. Saturday May 31, 2008. Starting in Portland, Oregon

Thumbnail This day included: A bus excursion around Portland, Oregon stopping at the beautiful Washington Park and the International Rose Test Garden; and the beginning of our trip up the Columbia River.

Day 2, June 1, 2008, Proceeding up the Columbia River

Thumbnail This day included: A view of spectacular Multnomah falls from the boat; a bus excursion which stopped at the Gorge Discovery Center; the excursion route included a scenic drive along the bluffs high above the river; we returned to the Columbia Queen and proceeded upriver passing the lock at the Dalles Dam.

Day 3. Monday June 2, 2008

Thumbnail This day included: Continuing upriver, we passed through the lock at the John Day Dam; I took a spectacular photo sequence as we passed the McNary Dam; we passed the beautiful terrain near Wallula and docked at Sacagawea State Park, Washington; we started upriver on the Snake and passed through the locks at the Ice Harbor and Lower Monumental Dams.

Day 4. Tuesday June 3, 2008. Excursion on the Snake River

Thumbnail This day included: Continuing up the Snake, we passed through the locks at the Little Goose and Lower Grannet Dams; we enjoyed a lecture from a member of the Nez Perce tribe on the history and culture of the region; we docked and boarded a smaller boat for an excursion on the faster and narrower upper portion of the Snake; I was able to take some great photos of this beautiful area; we then boarded the Columbia Queen and began the return trip down the Snake.

Day 5. Wednesday June 4, 2008. Returning down the Columbia

Thumbnail This day included: We continued to retrace our path and rejoined the Columbia; as evening approached the colors gradually changed from desert brown to green of the approaching coastal regions; the weather was bright and clear and I was able to get beautiful photos from the boat.

Day 6. Thursday June 5, 2008. Continue down the Columbia to Mount St. Helens.

Thumbnail This day included: Continuing downriver, the Columbia Queen passed through the lock at the Bonneville Dam; we docked at Rainier, OR and took a bus excursion to Mt. St. Helens; our luck with the weather ran out and we began to live what frequent travelers to the region call the Lewis and Clark experience; we visited the Mt. St. Helens observation site which had interesting exhibits and a view of the mountain through the fog and clouds.

Day 7. Friday June 6, 2008. Visit Ft. Clatsop and Astoria, Oregon

Thumbnail This day included: In the morning, the Columbia Queen docked in Astoria, Oregon near the Columbia River Maritime Museum; we took a bus excursion which included a visit to the Lewis and Clark exhibit at Ft. Clatsop which told a fascinating story about the Lewis and Clark expedition; we also toured Astoria viewing beautiful homes and stopping at the Astoria Column in Astoria Column Park; our last stop before returning to the Columbia Queen was the Columbia River Maritime Museum.