Palouse River

Oct 06, 2017 - National Geographic Sea Bird


We arose to a beautiful sunrise as the Sea Bird passed through Wallula Gap on the Columbia River. Just after breakfast, we entered the Snake River and proceeded through the lock at Ice Harbor Dam to Lake Sacajawea. Cliffs along the lakeshore displayed excellent views of lava flows, one on top of the other, of the 16-million-year-old Columbia River Basalts. Apple orchards and vineyards topped the basalt cliffs. On the reservoir shores were huge bars from the 15,000-year-old Missoula Floods, with giant current ripples some 250-feet crest to crest. “Lunch in the lock” (of Lower Monumental Dam) was on the aft deck, blessed by beautiful warm weather. In the afternoon we anchored at the mouth of the Palouse River for kayaking, trips on the expedition landing crafts, and a bus excursion to Palouse Falls. We marveled at the gigantic plunge pool produced not by the modern falls but by the torrents of water that coursed across the Channeled Scablands during the Missoula Floods. 

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About the Author

Patrick Muffler

Patrick Muffler

About the Videographer

Dexter Sear

Video Chronicler

Dexter grew up in England where a love for exploring the countryside ignited a lifelong passion for discovering natural history and embarking on adventure. As a teenager, two trips to India sparked a fascination with insects and a desire to share a “hidden” macro world was born. He produced a popular insect website and authored a reader digest about cultural entomology.

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