As the National Geographic Quest cruised upriver, the morning light painted the banks of the Snake River. Basaltic formations lit up as the sun crested the ridges, giving us wonderful photographic opportunities of this golden landscape. Geese and wigeon flew by in the crisp, cool air and herons stalked the shore for a morning meal. It was a lovely start to the last day of our voyage.
Transiting the Lower Granite Dam lock system took us to our final elevation, over seven-hundred feet above where we started in Portland. As water rushed into the lock gulls, ravens, and pigeons flew about inside the lock chamber putting on a show. Our able crew tended the helm and lines, delivering us safely to the upper reaches of the Snake as we steamed onto Clarkston, Washington, our final destination.
Clear skies and calm waters guided us to the town dock. Some of us set about the town greenway by foot, others took to Zodiacs to explore the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers and the town of Lewiston, Idaho. We chatted with local fishers who showed us their catch of Coho salmon and took in the scenery of these two cities.
Returning to the ship we were met by JR Spencer, a storyteller from the Nez Perce tribe who gifted us with story after story. Shortly after, Dr. Coco Umiker came aboard and took us on a deep dive into wine country, complimented by tastings of different varieties from her own vineyard.
We concluded the night with a Lindblad tradition, the guest slide show. Watching this together in the lounge was a wonderful display of memories we have accrued throughout the week. Our Expedition Leader and Captain wished us farewell before we headed to our farewell dinner, concluding the last night of our wonderful week together.