Snake and Palouse Rivers

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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About the Author

Alex Krowiak

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

A childhood surrounded by the woods and streams of Pennsylvania initially sparked Alex’s curiosity about nature. That curiosity eventually led him to pursue degrees in biology and environmental studies at Boston College. During his time there he conducted research on carnivorous plants in Iceland and kelp forests in South Africa. Together these diverse experiences provided him with the background and passion to become a teacher. 

About the Videographer

James Napoli

Video Chronicler

Jim was born in rural New England where he quickly developed an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of exploration.  Four years with the U.S. Navy further enhanced his appetite for travel. Always interested in the visual arts, he studied Television at Boston University and Northeast College of Communications, landing his first job in the industry working as an editor at a Boston television station. His wanderlust drew him to a job with two major cruise lines; installing and managing broadcast centers onboard a total of over a dozen ships. He has since moved on to specialize in expedition travel and wildlife productions.  

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