The day began with brilliant rays of sunshine shining upon the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers. National Geographic Sea Birddocked near the campsite used by Lewis and Clark when they journeyed westward in October 1805.
Guests hurtled upstream on the Snake River on jet boats, reveling in the specular basalt cliffs and entablature features that define the over 9,000-feet deep Hells Canyon. Guests were treated to lunch at Garden Creek Preserve, which is owned by the Nature Conservancy.
Along the river, guests photographed white pelicans, bighorn sheep, ruddy ducks, Canadian geese, ospreys, golden eagles, and many types of sparrows. Jet boats traveled 55 miles upstream to the confluence of the Grande Ronde and Salmon Rivers.
Other guests spent the day discovering Nez Perce country. They traveled up Clearwater River to Nez Perce National Historic Park, a center that provides rich interpretation of Nez Perce culture, language, and history. To highlight the importance of horses in Nez Perce culture, local breeders gave a demonstration of Nez Perce horses. We then enjoyed visits to two local wineries.
Returning to National Geographic Sea Bird, guests met JR Spencer (White Bull), a Nez Perce Storyteller and Tribal Member. White Bull told wonderful stories and spoke the word on Nez Perce culture. After learning from our storyteller, we met Coco Umiker. Coco is a local winemaker who led the establishment of the Lewis and Clark Valley EVA. She shared her remarkable success story of building a local winery in the land of Lewis and Clark.
The evening was capped off with a delicious dinner followed by the guest slideshow.
Photographers: Patrick MacQuarrie, River Historian, and Robert Edwards, Naturalist