S.S. Legacy Cruise: Nez Perce

ABOARD THE S.S. LEGACY – Why do dogs go through the ritual of tail sniffing when they encounter each other? Because they are looking for their own tail. At least that’s the tale that Nez Perce speaker White Bull told on our S.S. Legacy cruise. Sounds about as good an explanation as any other. “We are a very childlike people and we have stories for why things are the way they are,” he said. “Those stories are …

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S.S. Legacy Cruise: Multnomah Falls beautiful in any season

ABOARD THE S.S. LEGACY – Admiring the magnificent Multnomah Falls, I was taking photos from different angles when a young lady approached and told me I should see the awe-inspiring cascade in autumn. “When the leaves have changed colors, you would not believe how beautiful it is,” said Heather Williamson from nearby Portland. She and her friends like to take the short 30-minute drive east from Portland to the falls for hikes and have seen the 611-foot-tall …

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S.S. Legacy Cruise: Stopping at beautiful, expensive comfort station

ABOARD THE S.S. LEGACY – Build a modern highway through a breathtaking part of the country and you’ll soon realize that you need something else for all those motorists. That’s right, construction of a “comfort station” began soon after sections of he Columbia River Highway opened. But this is no ordinary bathroom stop. “These are probably the most beautiful bathrooms you will ever go to,” said Ryan Downs, heritage leader of the S.S. Legacy. On a shore …

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S.S. Legacy Cruise: Walla Walla sweet onions a tasty part of shore excursion

ABOARD THE S. S. LEGACY – I’m not much for buying souvenirs. After years as a travel writer, my home already has enough stuff. Plus I have tons of notebooks, photos, memories and articles written to remind me of where I’ve been. But after tasting Walla Walla Sweet Onion Mustard at Fort Walla Walla Museum, I knew a jar would not last long in my house. Other passengers from the S.S. Legacy also were buying the tasty …

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S.S. Legacy: Learning about Walla Walla’s name, famous madam much more

ABOARD THE S.S. LEGACY – When Vi Jones needed a new dress, she did what pioneer women did. She made it herself, right down to the deer antler buttons. “Those are very difficult to button,” Jones said, turning around to show a row of buttons down the back of her high-necked dress. “The buttons are irregular in size which makes it even harder to get them through the button holes. I always need help.” When our S.S. …

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S.S. Legacy Cruise: Visiting tragic Whitman Mission

ABOARD THE S.S. LEGACY – Tightly clutching her Bible, Narcissa Whitman tries to explain why she chose to embark on a path that eventually took her life in a horrible massacre. The slaughter also destroyed the very people she sought to help. Of course, this isn’t the real Narcissa Whitman. She died Nov. 29, 1847. The woman standing before us on the S.S. Legacy is Assistant Heritage Leader Julie Kehr giving a first-person presentation of that long …

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S.S. Legacy: Dining delights on heritage cruise

ABOARD THE S.S. LEGACY – Would I prefer mahi mahi with feta and avocado oil; roasted rack of lamb with honey tomato relish; or spanakopita? Decisions, decisions! But the folks on my S.S. Legacy cruise have made those tough choices a bit easier. “Choose half and half,” our server suggested, noting that we can have a split portion of two different entrees. So that is what I have done for most of my delicious meals aboard the …

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S.S. Legacy: Visit to Sam Hill’s Stonehenge

ABOARD THE S.S. LEGACY – Such a beautifully sad place. Birds are singing in the distance. Sun is shining on glorious vistas stretching before us. We are on a shore excursion from our S.S. Legacy cruise on the Columbia and Snake rivers. But I can’t help thinking about the young men honored here. Residents of this place went off to fight for their county. And some never returned. When famed road builder Sam Hill created this memorial …

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S.S Legacy Cruise: Astoria Column spotlights area’s history

ABOARD THE S.S. LEGACY – Like a gigantic history book with pages reaching to the sky, the Astoria Column celebrates the Oregon city’s storied past. “The column was built in 1926 and is 125 feet tall,” said Sheri Mitchell, Astoria Column director. “You can go inside and climb the steps to the top for a fantastic view. There are 164 steps going up.” And 164 steps coming back down. Take note of that before starting a climb …

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S.S. Legacy: Learning about ‘Mr. Alaska’ Chuck West

ABOARD THE S.S. LEGACY – The book on my cabin desk got me curious. Then I saw the display in a ship corridor with a fur-fringed jacket and some photos and thought I had better look into this man Chuck West, known as “Mr. Alaska.” “He is a legend in Alaska tourism,” said Ryan Downs, heritage leader on the S.S. Legacy. “He fell in love with Alaska as a bush pilot in the 1940s and wanted to …

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