Palouse River

Oct 21, 2017 - National Geographic Sea Lion


After traveling overnight through the Lower Granite and Little Goose Locks, the National Geographic Sea Lion dropped anchor just north of the confluence of the Palouse and Snake Rivers. The sun burst through the clouds momentarily lighting of the hillsides in the beautiful morning glow that creates a ‘photographic emergency’. As the clouds ensconced the sun, the emergency was downgraded to a ‘photographic alert’. Although the sun did eventually give way to clouds and rain, we were able to stay through the morning activities which included expedition landing craft tours up the incredible Palouse River, Kayaking and visiting the 186-foot waterfall named for the river.

After lunch, we were granted permission to take expedition landing crafts into the Lower Monumental Locks and experience passing through the locks from water level. Even with the rain, about half the guests aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion chose to brave the weather. It is truly a marvel to witness the engineering that is required to allow for such navigation. Of course, this does have some significant impact on native salmon runs. But that’s a story for another night… Overall, this diversity of opportunities offered today allowed people to experience the river in a diversity of beautiful and inspiring ways. As we travel west the wind and rain remind us of changing seasons and that we are approaching the ‘wet side’ of the mountains!

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About the Author

David Jaffe

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For more than 20 years David Jaffe has guided and taught a variety of audiences about our natural world and our connection with it. His childhood interest in natural systems eventually brought him to Evergreen State College where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geology, followed by a M.S in Applied Ecology from the University of Vermont. Mingling an academic background with experience working around the world in exceptionally diverse environments, he is able to efficiently observe, understand, and interpret natural and cultural history.

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