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Backyard Discoveries:

A Columbia River Cruise Reveals the Mighty Waterway's Enduring Legacies

By Cheryl-Anne Millsap, Journey's Magazine

Standing on the top deck of the riverboat, basking in the warmth of the late-spring sunshine on my back, I rested my arms on the railing while my eyes swept the horizon. A dry wind, smelling of dust and sagebrush and, in a way, time itself, tangled in my hair. My view of the rough and scrubby landscape and rocky bluffs was vast and unbroken under the blue bowl of a cloudless sky. A hawk circled overhead, its eyed trained on the open land.

At that moment, I could believe I was alone in a place as the riverboat, basking in the wild and foreign as any on earth. We’d left Portland, warmth of the late-spring sun- Oregon, the night before, and as we moved deeper into shine on my back, I rested my arms Central Washington, I was, in a manner of speaking, on the railing while my eyes swept right in my own backyard. But I had already found what the horizon. A dry wind, smell- I was looking for: an entirely new view of a favorite and familiar landscape.

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