Oct 05, 2017 - National Geographic Sea Lion
The sounds of the Ice Harbor Dam Lock marked both the beginning of our day and the end of our expedition’s time on the Columbia. Early in the morning, we turned onto the Snake River, the largest tributary of the Columbia and a vital vein in eastern Washington’s economy and ecology. We were able to get a closer look into the river’s economic impact by taking expedition landing craft tours through the lock of the Lower Monumental Dam, the second of four that we will pass through. The one hundred foot elevation gain demonstrated to us the ways in which technology has tamed the forces of the river and allowed for trade on its waters. For a glimpse of the ecological, we later cruised to the Snake’s smaller tributary, the Palouse River. Expedition landing craft tours, kayaking expeditions, and trips to Palouse Falls provided us with views of isolated canyons of columnar basalt, sparse vegetation of the high desert, and the golden eagles, coots, and pheasants that call the river home.
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