From the National Geographic Sea Bird in the Pacific Northwest
Oct 4, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Bird
On this crisp fall morning adventurers from the National Geographic Sea Bird set off in two directions. Lewis & Clark aficionados among us traveled up the Clearwater River with Don Popejoy, our staff historian, and an eloquent local historian and expert on Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery and the Nez Perce people. At campsites used by Lewis & Clark in 1805 and 1806 our own “corps of discovery” tried their hand at fire starting and rope making.
Others, following an excellent film on regional geology, boarded the “Hells Canyon Rose” jet boat, bound for Hells Canyon. Wild and remote, Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America. Traveling south and upstream on the Snake River we soon passed into the “exotic terranes” we had just learned about. We were amazed and awed by the stupendously rugged mountains rising sharply on either side of the river. Pale sand bars on the river’s edge sparkled in the sun as we watched Mule Deer, many Bighorn Sheep, otters sunning on a rock, an eagle, and an Osprey with a fish.
The highlight of an afternoon visit to the Nez Perce National Historic Park was a powerful presentation by a young ranger descended from Nez Perce Chief Joseph and Chief Black Eagle.
Following the evening presentation by Grace on the gigantic flows of lava and of Ice Age floods that sculpted this landscape, we went on deck to witness our first lock transit at Lower Granite Dam.