Cascade Locks, Bonneville Dam, and Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls - just one of many spectacular sights we encountered today. Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Multnomah Falls – just one of many spectacular sights we encountered today. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports

Sunday, June 7, 2015

My first morning aboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ S.S. Legacy got off to a great start. When I crawled into bed around 12:30a.m. after writing last night’s report, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the mattress was soft and yielding. In fact, it’s one of the nicer ones I’ve had aboard any cruise ship, and the dual pillows are fluffy and comfortable.

So if you look at the twin-bedded configuration and think, “I don’t know…” – rest assured you’re going to have a relaxing sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. To top it all off, the shower is bigger than the one I had on my last mainstream cruise, too!

The gorgeous S.S. Legacy at her berth adjacent to Cascade Locks in Oregon. Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

The gorgeous S.S. Legacy at her berth adjacent to Cascade Locks in Oregon. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Lovely lines on a lovely ship! Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Lovely lines on a lovely ship! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

By the time I got up this morning, we’d already arrived at our docking location in Cascade Locks, Oregon. We’d be here for some morning touring before setting out this afternoon for a day and a half of sailing the Columbia River as part of our weeklong Legacy of Discovery river cruise.

Not a bad view to wake up to! Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Not a bad view to wake up to! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Un-Cruise likes to keep things relaxed and informal onboard, and that’s a-okay with me. Early Riser’s Breakfast is served in the Lounge starting at 6:30a.m., with full plated breakfast in the Dining Room at 8:00a.m. The Early Riser option features yogurt, fruit and cereals, while the breakfast in the dining room is a hot one, which today offered up the choice of a ham-and-cheese omelette; or a smoked salmon scramble served with potatoes, bacon, and your choice of toast. A delicious way to start the morning!

A quick aside: if you’re a coffee nut like me, you’ll be happy to know that the coffee served onboard the S.S. Legacy is extremely good. And there’s plenty of it, along with six different kinds of Tazo Tea served in the lounge.

Guests aboard the S.S. Legacy use a simple peg-board style system to mark themselves as "Onboard" or "Ashore". Don't forget to move your peg! Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Guests aboard the S.S. Legacy use a simple peg-board style system to mark themselves as “Onboard” or “Ashore”. Don’t forget to move your peg! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Guests disembark S.S. Legacy and board our luxury National Coach (locally-operated and based in Portland) for a day of touring ashore. Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Guests disembark S.S. Legacy and board our luxury National Coach (locally-operated and based in Portland) for a day of touring ashore. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

At 9:00a.m., we stepped ashore for our morning of touring. When you disembark the ship, you have to slide your “peg” positioned by your room number from the “Onboard” to the “Ashore” slot. This lets the crew quickly and easily know who is on the vessel at any given time. Simple, effective and perfect for a ship of this size.

Once onboard our coach (with was brand-new and made by European coach company Setra), our first stop on our morning excursion was the imposing hulk of the Bonneville Lock and Dam.

Our first stop: Bonneville Dam, built and operated by the U.S. Ary Corps. of Engineers. Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Our first stop: Bonneville Dam, built and operated by the U.S. Ary Corps. of Engineers. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Started in 1933 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” designed to get the American public back to work following the Great Depression, the dam and navigational lock were completed in 1937. As finished, the lock itself was 500 feet in length, 76 feet wide, and could lift vessels up and down a height of 70 feet to match the flow of the Columbia River on the other side.

Our U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Guide enthusiastically explains the importance of the Bonneville Dam to us. Seriously. He talks about dams like I talk about ships - continuously, and with very few pauses! Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Our U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Guide enthusiastically explains the importance of the Bonneville Dam to us. Seriously. He talks about dams like I talk about ships – continuously, and with very few pauses! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Capturing the power from the roaring river was left to the 1,027 foot Generator Powerhouse that featured 10 working generators with a combined total generating capacity of 600 megawatts of electricity.

In 1974, a second powerhouse was constructed on the Washington state side of the Columbia River with an additional eight modern generators. Once it was brought online in 1981, both old and new powerplants combined to create a total output of 1,200 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 900,000 homes in the Pacific Northwest region.

Turbine blades as art installation. Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Turbine blades as art installation. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

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Our Live Voyage Report aboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ S.S. Legacy continues tomorrow we spend an entire day of scenic cruising along the Columbia and Snake Rivers! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

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