National Geographic Quest passed through the Lower Granite Lock on the Snake River late last night and found itself dockside in lovely Lewistown, Idaho this early morning. Lewistown was our staging area for the day’s activity: a jet boat tour into the Hells Canyon region of the Snake River. This canyon region is quite remote and inaccessible except by jet boat. These shallow draft, powerful watercraft allowed us to navigate the rapids that characterize this area. The canyon is visually dramatic as the river has carved through the basalt, creating stunning vertical walls. Our lunch area had a small apple orchard behind it where visitors can pick one of the sweetest apples found on this green Earth. Indigenous art can be found in the form of petroglyphs in Buffalo Eddy. The figurines use the atlatl, a spear throwing device predating the development of the bow and arrow.

Our afternoon concluded with visits from Dr. Coco Umiker from Clear Water Canyon Cellars, who shared her knowledge and wine while describing the vineyards and viniculture of the region, and James Spencer, a storyteller from the Nez Perce. It was a fine conclusion on the last day of our expedition.