Columbia and Snake River Cruises Announced for 2011 and 2012

801929869_guests_kayaking_in_front_of_waterfall[1]The best way to see the majestic Columbia River Gorge is aboard a lovely 8 day/9 nights cruise expedition.   Each day passengers will experience lively discussions with their own on-board naturalist who will also accompany them on many of the shore excursions.  Shore visits range from exploring bird migration routes to exhilarating jet boat rides on the Snake River up the famous Hell’s Canyon.  Experience the Hanford National Monument, kayak the lower Columbia River or relax onboard in the yacht’s hot tub sipping an exceptional Oregon or Washington world class wine. 

 Cruises depart from Lewiston, Idaho to Portland, Oregon on Sept. 24, Oct. 08 and Nov. 19 for 2011.  Eastbound sailings depart from Portland to Lewiston,  Oct. 22 and Nov. 05, 2011 and all of these sailing dates showcase the lovely Indian Summers of the Pacific Northwest. 

 Extend your vacation for 2 nights and try Sturgeon fishing on the Snake River with a hotel stay on our North Idaho diamond, Lake Coeur d’Alene.  For information on sightseeing  and unique experiences as well as the Sturgeon fishing mini-vacation, ask for Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours & Cruises.  We are your vacation specialist for the Pacific Northwest.

Moonlight Cross Country Idaho Ski Vacation

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This winter is looking like a great one for Idaho ski vacations.  November laid down a lot of snow in the mountains, allowing many ski areas to open early this year.  Cross country skiing is a great way to experience the beauty of Idaho’s mountains in winter and Idaho has plenty of great cross country ski trails.

w06_trailfood01[1]Here is a unique cross country adventure idea for the Sun Valley area that is reasonably priced and perfect for families or couples.    Located in the Boulder Mountains is a day lodge operating as a home-base for cross-country skiers and snowshoers in the winter months.  They are open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 9am-5pm but during the full moon cycle, they offer a special Full Moon Dinner.   This is a 4-course plated dinner at 630pm served for 3 nights each month and guests are encouraged to ski or snowshoe in the moonlight either before or after their meal.  Located on a ridge above the lodge are  three yurts available for rent and furnished with wood stoves,yurt_night-(2)[1] propane cook stoves and fuel, lanterns, cookware and dishes/silverware, coffe pot, paper products, firewood, and beds with foam mats.  Two of the yurts can sleep up to 8 people each and there is a special Honeymoon Yurt tucked away in the forest that sleeps up to 4.    Visitors need to bring their own bedding and toiletries and can either choose to bring food to cook or eat at the lodge.

Surrounded by some of the best cross country skiing in the nation, these immaculately groomed trails extend  right from your doorstep within the North Valley Trail System.  And if skiing isn’t your style, there is an extensive system of snowshoe trails with beautiful views and snowshoe rentals can be found right at the lodge.  

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TMI Tours of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho can design an exclusive Full Moon Idaho Ski Vacation for your family or group this winter.  Contact Rhonda Sand or Linda Bruno for complete details and availability at 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com.  We are your Idaho Winter Vacation specialists.

Guest Ranch and Yellowstone Vacations

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If you’ve wanted to bring the family to Yellowstone National Park  this summer, consider a wild, western twist on the classic family vacation.   Yellowstone National Park sits in the corner of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming…..pure cowboy country.  What kid wouldn’t leap at the chance to put on a cowboy hat and explore the wide open spaces of a real working ranch and the wonder that is Yellowstone National Park.

bonfire-at-dusk_72_t[1]The fun begins the minute you arrive in Bozeman, Montana with a visit to the Lewis & Clark Caverns and an afternoon zip-line adventure through the Moose Tracks forest of Big Sky Resort.   Your accomodations  for the night will be an authentic log cabin tucked into the woods of a working Guest Ranch that began as a Montana homestead 110 years ago.   Enjoy the hearty ranch-style dinner followed by a horse-drawn hayride and s’mores around the campfire.

Your naturalist guide will explore the wonders of Yellowstone National Park with you for the next 3 days, visiting Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, Mount Washburn and wildlife viewing the famous Hayden Valley.  Dawn in Hayden Valley offers your best chance for interesting wildlife sightings of moose,2742002848_7fbf0d0f3a[1] bears, wolves and other elusive species.  You’ll spend two nights at the historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel offering 1920′s ambiance and stunning lake views, perfect for relaxing after a full day of sightseeing.

Next stop is Cody, Wyoming to take in the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, a white-water  float on the Shoshone River and a rockin-good time at the Cody Rodeo.  Since the 1800′s,  Cody has stood for everything that is wild about the west.  Fortunately, you’ll be sleeping in comfort at  The Cody, a luxury hotel within walking distance of all the historic sites in the frontier town of Cody.

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There are four group departure dates for the summer of 2011 on this “Best of the West Family Vacation”-June 19, July 10, July 24 and August 07.

Contact  Rhonda Sand or Linda Bruno at TMI Tours in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for availability and prices on this unique family vacation idea to Yellowstone National Park.  It is guaranteed to be the wildest 6 days of your  summer vacation.

 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

Canadian Rocky Mountaineer Rail & Wine Tours

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It is still possible to experience a mode of travel from a by-gone era with all the luxury and leisure that train travel provides.  The Rocky Mountaineer is more than just a train ride–it has been called “The Worlds Leading Travel Experience by Train”.   New for 2011 will be a delightful pairing of rail travel through the rugged Canadian wilderness and wine tasting in the Okanagan Valley, internationally famous for it’s wines and wineries.

Banff Springs Hotel

Banff Springs Hotel

This tour begins in cosmopolitan Vancouver, B.C., spending the evening downtown at The Fairmont Hotel before boarding the Rocky Mountaineer bound for Kamloops.  The day will be spent passing through the fields of the Fraser Valley and viewing the towering peaks of the Coast Mountains before entering the Fraser Canyon and experiencing the thundering waters of Hell’s Gate.  The next three days you will visit seven of the Okanagan Valley’s leading wineries, enjoying special wine tastings, delicious meals and stunning scenery.   Once again aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, you’ll be bound for Banff, Alberta travelling along the South Thompson River into Rogers Pass, with its tunnels, snowsheds andimagesCAN8HO0A glistening glaciers.  The train will climb through the Spiral Tunnels  and over the Continental Divide before entering Banff National Park and overnighting at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  After two days to explore the rugged beauty of Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains, you’ll be trasferred to Calgary to make your way home.

 

With only two departure dates, June 16 and September 8, 2011 you’ll want to reserve your place on this special rail tour early.  This 7 night/8 day tour includes two days aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, 7 nights hotel accomodations, 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners (including several food/wine paired meals), private motorcoach travel in the Okanagan region with guided winery tours and tastings as well as adventure activities in Banff National Park.

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TMI Tours of Coeur d’Alene wants to invite you to recapture the romance of rail travel aboard the Rocky Mountaineer as it follows the historic train routes constructed over 125 years ago through the rugged Rocky Mountains of Western Canada.  Contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand for availability, rates and help designing your vacation to the Pacific Northwest. 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com.  photos courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer.

Great Snowmobile Adventures and Expo 2011

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As I promised, below are some great snowmobile adventure ideas for Central to Southern Idaho and West Yellowstone, Montana. 

Mc Call, Idaho

Bear Creek Lodge just outside Mc Call is a perfect base for a snowmobile weekend.  Not only are the accomodations inviting, offering cabins and lodge rooms with riding right from your door, but one of the areas largest parking lots is right across the street if you choose to bring your own sleds.   A popular ride is a full day trip to the crystal clear hot pools of BurgdorfimagesCAQK4X4I Hotsprings and the ghost town of Warren.  Burgdorf is not your typical hot springs..it is rustic and accessible only by snowmobile in the winter.  Enjoy the 6×6 ft. 113 degree spring box pool or the 50×85 ft. main pool, usually around 100 degrees.   Caretakers onsite will rent towels and suits if you need and there is fuel and food available as well as cabins for rent.  Continuing on, you can visit the historic gold mining  town of Warren.   Enjoy dinner and drinks and cozying up to the big wood stove at The Winter’s Inn before heading back to Bear Creek Lodge for the night.   Sounds like an extremely enjoyable day with perfect powder and gorgeous mountain scenery.

Cascade, Idaho

The Ashley Inn offers guests first class accomodations with a fireplace in every room, bountiful breakfast each morning and a heated indoor pool and whirlpool.  What a fantastic place to base your snowmobile adventure to Wellington Snow Park, just 18 miles south of Cascade.  The snowpark offers 400 miles of trails, including 250 that are groomed including  The Winter Wonderland Trail offering scenic views at over 7,900 feet.  Cozy up to the huge fireplace usually roaring in the parks warming hut  at  the end of your ride or enjoy a delicious meal at the Cougar Mountain Lodge located just across the steet.  Snowmobilers have access to the towns of Cascade, Mc Call, Ola, Stanley, Warm Lake and Garden Valley from this trail system.

Island Park, Idaho

Famous for the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River and it’s world class fly fishing, Island Park in the winter is magical.  Just west of Yellowstone TheHenrysForkLodge[1]National Park are the world famous loop snowmobile trails of the Island Park area. Over 400+ miles of groomed trails on private and public land through the Targhee National Forest. Forested trails connect with the West Yellowstone trail system to provide access to mountains more than 8,000-feet high. Renowned Two Top Mountain is here with select hillclimbing and powder bowls. Popular stops include Big Springs, which is the headwaters of the Henrys Fork of the Snake River and Mesa Falls, on the southern end of Island Park.  Places like the Angler’s Lodge offer “Bed & Sled” packages during the winter months to entice snowmobile enthusiasts to stay and play awhile.  After a day exploring Idaho’s perfect  powder, relax with dinner at Island Parks finest restaurant followed by a soak in the  community hot tub or your own private jacuzzi.

West Yellowstone, MT

The 21st annual Snowmobile Expo is being held in West Yellowstone, Montana  the 11-13th of March, 2011.  EXPO is recognized worldwide as the “Largest Snowmobile Event in the West.”  Arctic Cat, Polaris, Skidoo and Yamaha will unveil their new 2012 snowmobile lines for the first time to the public at the same location. This year combines annual favorite racing events with competitions including ATV racing, freestyle aerials, and a Toughman Enduro Race.

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Contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours for rates, packages and information on attending this wild event at West Yellowstone or on any of our great snowmobile destinations in the Pacific Northwest.   TMI Tours of Coeur d’Alene at 1-800-975-777 or info@tmitours.com

Backcountry Snowmobile Adventures and Rentals

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If you are looking for something a little off the beaten path this winter, why not check into a snowmobile adventure.  Snowmobile rentals have become popular in areas that offer great riding, making this an affordable and exciting alternative to other winter sports.  In most cases you can rent riding gear, g.p.s., helmet, goggles and your machine all for one low dailydeer7-lud-snowmobile-trail[1] rate including your first tank of gas.  Popular riding locations will always have accurate trail maps and usually guides for hire to familiarize you with the local area and access to facilities for food and fuel.

North Idaho and Western Montana are a snowmobilers paradise with hundreds of miles of groomed trails and forest service roads providing easy access to spectacular powder.   The Cabinet, Selkirk and Rocky Mountains provide experienced riders with the thrill of  windswept ridges and snow-filled bowls above the tree line.  Novices will love the meanering trails following icy streams through the dense forests full of wildlife.   Accomodations range from full-service Resorts to cozy log cabins in the woods.

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Favorite snowmobiling locations for North Idaho:

  • Priest Lake/Nordman
  • Sandpoint/Schweitzer
  • Coeur d’Alene/Silver Valley

Favorite snowmobiling locations in Western Montana:

  • Libby/Troy
  • Kalispell/West Glacier
  • Missoula/Lolo Hot Springs
  • Seeley Lake

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TMI Tours of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho specializes in unique adventure packages for snowmobile enthusiasts to the Pacific Northwest.  We have information on rentals, great accomodations, guides and packages for all of the above locations in North Idaho and Western Montana.  Call Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at 1-800-975-7775 or email us at info@tmitours.com

Check back here for great tours and snowmobile packages for other  Idaho destinations in Central and Southwest Idaho like Stanley, Mc Call, Island Park and West Yellowstone…..coming soon.

Columbia River Adventure with Wine & Concerts

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One of my greatest discoveries this summer had to be The Gorge Ampitheatre on the Columbia River near Quincy in Washington State.    Perched on the edge of the Columbia River Gorge and surrounded by vineyards, orchards and wineries, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect backdrop for attending a concert and seeing my favorite artists in live performance.   Imagine my surprise to find the elegant Cave B Inn and Winery at Sagecliffe right next door and, in fact, The Gorge Ampitheatre sits on land that once was part of the vineyards.

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Poised 900 feet above the Columbia River, Cave B Inn is surrounded by estate vineyards and fragrant orchards with breathtaking views of sky, water and canyon.  The guestrooms are serene and comforting but your eyes will be drawn to the exquisite Cliffehouses perched on the edge of the Gorge and facing the evening sunset.  This imagesCAVCKZMGunique resort offers guests full spa services, a cliff-side swimming pool, exquisite dining and of course, the distinctive  Cave B/Sagecliffe wines.  Aside from offering visitors standard wine tastings, there are also options for  blind wine challenges, wine blending experiences and “ right from the barrel” tastings to make your visit memorable.  Should you choose to spend a couple days, be sure to embark on an eco-adventure of  bicycling through the vineyards, rock climbing the walls of the gorge or kayaking  the Columbia River.  Even better, combine a stay at Cave B Inn with a concert at the Gorge Ampitheater and you may find yourself breakfasting with your favorite band the next morning.

justin-moore-at-the-gorge-28[1]The Gorge Ampitheatre is set against the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and takes full advantage of the most spectacular sunsets you will ever experience.  With the cool breezes blowing up from the river mixed with music from the stage and thousands of fans relaxing on the sloping lawns, there isn’t a better venue for animagesCA9G5STE evening of fun and friends.  As the sun goes down behind the stage, the Columbia River Gorge is bathed in all the colors of a Pacific Northwest sunset.  Acoustics in this natural ampitheatre are fantastic so whether you choose to kick back on the sloping lawns or join the excitement of front row seating, this will be an experience you’ll never forget.  Getting there is easy with it’s location about 2.5 hours from either Seattle or Spokane airports and plenty of parking is available if you aren’t staying within walking distance.

The Columbia River Gorge is rich in history and culture including the 1806 arrival of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their way to the Pacific Ocean.  Over the years, this famous waterway has seen the installation of several locks and dams which are engineering marvels of their own, the establishment of successful vineyards and wineries producing world-class wines, beautiful venues for the Arts and an ever widening array of over- night accommodations for visitors.

 TMI Tours of Coeur d’Alene can put together a fantastic girls get-away, romantic weekend for two or exciting corporate event combining luxurious accommodations at Cave B Inn, wine tastings, concerts, airline tickets and rental cars.  Call Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand for details, availability and rates.  1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

Great Vacation Adventures in Glacier Park 2011

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TMI Tours is excited to announce new adventure packages to Glacier National Park for the summer of 2011.   Modeled after the Great Lodges of Glacier Tours, these adventure packages are for guests that want to spend more time hiking and exploring Glacier National Park.

Iceberg Lake

Iceberg Lake

The first night will begin at Glacier Park Lodge with a welcome BBQ and narrative around the campfire with a Blackfeet Tribal member.  The following morning, guests will board the vintage Red Buses for a tour of Glacier’s East Side before a guided hike to spectacular Iceberg Lake and overnight at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn.  The next morning, guests board the Red Buses and sightsee on the way  to the Many Glacier Hotel.  A guided hike to Grinnell Glacier will take you along the shores of several mountain lakes and a chance to stand on an actual glacier in the heart of the Park.  Day 4 is dedicated to the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road on the Red Buses,  a hike along the Highline Trail  and the next two nights at Lake Mc Donald Lodge & Cabins on  Glacier’s West Side.  Your last day in the Park will include a 2-hour Fly Fishing lesson and 1/2 day Whitewater trip as well as a farewell dinner.

These packages are offered from mid-July through the first week of September and are limited to 24 people per group.  Fully escorted and inclusive of hiking  guides, most meals, accomodations in the Park and transportation via convertible, vintage Red Buses, they are the best possible way to enjoy Glacier National Park.

Contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours of Coeur dAlene and reserve your adventure vacation package today to experience the best of Glacier National Park 2011.  1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

Luxurious All-Inclusive Houseboat Vacations

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Cruising the beautiful lakes of California, Arizona and Nevada aboard your own personal houseboat is a unique vacation choice.  Modern houseboat rentals are luxurious, offering comforts only dreamed about a few year ago.  Todays houseboats offer private accomodations, fully equipt kitchens and living areas, and sun-decks with BBQ,  wet bar and water slide.  

Below are a few of our favorite locations for you to enjoy the fun and adventure of a houseboat vacation.  With a wide variety of modern houseboats to choose from at each location, your biggest decision will be  where to start first.

paradise_lake_oroville[1]Lake Oroville is Northern California’s largest state reservoir. Lake Oroville is the cornerstone of Lake Oroville State Recreation Area and is conveniently located on the Feather River, about 75 miles north of Sacramento, in the chaparral oak-pine belt of northern mother lode country.  Lake Oroville Marina has endless opportunities to enjoy the uncrowded atmosphere. Soak up the sun while reading a book on your California houseboat rental and cool off by sliding down the waterslide into the lake. The calm waters are ideal for swimming, waterskiing or snorkeling. Cruise the waters or park along shore to enjoy some great lakeside hiking or camping.

Don Pedro Lake – a recreational gem in the Sierra Nevada foothills of the Stanislaus National Forest, near the communities of Moccasin and La Grange, and bordering the northwestern corner of Yosemite National Park. Here you’ll find nearly 160 miles of shoreline, excellent fishing and seemingly endless opportunity for water sports andA616603D-C089-CA2E-D6E8B2C50A439CE3[1] fun.  Don Pedro Lake is actually the 5th largest man-made lake in California with over 2.3 million acre feet of water. Surrounded by rolling hills and oak trees, this beautiful reservoir is situated in a canyon carved out by the Tuolumne river. Several tributaries drain directly into Don Pedro Lake allowing the water levels to remain high and the comfortably warm summer water temperatures.

Trinity Lake is  one of Northern California’s favorite houseboating playgrounds. Here you’ve got miles of tree-lined shores to explore and countless secluded coves perfect for claiming as your own houseboat base camp. Trinity boasts unparalleled water sports opportunity – from world-class trout and bass fishing, to miles of smooth blue water perfect for boating, skiing and boarding. Accommodations range from lakeside cabin rentals, nearby RV parks and campgrounds, and nearly 147 miles of shoreline for camping and anchoring private and rental boats.

AB0C844F-C284-7A85-2680652066E8D4E1[1]Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina on Lake Mohave is one of the best kept secrets in Nevada. We’re conveniently located on the Colorado river, just a short drive from Laughlin, NV and Bullhead City, AZ. We’re also part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service.  This pristine desert lake is approximately 67 miles long and is backed up by Davis Dam on the Colorado River. Lake Mohave is always full and the sparkling calm waters are legendary. Enjoy spectacular scenery, endless beach opportunities, sheer walls, and fascinating canyons along the way hosting names like Black Canyon, Pyramid Canyon, Painted Canyon and Eldorado Canyon.

Antelope Point is the  newest marina on beautiful Lake Powell, located just 12 miles from Page, Arizona.  Antelope Point  offers both convenience and brand-new upscale services catering to long-time Powell boaters and newcomers alike.  The marina  is anchored in the Lake’s main channel at mile marker 5, just a few minutes boat ride from the Glen  Canyon Dam and nearby Wahweap Marina. Antelope is the closest land-based marina to world-famous RainbowRainbowBridge[1] Bridge National Monument – commemorating 100 years in 2009, and adjacent to popular Antelope and Navajo canyons. Like the other marinas on Lake Powell, Antelope Point is administered by the National Park Service. The Point however is located within the Federal Reservation of the Navajo Nation. You can see the native influence in the unique design and engineering of the marina facility – one of the largest of its type in the world.

Lake Mead offers 550 miles of pristine shoreline, soaring red rock cliffs, countless bays and beaches, and a convenient location within an hour of the entertainment capital of the world, trinityLake_56[1]Las Vegas.  Few places can beat the recreation opportunities that await you on Lake Mead.  Few places on earth match the raw, natural beauty of Lake Mead. Whether your idea of the perfect vacation is getting up at dawn to greet the sunrise with a cup of coffee or a waterski run on glass-like water. Or maybe it’s just relaxing on the top deck of a houseboat with friends and enjoying the glow of the sunset.

TMI Tours of Coeur d”Alene, Idaho  will customize a unique and exciting houseboat vacation for you from anywhere in the world.  For information and arrangements, contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at 1-800-975-7775 or email us at info@tmitours.com and let us handle all the details.

Columbia River Wine and Culinary Yacht Cruises

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TMI Tours invites you to enjoy  exclusive 7 night cruises on the might Columbia River this fall aboard the 12-passenger yacht,  Safari Spirit.  Explore the extraordinary wine regions of the Columbia River Gorge with guest Sommeliers, Vintners, Chefs and culinary arts specialists.  

4[1]The  Columbia River Gorge is home to some of the finest wineries in the United States.  Washington wineries are welcoming travellers from around the world to their intimate and diverse tasting rooms.  The Columbia Gorge region offers visitors a wide-range of vineyards and wineries to visit as well as a myriad of outdoor activities with801884169_gDVQS-M[1] outstanding scenery and true Pacific Northwest hospitality.   Guest aboard the intimate yacht, Safari Spirit,  will enjoy an ambiance of refinement, luxury and relaxation  while  cruising between the river ports of Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho. 

801966023_gKWX8-M[1]Adventure  is just around each corner and guest will enjoy such activities as a thrilling jet-boat ride into the Snake River’s famous Hells Canyon, a personal tour of the impressive Bonneville Dam and a visit to the enchanting Maryhill Museum and Winery.   Sample hand-crafted, award-winning wines at 5 private, family-owned wineries with private tours and tastings.  On-board you will enjoy locally purchased produce and seafoods of the Pacific Northwest, prepared by expert Chefs and guest culinary hosts.

Indulge your passion for highly-rated wines and hand-crafted meals amidst one of the United States most scenic backdrops–the Columbia River Gorge.  Contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours & Cruises for details and availability aboard the exquisite yacht, the  Safari Spirit.   Departure dates for 2010: Oct 15, 22, 29 and Nov 05.  TMI Tours 1-800-975-7775 or info @tmitours.com