Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Trip Journal -- Day Four

12 October 2004

OK, if you haven't been convinced this is the Best Cruise Line Ever by the kayaking or the cookie hour (every day at 3:00 -- cookies and milk), let me tell you the big one.  The one that isn't even in their brochures, but should be.  Are you ready?

The Coke is free.

Not just during Happy Hour.  Not just at meals.  Any time you want a Coke, you just ask the bartender, "May I have a Coke, please?" and she'll give you one, no questions asked.  (And by questions, I mean, "What's your room number?" -- the standard bill-it-to-your-account question.)  Man.  Coke at will.  It's freakin' paradise.

Today, we had a jet boat ride from Clarkston, Washington.  (Clarkston's twin city is Lewiston, Idaho.  I'll give you a second to think that one through.)

We followed the Snake River down the Washington/Idaho border (leaving the question of whether I can check Idaho off my list of visited states -- as I'm sure the jetboat veered into Idaho territory although I never actually set foot on the land), and then the Oregon/Idaho border, into Hell's Canyon.  (The deepest gorge in North America, we're told -- deeper than the Grand Canyon.  Of course, we weren't at it where it went that deep.)  


Pretty terrain.  Very desert.  Barren.  Columnar basalt with manganese deposits at the bottom.  Our jet boat captain, Buck (Buck was assisted by Leon, who didn't say a word.  He just helped dock the boat and passed photographs among the passengers to help pinpoint sights.  I kept thinking of him as "the other brother Darryl.")  So, anyway, Capt. Buck would point stuff out on either side of the boat, and rather than say "port" or "starboard" -- or even "left" and "right" -- he'd just refer to "The Warshington side" or "The Idaho side." 

Buck pointed out stray bits of wildlife.  Sadly my photograph of the Big Horn Sheep did not come out (no zoom).  We also saw some more petroglyphs although, again, photography was impossible.

I sorta fell asleep on the jet boat on the way back.  The drone was steady and soporific, the sun through the window (the jet boat was completely enclosed -- like the kayaks, this was a water activity designed to be experienced dry) -- anyway, engine hum steady, sun toasty and (thanks to the engine) the bench seats were vibrating like a thousand dollar massage chair.  We all started dozing.

And woke up just as we returned to the ship.  For cookie time!

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