Snake and Columbia Rivers with Un-Cruise Adventure’s S.S. LEGACY, Part Three

Continue with Peter Knego on Un-Cruises’ recently launched 88-guest SS LEGACY on one of the ship’s heritage-rich Columbia and Snake River voyages with included-in-the-fare excursions to Hell’s Canyon and Walla Walla, Washington.

Un-Cruise Adventures

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THE SANDS OF ALANG: Peter Knego’s new DVD about shipbreaking in Alang, India

All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2013 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

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S.S. LEGACY at Clarkston, Washington.
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Hell’s Canyon jetboat spray.

Immediately after breakfast, a pair of jet boats awaited mere steps from the LEGACY’s gangway. Soon, we were speeding past our ship and along the Snake River into Hell’s Canyon with Idaho now on our port side and Washington State to starboard.

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The U.S. government at work.
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Feather in the grass.

At our first stop on the Washington side, a since reopened visitor’s center was yet another casualty of the ongoing government shutdown.  Nonetheless we enjoyed the chance to “stretch our legs” and wander a fruit and nut tree orchard overlooking the river.

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Heavenly Hell’s Canyon.

The farther into the canyon we sped, the more rugged and spectacular the scenery became. Hell’s Canyon is the deepest on the North American continent at 7,993 feet, surpassing the Grand Canyon by almost 2,000 feet.

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Goat on the rocks.

Throughout our journey, the skipper/guide pointed out a wide variety of fauna, including bald eagles, mountain goats and deer.

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Relics on the Idaho shore.
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Deer crossing.

On the Idaho shore, we stopped for a barbeque lunch and a little time to explore before the return trip downriver.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

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Burbank in the mist.
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Dew drop sunrise.

Dawn greeted us as SS LEGACY pulled into her berth at Burbank, Washington.

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S.S. LEGACY at Burbank, Washington.
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Steam on the river.

After the prior day’s drizzle, we were met with crystal clear but somewhat frigid weather as we filed onto a shuttle for a ride through the rolling hills towards Walla Walla, Washington.

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Restored cabin at the Fort Walla Walla Museum.

Our first stop was the friendly Fort Walla Walla Museum where we had several hours to peruse its agricultural, Civil War, military and transportation exhibits.

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Blacksmith and tires.

One of the museum’s highlights was a live blacksmith who demonstrated how the metal tires were forged for settlers’ wagons.

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Maisie awaits.

The full day tour included a visit to two highly regarded Washington state wineries. At Dunham Cellars, which is located in a reclaimed World War Two aircraft hanger, we were greeted by Maisie, one of several resident rescue dogs.

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Dunham tasting.

A box lunch prepared aboard the SS LEGACY was served prior to the wine tasting, which included a spectacular gold medal winning cabernet.

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Cabernet grapes at Three Rivers.

At the Three Rivers winery, we enjoyed another wine tasting before some free time to wander quaint downtown Walla Walla.

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Marcus Whitman Hotel, Walla Walla.

Our rendezvous point was the Gothic style Marcus Whitman Hotel (named for the missionary who was slaughtered in 1847), which was built in 1927 and towers over Walla Walla’s historic downtown district.

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Return to S.S. LEGACY.

Almost immediately after we re boarded the SS LEGACY, she cast her lines and headed down the Columbia River.

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Bridge to Wallula Gap.

I watched from the bridge as we entered the Wallula Gap, a large cut that was formed by the cataclysmic Missoula Floods towards the end of the last Ice Age.

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S.S. LEGACY Lounge, facing forward.

After dinner in the Lounge, all hands gathered for the talent show. Fellow guests regaled with their comedic, singing and dancing skills.

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Kevin strums.

Officers and staff also joined in the revelry, including Chief Officer Kevin, who strummed a mean banjo as SS LEGACY made her way down the Columbia to The Dalles.

End of Part Three

Much More To Come…

Special thanks: Martin Cox, Sarah Scoltock

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego
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