So It Begins

It feels like this day has been long in the future for many months, but now that it has arrived, everything seems to be going so fast! I disembarked the National Geographic Sea Bird at 8:00 this morning and took the shuttle bus to the Portland airport with the guests. My first flight is a quick jump up to Seattle, then I head out over the Pacific Ocean to Seoul, Korea and finally Bangkok. All in all it will be 21 hours of travel time, arriving in Thailand at 12:30 AM on Halloween! I doubt I’ll be celebrating much, though… I’ll probably spend the better part of the day in bed.

The River trips were really great. These voyages are much different than our other destinations (Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica/Panama), because we don’t do as many outdoor activities, like hiking and kayaking. But, we still go to some beautiful places and learn about the history of the area – namely the voyage of Lewis and Clark. Last week I got to go on a jet boat that traveled up the Snake River in Idaho. We traveled through Hell’s Canyon, which is a beautiful narrow gorge with tall basalt cliffs and short stretches of white water. Along the banks we spotted herds of mule deer and bighorn sheep. It was amazing to see them scramble up the steep rocks wig no apparent effort. We also visited Palouse Falls in Washington. Another canyon, this place is absolutely spectacular. After a short bus ride though the brown, rolling, slightly mundane hills of western Washington, we arrived at the falls and it was like stepping into another world. The waterfall flows out of a narrow river and descends several hundred feet into a giant lagoon. We stood at the top of the gorge and looked down in, making sure not to step too close to the edge. I tried to take pictures, but they don’t do it justice.

I’m about to board my plane, so I’ll leave off here.


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