From the National Geographic Sea Lion in the Pacific Northwest
Sep 30, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Snake River / Palouse River
Early morning found the National Geographic Sea Lion cruising through placid waters on the largest of the tributary rivers of the “Mighty Columbia,” the Snake River. This thousand-plus-mile-long waterway springs to life in Yellowstone National Park, carves deep canyons along its way, and finally meets the Columbia River near Burbank, Washington.
We had a perfect day for traveling up river, with clear skies and warm temperatures. About 9:30a.m., the ship approached Lower Monumental Dam, and prepared for a special treat for some of our guests, a ride through the lock on a Zodiac. This was a really different perspective than being on a large vessel, like the Sea Lion, and experiencing rising up over a hundred feet in the lock.
After returning the guests and Zodiacs to the ship, we continued up the Snake to the confluence with the Palouse River, where we would do our afternoon activities. So after a wonderful lunch on the “sun” deck, complete with ice cream and all the fixings, it was time for action! The first group going to Palouse Falls left for shore, then the kayakers, and finally the first round of Zodiac cruisers headed out to explore up the Palouse. After about an hour and a half, the next round of Zodiacs, and travelers to the falls, started out on their adventures.
Soon it was time to board the National Geographic Sea Lion, watch another beautiful sunset, have cocktail hour, preview the video chronicle and have another delicious dinner. After dinner there was a short presentation on geology by our expedition leader, and it was off to bed for a well-deserved rest! Our jet boat cruise on the Snake River, in Hells Canyon, awaited us in the morning!