55 Foot Keelboat 152 Foot M/V Sea Bird

Daily Itinerary

The Willamette and the Lower Columbia

Eastern Washington's Wine Country

Clarkston and Hells Canyon

Palouse River

Columbia River Gorge


Back to Portland

Thursday, October 3 - Palouse River

Today we woke up to an overcast sky and soon anchored in the mouth of the Palouse River - a tributary of the Snake. After breakfast we boarded a bus for the trip to Palouse Falls. They are a spectacular 200 foot high falls, which we viewed from above. Equally impressive is the canyon below.

We then had a choice of taking a Zodiac ride along the river, kayaking on the river, or hiking above the river. Richard and I went kayaking. They took us in Zodiacs up the river into the canyon below the falls to the last of five rapids, and we kayaked down river from there. It was a bit windy, and at times the headwind seemed stronger than the current. We had a bit of rain, off and on, which added to the challenge. We had our rain jackets, but hadn't worn our rain pants, which would have kept us drier.

Getting back in to the Zodiac with its wet sides made us wetter still. Needless to say, when we returned to our cabin we changed into dry clothes after warming our backsides with the hair dryer while drinking hot chocolate. At lunch, we learned that the "up and over hike" along the canyon rim was a bit extreme, and the group got lost for awhile with guide David Stephens. This afternoon is free time to relax as the ship proceeds down the lower Snake.

Richard spent much of the afternoon on the bridge where he learned that the boat had lost its bow-thruster this morning (the clutch had burned out, which explained the smell many had noticed at breakfast.) The crew has a little more difficulty maneuvering into the locks, but they handle it very well using the twin screws and rudder to "torque" the ship into position.

Toward the end of the afternoon, David Stephens gave a talk on the Columbia Plateau and Pacific Northwest Indians art. He had some very good slides and several old and modern examples which he passed around. The modern examples were made by him and by his wife, both of whom are artists.

When we had gathered in the lounge for the evening recap, Sgt. Patrick Gass, a key member of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery, and their chief carpenter, entered the room playing O' Shenandoah on his harmonica, and told us about his life during and after the expedition. He had quite a life - actually it was Jerry Igo, the Lindblad Historian on this voyage, who is very knowledgeable about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and is also a good actor and so-so harmonica player. He lives near Hood River, Oregon, and has kayaked, walked, and driven the Lewis and Clark trail several times.

Tonight we head down the Columbia for tomorrow's tour of the Columbia River Gorge.

Related Links

Driving from Seattle to Portland and back

Tour of Portland

Lindblad Log

Harry Fritz on Lewis and Clark

River Basin Map

Columbia Basin Hydroelectric Projects

The Batterman's Web Site