Palouse River & Cruising on the Snake River

May 03, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

At 6 a.m. under clear skies, National Geographic Quest approached the lock of Little Goose Dam on the Snake River. Many of us rose early to watch the process of locking our way down the Snake toward its confluence with the Palouse River. At the Palouse we “dropped the hook” and began another day of adventures with kayaking, visiting Palouse Falls, and taking Zodiac cruises up the Palouse River into the rugged and beautiful Palouse River Canyon. In the afternoon, as we cruised downriver, Aaron our photo instructor gave a presentation on using our cell-phone cameras and showed us how to record a time-lapse record of the transit of our next lock at Lower Monumental Dam. We also learned about the Columbia River basalt province and the ice age floods from our geologist Grace. And Junius, our excellent historian, regaled us with his story of Mr. Jefferson and Captain Lewis.

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About the Author

Grace Winer


Geologist and naturalist Grace grew up among woods, rivers, and mountains, loving the outdoors, nature and rocks. After high school she became a Registered Nurse and was soon studying midwifery at Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital in London, England. Back in the United States she served as an officer in the USAF Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War. In a major career change, Grace turned to the Earth Sciences and received degrees in geology (BS and MSc) from Montana State University. Funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society, Grace pursued her master’s degree in Alaska’s remote Pribilof Islands. In her study of basaltic volcanism in the Bering Sea region, she investigated the volcanic evolution of St. Paul Island, creating a geologic map, and predicting volcanic hazards in the event of a future eruption. Her knowledge of the Pribilof Islands and the Bering Sea region led to her work as a consulting geologist on St. George Island for NOAA’s Pribilof Restoration Project.

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